Interview Questions



1. Identify technologies that are appropriate (technologically) for the area.
2. Identify improvements can be made technically without compromising the culture of the community.
3. Explore characteristics and needs of the community.
4. Gain information on the area in regards to cultural and agricultural issues.
5. Find out how the community perceives outside help and what the community hopes to receive/gain from this project.
6. Explore ways to develop a sense of equity/partnership between the Penn State group and the community in Nyeri.
7. Discover the assets and skills that the community can bring to the project.

  • Community: The community assessed is defined by: villagers, small subsistence farmers, youth workers, teachers, women's groups and street children in the surrounding area (within 2 miles of the Kimathi site).
  • Other Stakeholders: In addition to the community defined for the purposes of the assessment tool, stakeholders may include: faculty and students at JKUAT and the nearby Kimathi school, government officials at several levels, local businesses, Penn State, etc.
  • Planning Group: Penn State University faculty and students in conjunction with JKUAT faculty and students. The Penn State students will continue the design of the appropriate technologies for the community next semester.
  • Origin of the Assessment: This assessment came about by working with Paul Mina and faculty at JKUAT to identify needs in the existing community and how we can make a difference for the street children and CYEC. Penn State students and faculty are not inherently familiar with the community so we think this assessment is valuable in identifying critical issues.

Description of the Community Assessment Process
Methods/ Techniques

  • Identify assessment goals: as given above.
  • Identify stakeholders: Local citizens, street children that have been through the system, street kids, Agricultural Training Center, local government officials (district development committee, district commissioner, local Member of Parliament), university students at JKUAT& Kimanthi, church and youth groups, local businesses (the market), local bank, women's groups, public agencies (Ministry of Education, Ministry of Agriculture, other relevant Ministries)
  • Define the community: Identify the stakeholders who must be directly surveyed for the community assessment. This includes local farmers, local community members, the children who would live in the site, and the teachers/adults who currently work with them.
  • Collect pertinent questions: The planning group identified questions that would have an effect on the final design that could not be easily answered through literature reviews.
  • Choose a format: The most effective format for the assessment was identified as a set of focus groups. Each group would have 10-15 individuals from a specific demographic group: men, women, youth, farmers etc.
  • Develop the assessment tool: The pool of relevant questions was separated into individualized assessment tools for the different parts of the community.
  • Complete the assessment: Someone on the ground in Nyeri will be responsible for making the community members aware of the upcoming assessment and its purposes. Once community members are notified and separated into focus groups, each group will form under the direction of a moderator. This moderator will be responsible for asking the questions given in the assessment tool and then taking answers from the community. Once this information is taken, it will be transcribed into a format for delivery to the planning group at Penn State.
  • Analyze the results: When all information has been returned to the planning group, they will analyze the findings and identify answers that change the course of the design or affect design criteria.
  • Create a summary: The planning group will finally complete an executive summary of the findings and analysis from the community assessment. This summary will be used for design and proposals, and will also be in some way relayed to the participating community members in order to "close the loop" and allow the participants to see the results of their labor.