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:
A global crisis such as Ebola requires fast, targeted action, and, as USAID's Administrator Rajiv Shah said last week, "the success of the Ebola response is access to real-time data". GeoPoll's own CEO, James Eberhard, recently penned an Op-Ed which similarly argues that better data is crucial to tracking and stopping the spread of Ebola.
At GeoPoll, we're working with partners worldwide to monitor the spread of the disease and understand the long-term effects of Ebola. Our ongoing work with the World Food Programme has already provided valuable data on food security in Sierra Leone, and the WFP has also just released findings from our surveys in Liberia, and Guinea. All 3 countries are currently affected by food insecurity, and the regions where Ebola is most prevalent have even more fragile food security than surrounding areas.
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.