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This book is a product of a research project called ‘voices of youth’ carried out - page 23 / 125





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  • 2

A Lost Generation: Young People and Conflict in Africa

teachers, employers, police, magistrates, project staff, and community elders.

All interviews were interviewers took the

recorded on precaution of

audio tape, and later making written notes as

transcribed. Most well. Transcriptions

of of

interviews were annotated with the interviewers’ comments about the conduct the interviews, noting down, for example, what was the emotional state of the

respondent, hesitations, interruptions, and so on. the later interpretation of the material. They also

These notes proved helpful in proved useful in the occasional


where the tape


translated from

recorders failed Luo into English

to function. (in the case

Once transcribed, interviews of Uganda), and Kirundi into

French (in the case of Burundi)5. interview a second time, checking

Finally, the research teams went through both the transcription and the translation.


An explanation of the approach to transliteration and translation is appropriate at this point. Any recording – audio or in writing – of the interview is bound to alter it in some way, taking it out of the precise context in which the respondent originally spoke. When the testimony is then translated, it is even further removed from the original words. In the ACORD OT methodology, when reproducing the testimony for publication it is important to preserve as many as possible of the features of the original interview, as spoken by the respondents and as heard by the interviewers. Even the translation itself is, in a way, a feature of the interview. For this reason, in the testimonies reproduced here we have not attempted to alter the wording as submitted by the researchers, even though on occasion the translation may sound discordant to Anglophone ears. The testimonies are, as far as possible, the stories told directly by the girls themselves.

Analysis: information drawn from these interviews was analysed at two levels. In the first instance, the interviewers discussed their initial impressions together in the project locations, and, on the basis of this, each team came up with a provisional list of emerging themes. The teams’ first, subjective, reactions to the material were considered to be an important part of the analytical process, since it enabled them to identify issues that were particularly striking, surprising, or shocking.

The second stage took place at the project’s third workshop, held in Nairobi in August 2006, after the fieldwork had been completed. This stage was devoted to the detailed analysis of the research findings. In the Nairobi workshop, the three teams (Uganda, Burundi and Angola) worked sometimes separately and sometimes together to carry out a more in-depth analysis, which was made up of the following


1. Detailed analysis: each interview was reviewed in detail, dissecting the text, separating out relevant phrases or paragraphs, and classifying them under the

  • Excerpts from the French versions of the testimonies, and three full testimonies, were translated into English for the purposes of this volume.

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