Inventory of Mobile Data Collection Projects and Rapid Mobile Surveys

Posted by KatrinVerclas on Jun 22, 2010

The use of mobile phones for quick-time data collection is proliferating around the world. To get a better understanding of the scale and scope of these new data collection efforts, we partnered with UN Global Pulse initiative to conduct a survey of present and planned mobile data collection efforts. The survey results will help identify new, quick-time data sources.

The first findings of the global survey have been compiled in an inventory. The inventory is a living document that will be regularly updated as we become aware of new projects. If you are managing a mobile data collection project and you would like to have it featured in the inventory, please contact us or leave a comment. 

The inventory is posted in a Google Spreadsheet here:

We are also currently conducting for UN Global Pulse a mobile phone survey across multiple countries including Uganda, India, Mexico, Ukraine and Iraq. The survey is being conducted via text message and uses simple questions to understand how populations in different parts of the world perceive. We are drawing on our extensive network of partners on the ground to conduct the survey and will make the results publicly available (albeit in an anonymous and aggregate format). The survey is an exercise in rapid, bottom-up data collection. Questions in the survey focus on economic perceptions, including:

  1. Economic conditions over the last year in the respondents' country,
  2. The ability to meet the respondents' own household needs,
  3. Changes respondents have made to their way of life in the wake of the global economic downturn, and
  4. Respondent's attitudes about the future.

The results will be examined to assess and compare responses across countries, age, income and gender. Global Pulse will then publish survey results and an interactive map of the message content. Innovative visualisation techniques such as word clouds and spatial display will be utilised.

In addition to gathering data the survey, we are testing the possibilities for rapid mobile-based data collection. The data set collected by the survey will also help Global Pulse to develop a qualitative analytical framework for early detection of impacts and shifting patterns of vulnerability. We expect results of the surveys to be published in the next month. 

Photo Courtesy Wayan Vota

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