Travelling report - visit at University of Dar es Salaam September 2004

Project co-ordinator North visited the University of Dar es Salaam 9 to 15 September 2004. The primary objective of my visit was intended to be observations and discussions during survey field work, but since this unfortunately had to be postponed due to unforseen complementary examinations, other tasks were given higher priority. In a departmental meeting on 10 September, the survey questionnaire was discussed, and it was agree to ask some relevant questions also from some people under adult age in the households. Since the project only was granted parts of the resources applied for, the young ones can only be interview in a subsample of households, tentatively between 25 % and 50 %.

The meeting also discussed software issues. During my visit I installed and tested SPSS versions 12 on the project computer, which is viewed as an extension of UiTø hardware. The price quote given from SPSS East Africa, however, makes it unlikely that we can install this most recent version on other computers. However, version 10 is available, and the possibility of getting student version licenses in Dar es Salaam is investigated there. Also, the latest version of Mapinfo was installed on the project computer, and tested with Tanzanian regional coordinates and data. It was agreed in the meeting that I shall run a basic course on distributive mapping with Mapinfo when I return early next year.

Budget issues were clarified on the basis of the memorandum Project Management and Financial Handling of NUFU Projects from the Director of the University of Tromsø. As to point 4 in the memorandum, it should be noted that there might be cases where either project coordinator north or south is overruled by decisions taken at a higher departmental or university level. Then it is important that the coordinators communicate this to all parties concerned without delay. The funds sent to partner South for the field work, will be kept there until the field work commences in January 2005.

I received an official letter of appointment as external advisor for doctoral student Ngowe who writes a statistical study on infant mortality in Tanzania, especially focussing on birth intervals as the primary independent variable. We made successful searches for literature in the campus libraries. On the basis of his progress plan, it was agreed that he will send in the first draft of the introduction for comments in October and the literature review before the end of the year. Since the plan is for him to visit Tromsø towards the end of the spring semester 2005, it is important that he has then done and presented the first version of the main part of the statistical analyses. It will be attempted to coordinate a workshop on infant mortality studies during his visit where he will present his main results. The Women’s Secretariate at the University of Tromsø has agreed to co-organize the workshop.

I want to thank the south coordinator, the department chair and vice-chair for their hospitality, especially the meetings and the department dinner, in addition to much practical help with making my stay productive and pleasant.

Tromsø 26 September 2004
Gunnar Thorvaldsen
North coordinator