Answers from Monitoring and Evaluation Officer Rabecca Lemba

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Rabecca Lemba is a researcher with a Bachelor’s Degree in Development Studies and a Master’s in Gender Studies. These questions were put to her:

What does being a researcher mean on a daily basis?
I will first start by saying that Primary research is research you conduct yourself (or hire someone to do for you.) It involves going directly to sources in your target group – to ask questions and gather information. This definition encapsulates in a nutshell what I do on a daily basis. With the most important skill being communication as you need to communicate with your target audience in order for you to extract as much information as possible.

How did you get into this line of work?
I started as a volunteer community leader and worked as a peer educator and kept getting opportunities to work in communities and engaging with young people as a youth leader.
After this phase of my life as a volunteer, I saw that despite my work experience I was lacking in some skills. So I updated them so that I could work well and effectively. My work presently as a Monitoring and Evaluation officer involves a lot of project management, data collection, analysis and reporting.

What things have you learned so far that you hold on to or refer back to?
• In growing your career, you need to be patient, just like they say that Rome was not built in one day, it is one block on top of the other.
• Never focus on money because in my experience very few jobs will pay you what you are worth but most jobs have got the capacity to grow you professionally. So even if you do not get the best of salaries remain calm and balanced. The SKILL you will acquire is worth more than the money you may be desiring.
• Be willing to travel, explore, meet and learn from people-with different backgrounds, in various working environments and other cultures.
• Have respect for all people. This is very important and I will make mention that it is through the contribution of other people, friends and family that I have achievements in my career.

What would you say to those trying to pursue the same career path?
I would say to anyone who wants to pursue this career that you need to have a passion for people because this is what this jobs exposes you to on a daily basis. Be able to communicate with anyone regardless of class, culture or religion. Find a place to connect so that you are able to communicate effectively and collect as much information as possible.

Finally I would say, you are welcome to join me in this field. It is a very interesting field in which you will keep on learning and meeting new people (which I really like).

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