When I was at the MERL Tech (Monitoring, Evaluation, Research, and Learning) conference recently, I heard something that resonated with me and my work at GeoPoll: using mobile technology - whether it be for financial transactions, reaching communities, or collecting and sharing key information - is no longer a subject of the future. It is happening right now. At GeoPoll, my core focus is helping our international development partners navigate this new arena effectively. I work with donor-funded organizations to help them better understand and use SMS and IVR as a means to collect data so that they can become more knowledgeable, more efficient, and more cost-effective in their work. Many days, I act as a consultant on mobile surveys, guiding our partners on what works, what does not work, and how to approach using mobile surveys in developing countries. Along this path, some themes have emerged, and so I am sharing the “Top 5 Things to Think About” when considering incorporating mobile data collection into development programs:
Last week was the Mobile World Congress, an annual conference that brings all of the big Mobile Network Operators, device makers, and technology companies together to reveal new products and discuss the future of mobile. At MWC 2015 there were plenty of high-tech offerings on display, including virtual reality systems, wearables, and new smartphones from makers including Samsung and Microsoft. But one topic that stands out from the crowd is the simpler, cheaper phones being marketed to emerging markets, and how to increase mobile connectivity in places like Africa and South America. Mark Zuckerberg was the keynote speaker, and discussed how his organization Internet.org is working to increase internet access by providing free access to basic internet services in countries including Ghana, Kenya, and Tanzania.
DC is full of great opportunities to meet like-minded professionals. The Data Community DC (DC2), in particular, hosts a variety of enlightening meetups for data professionals. A couple of weeks ago, I was invited to give an eight-minute lightning talk organized by Data Science DC. Myself and six other data scientists presented various tools, techniques, and methods to an audience at the George Washington University.
We've already shared some of our findings on the popularity of the World Cup's opening game, and the first 5 days of play. Today we are turning away from TV viewership numbers, and taking a look at what teams GeoPoll respondents think are most likely to win the World Cup. We have been sending a survey every day to GeoPoll users in 10 African nations asking "Who do you think will win the World Cup?", and below you can see the initial results. We will update these results each week to show how respondents change their answers as more games are played and some teams leave the competition altogether.
The below findings are compiled from 10 countries: Benin, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Kenya, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, and Uganda. Overall, 36% of respondents think Brazil will win, followed by Germany at 11%. Only 7% and 8% thought Ghana and Nigeria will win, respectively.
At GeoPoll we work to bring understanding to the world, through both on-demand surveys that provide clients with custom research, and the GeoPoll Knowledge Center, a collection of subscription products on important topics such as food security. Today we're excited to announce the official launch of our Audience Measurement Service, the newest GeoPoll Knowledge product. GeoPoll's Audience Measurement Service delivers overnight television and radio ratings from several key African markets, many of which have never before had access to any sort of viewership data.
Unlike in the US, where ratings for popular TV shows are reported daily, advertisers, brands and broadcasters looking to understand audiences in these growing markets have had to rely on months-old data, with little insight into the demographics and psychographics that determine ad campaigns or programming. This new service provides a real-time, granular look at viewing habits through individual action, delivering ratings data daily in half hour time blocks.
Pulling from the extensive data included in this subscription product, we will be releasing monthly ratings snapshots right here on the GeoPoll Blog; check out the top ten channels in Ghana from April, and stay tuned for some additional insights from Ghana, Kenya, and Tanzania later this week. We'll also be publishing World Cup game viewership statistics from African nations, starting on June 13th, when we will release viewership numbers for the opening World Cup game between Brazil and Croatia.
GeoPoll’s Audience Measurement Service is currently up and running in five countries: Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, and Nigeria, and will continue to expand across Africa in the coming months. For more information and interview requests, read the full press release here, and to subscribe to our Audience Measurement Service or any other GeoPoll Knowledge product, please contact us here.
Hunger is an issue that affects every country in the world; globally, one in eight people do not receive the daily nutrition they need, and often women and children suffer the most. Organizations such as the World Food Programme, Food and Agriculture Organization, and USAID work every day to help those in need, whether due to rising food costs, natural disasters, or conflict, but it is imperative that they have accurate data to inform their actions. At GeoPoll we work to bring a deeper, more granular understanding to topics such as food security, and we do so by using the power of the mobile phone.
Children in Ghana use e-readers to access books.
Mobile phone use is booming in the developing world; while mobile subscribers are only expected to grow by 1% in places such as the US and Europe in the next 5 years, in emerging markets this number could grow by 10% or more. In the past few years many companies have emerged who are using the growth of mobile in developing countries to provide information to citizens, monitor aid projects, save money, and now, even teach people to read. In countries where textbooks are an expensive and scarce resource, the increasing prevalence of mobile technology is becoming an important tool for education. Organizations such as World Reader are bringing e-readers to those in low income countries, and several recent studies have examined the benefits of using mobile phones as a learning resource both in schools and at home.