Interview Planning

Although a general knowledge of the communication structure can be gleaned from extensive research, the information that can be obtained through personal interviews and discussions will be one of the most valuable assets to this communication project. The following questions may not be directly asked in formal settings, but the answers to them could be obtained through informal gatherings or observed in daily life.


The co-researchers serve as a bridge between involved upgrading project stakeholders and the community. Their own work is essential to the upgrading and sustainability processes underway in Langrug. It is therefore essential to not only gather their input on the flow and state of communication in Langrug, but also to discover how they themselves communicate. The relationship that exists among the co-researchers must be observed and commented on once we are in the field in Langrug. It is also crucial for us to understand if and how they share information with other community members. Through formal meetings, group discussions, group bonding activities (as seen in the Week 1 Plan), and informal gatherings around Langrug, we can gain knowledge of the co-researcher role in Langrug.

  1. What projects are you working on currently?
  2. What resources (funds, building supplies, technology, participants, etc) for your projects do you already have? What else do you need?
  3. What expectations do you have for our work together?
  4. What do you want to learn/achieve in the next 7 weeks?
  5. What challenges have you already faced? Were these issues resolved?
  6. What do you need help with?
  7. How do you communicate your work/ideas to the community? How could this be improved?
  8. Do you feel comfortable with this role in the community? How has your role developed as these projects have progressed?

Community Leadership

Within the community of Langrug, there exist other forms of leadership besides the co-researchers. These people may include spaza shop owners, respected elders, church leaders, and other official leaders. Unofficial leaders may also be a source of information; while their roles in the community are assumed through regular interactions instead of appointed, they have a strong influence on those around them. These leaders may be more willing to voice their opinions than other community members, and may also know the general opinions of Langrug.

  1. How do you communicate your plans (or the work done by the DIHS or CORC) to the community? How can this be improved?
  2. What is the current state of upgrading in Langrug?
  3. Do definite plans for the future of Langrug exist, and, if so, what are they?
  4. How do you engage the community in your work?
  5. What is your relationship with outside agencies, government, co-researchers, etc? How do you interact/communicate?

Community Members

There are approximately 4000 people in Langrug, all of which could have varying opinions on the upgrading projects that are currently underway. Through daily interactions with community members, our team and the co-researchers can gain insight into some of these opinions and discover whether there is a general consensus on certain issues. While some of these questions may be asked through door-to-door conversations, the majority of the community sentiments can be assessed through careful observation of behaviour, attitude, discussions and interactions in public places.

  1. Who are considered the leaders of this community?
  2. How long have you lived here?
  3. How is information about upgrading projects communicated to you? Do you think this process needs to be improved? If so, do you have any suggestions?
  4. Do you feel your voice is heard?
  5. What opportunities do you have to participate in upgrading or other projects in the community?
  6. What is your perception of the upgrading process so far?
  7. What access do you have to technology? Cell phone? Pictures? Internet?
  8. How do you get information/news?
  9. Do you want a picture of yourself/your family/your house?

DIHS staff/CORC Representatives

The staff members of the DIHS and CORC have extensive experience working in Langrug. They have immersed themselves into a role that the WPI teams can only be in for a couple of months. These staff members and representatives have first-hand knowledge of life on the ground of Langrug, and can provide insight and personal experiences that could prove useful to fostering stronger communication. It is also beneficial to maintain an open relationship with the DIHS and CORC.

  1. What obstacles have you encountered in organising Langrug’s upgrading?
  2. With whom do you interact most within Langrug?
  3. Who are the other organisations/people that you interact with?
  4. What benefits have you seen from the co-researcher role?
  5. Are you planning on implementing similar processes in other informal settlements?

Local business owners

Local business owners frequently interact with various community members, and their shops have the potential to be communication hubs. Community members may spend time in these shops gossiping, talking, sharing ideas and opinions. While we do not expect the business owners to divulge information that they may have overheard, it is important to know whether these areas are potential tools to foster the communication network in Langrug.

  1. How regularly do customers frequent your shop?
  2. Do your customers often socialize with each other when they come into your shop?