My experience in Azerbaijan went by very quickly. During the last days in Azerbaijan, the whole team analyzed both our quantitative and qualitative data from all three regions and came up with a broader presentation of our findings. It helped to gel everything that we were doing together and we were able to categorize all the systematic problems in Azerbaijan and come up with durable solutions based on the responses from over 3000 surveys, dozens of focus groups, and numerous interviews.
It was especially interesting to compare the experiences Justin and I had in Lankaran with those encountered by our other two team members who were deployed in Quba-Khachmaz and Sheki-Zaqatala. We also found that while there were very similar trends in all regions, each one had specific problems of its own.
Once again, it showed just how much data is critical when it comes to international development aid and that it should not be taken for granted, a common mistake of many humans to assume the problems and solutions for others.
As the Impl. Project team departed, I was saddened that the time had gone by so quickly but it was a testament to the fact that I had a memorable, fun and learning experience with good people. The bustling streets of Baku, the succulent lamb Sadj, the scrumptious rice pilav and the Impl. Project team above all will be missed.