Week 1: Staying focused in the heat!
Last summer when Dr. Yousafzai, Dr. Aboud, and I developed an indicator for measuring responsive care, one of our primary goals was to create a universal tool that did not positively bias interactions from western contexts. The work of Mesman et al., 2018 draws attention to the fact that the bulk of research on sensitive responsiveness has been carried out on parents in western countries in urban areas, with very little work done in non-western rural regions. They argue, based on their work in Mali, the Republic of Congo, and the Philippines, that sensitive responsiveness is observed in non-Western contexts, but it often looks different. Therefore, if we fail to acknowledge that the Western conceptualization of responsiveness (which often has an extraverted focus, with more positive affect and vocal exchanges) does not apply to all instances of responsive behavior, then we likely will discredit a range of subtle, and more physical responsive interactions that are more common in non-Western settings. As such, in the validation process of our responsive care tool,
a strong qualitative component was necessary. Our tool has the three main domains (responsive interactions, non-responsive interactions, and negative interactions) which we expect to be consistent across contexts, but the examples we provide on the tool will be very context specific. On Sunday, Saima kicked off the qualitative work and held individual in-depth interviews with a subset of purposively sampled women in order to understand how responsiveness is conceptualized in this context. After transcribing and translating the interviews, Saima and I discussed the findings, and updated the examples on our tool accordingly. On Monday, Saima and I co-led the first training on how to use the tool. The training was very interactive and hands-on, and was composed of about 25% didactic instruction, and 75% learning through doing. Our RA's, who are very well versed in ECD work, were quick learners of the new tool. Tomorrow we are excited to start our first day of field testing to see how this tool works in the real world and to figure out what needs to be adapted before we begin piloting! We are excited to continue this work!