Background Primary and Secondary data pertaining to two risk factors, helmets and alcohol, were collected as part of the Road Safety (RS-10) project in Hyderabad, India. Observational studies, road side interviews, focus group discussions and key informant interviews were conducted. Preliminary results indicate low helmet use, presence of drunk driving and poor road infrastructure. We encountered numerous enablers and barriers during data collection.
Objectives To describe and categorise the experiences faced by the research personnel, during the initial round of Road Traffic Injury (RTI) data collection, in Hyderabad.
Methods Documentation of research personnel's experiences through field notes, personal discussions, verification of data collection forms, and observation of data collection mechanisms by the chief investigator, through surprise field visits.
Results Experiences of data collectors were categorised as barriers and enablers.
(i) Physical environment—heat, rain, dust, risk of injury, traffic noise, pollution through vehicular emissions.
(ii) Administrative—difficulty in accessing different authorities, delays in receiving permissions.
(iii) Operational—gender bias in law enforcement, lack of female police personnel, inter-personal conflicts with road users, incomplete information in secondary data sources.
(i) Pro-active involvement of some high level government administrators.
(ii) Organised documentation by a medical records officer during hospital surveillance.
(iii) Involvement of a few committed police officers.
Significance This field based observational study will offer insights to be borne in mind when RTI data collection is planned in similar settings. It offers learnings about accounting for these kinds of barriers and harnessing the enablers during data collection.
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