Spotlight on... | 20/04/2023

"Spotlight on..." Tevin Tafese on Fieldwork

GIGA Doctoral Researcher Tevin Tafese spent three weeks in Vietnam doing fieldwork. His methodological approach consisted of Quantitative Methods, in particular regression analysis.


  • What are you currently doing on site and how are things going?

    I spent three weeks in Hanoi and Ho-Chi-Minh City (HCMC) with two main objectives. The first was to collect data for the final paper of my cumulative dissertation on the labour market impact of SEZs in Vietnam. In addition, I presented a first draft of the paper at two of the major Vietnamese universities. Second, as part of a BMZ-funded research project on sustainable global supply chains, we are currently planning a research study on the impact of Germany's new due diligence law – which came into force earlier this year – on the Global South, using Vietnam as a case study.

    What was the biggest challenge when planning your field research?

    Careful pre-fieldwork helps, of course. But even more important, in my opinion, is having a local research partner who knows the ins and outs of the context you are studying. This proved invaluable in my case.

    What worked well in your field research? What did not work well?

    The collaboration with our local research partner worked really well, and the feedback we received in our discussions with different stakeholders from research, policy, and development practice was very valuable. What did not go so well was getting from around the cities Hanoi and HCMC due to the crazy traffic.

    What tips/advice would you give other Doctoral Researchers who plan to conduct field research?

    I have three tips for my fellow doctoral researchers for their field research:

    • Plan diligently before field research and identify and contact key stakeholders

    • Find a local partner who is an expert in the local context

    • Talk to as many people from different backgrounds as possible when you are on-site – Google translate does a surprisingly good job of (voice) translation in real-time when there are language barriers.

    GIGA Doctoral Programme

    The GIGA has a long tradition of integrating young researchers into its research structure. This tradition culminated in the establishment of the GIGA Doctoral Programme. This programme seeks to provide a platform for young, international, and German academics, from which they can pursue their research and professional development, particularly in the field of comparative area studies (CAS).

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