We were conducting an endline study in Rajasthan in the month of November, but just couldn’t find the baseline respondents we had surveyed earlier. We quickly learned that respondents don’t just stay at the field site—they move around over time. In rural areas, especially, members of the household often migrate to nearby cities or urban areas in search of work.
But what happens when we are required to conduct a baseline, midline, as well as an endline study in the same location, with the same respondents? You may not find your respondents in their home all year round. And this is exactly what happened with us! We knocked on the respondents’ doors, only to learn from their family members that they had migrated either to Gujarat to harvest cotton, or to Punjab to sow wheat.
The lesson we learnt: Look at migration patterns and cropping cycles before deciding on study phases!
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