RDI 2023 and 2024 Volunteer Research Experience

By: Oladele Olamide John and Yusuf Adebowale
March 17, 2024

Oladele Olamide John’s Experience

I worked as a Volunteer Researcher between September 2023 and February 2024 with the Rural Development Institute, a group that promotes rural communities’ well-being via development, cooperation, and research. My decision was influenced by my desire to acquire practical skills on applied and community-based research methods. I also wanted to learn more on how to engage rural communities and complete needs analysis, offering solutions for which RDI is popular and advice from fellow postgraduate student. The experience turned out to be much more rewarding than I had anticipated, as it allowed me to contribute to a meaningful cause and develop important skills for my academic and professional growth. By applying the various skills and knowledge that I have acquired during my university experience, my time during the volunteer work was one of my best experiences ever. RDI addresses a variety of challenges pertaining to rural well-being by collaborating with communities both inside and outside the province. The organization uses development, cooperation, and research to promote the welfare of rural communities.

I came into this Volunteer Researcher position through my interest on the background of research skills. This experience has challenged me to engage in a thematic analysis as I performed reviews on several climate change-related papers published by the Rural Development Institute and the Journal of Rural and Community Development (JRCD). Through these experiences, I have been able to improve my writing and literary analysis abilities and have gained a better awareness of the problems that rural communities face in light of climate change as well as possible solutions.

My experience in conducting this thematic analysis has enabled me to gain experiential skills on data familiarization, coding, generating themes, reviewing themes, as well as defining and naming themes. The application of literature review skills in the context of thematic analysis for grounding theories as projected by contents is another major understanding and capabilities I have developed.

The assistance and mentorship provided by researchers at RDI were invaluable in shaping my research approach and enhancing my analytical skills. Their support enabled me to effectively navigate the complexities of the literature and draw meaningful conclusions regarding the impact of climate change on rural communities. I learned a great deal about the intricate dynamics of rural areas and the value of community-driven solutions thanks to my experience with the organization. Seeing how research and cooperation may enhance rural communities’ quality of life was exciting. Through my work, I have also developed a strong passion for advocating for sustainable practices and policies that can benefit rural areas in the long term. I am eager to continue applying these skills and knowledge to contribute meaningfully to future projects focused on sustainable rural development.

Yusuf Adebowale’s Experience

As a volunteer researcher, I embarked on a journey filled with curiosity, discovery, and growth. With a strong passion for learning and a desire to contribute to advancing knowledge, I have gained valuable insights into the complexities of rural communities and the challenges they face while also discovering the immense potential for positive change and sustainable development.

One of the most rewarding aspects of my journey as a volunteer researcher was the opportunity to delve into my core subject areas of research interest and expand my understanding of the world around me. From exploring environmental sustainability and climate change to delving into social sciences and technology advancements, every research project I analyzed allowed me to broaden my perspective and engage with complex issues facing society and the world.

Collaborating with a diverse team of researchers and experts at RDI was another highlight of my volunteer experience. Working alongside passionate individuals and experts dedicated to rural development, I was inspired by the team commitment in making a positive impact in rural communities. Collaborative efforts not only provided valuable mentorship and guidance but also fostered a sense of camaraderie and shared learning, as every task felt purposeful and impactful.

My journey as a volunteer researcher has been nothing short of transformative. It has opened my eyes to the vast expanse of knowledge waiting to be explored and has equipped me with the skills and confidence to navigate the ever-evolving landscape of research. Unravelling the intricacies of qualitative information, I’ve uncovered patterns, themes, and insights that paint a vivid picture of the research landscape. Each data point tells a story, and through meticulous analysis, I’ve had the privilege of unravelling narratives, identifying trends, and contributing to the body of knowledge in my field. While the journey has been mostly challenging, the satisfaction of piecing together the puzzle and shedding light on important themes makes every moment worthwhile.

In conclusion, as I reflect on my experience as a volunteer researcher with RDI, I am grateful for the opportunity to contribute to the advancement of knowledge in Agriculture and Food Processing and make a meaningful difference in the world. My time with RDI has not only broadened my horizons and deepened my understanding of rural development but has also reaffirmed my commitment to making a positive difference in the world. Moving forward, I am excited to continue my journey of exploration, learning, and advocacy, knowing that the skills and experiences gained through my volunteer work with RDI will continue to guide and inspire me along the way as I embark on new adventures and continue to pursue my passion for discovery.