Collecting High Frequency Panel Data in Africa Using Mobile Phone Interviews

29 Pages Posted: 2 Aug 2012

See all articles by J. G. M. (Hans) Hoogeveen

J. G. M. (Hans) Hoogeveen

World Bank - Research Department

Gabriel Demombynes

University of California, Berkeley; World Bank

Kevin Croke

World Bank

Marcelo M. Giugale

World Bank

Andrew Dabalen

World Bank - Africa

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: August 1, 2012

Abstract

As mobile phone ownership rates have risen in Africa, there is increased interest in using mobile telephony as a data collection platform. This paper draws on two pilot projects that use mobile phone interviews for data collection in Tanzania and South Sudan. The experience was largely a success. High frequency panel data have been collected on a wide range of topics in a manner that is cost effective, flexible (questions can be changed over time) and rapid. And once households respond to the mobile phone interviews, they tend not to drop out: even after 33 rounds of interviews in the Tanzania survey, respondent fatigue proved not to be an issue. Attrition and non-response have been an issue in the Tanzania survey, but in ways that are related to the way this survey was originally set up and that are fixable. Data and reports from the Tanzania survey are available online.

Keywords: data collection, mobile phone, survey, Listening to Africa

JEL Classification: C81, C83, D04

Suggested Citation

Hoogeveen, Johannes G. M. (Hans) and Demombynes, Gabriel and Croke, Kevin and Giugale, Marcelo M. and Dabalen, Andrew, Collecting High Frequency Panel Data in Africa Using Mobile Phone Interviews (August 1, 2012). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2121496 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2121496

Johannes G. M. (Hans) Hoogeveen (Contact Author)

World Bank - Research Department ( email )

1818 H Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20433
United States

Gabriel Demombynes

University of California, Berkeley

310 Barrows Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720
United States

World Bank

1818 H Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20433
United States

Kevin Croke

World Bank ( email )

Marcelo M. Giugale

World Bank ( email )

1818 H Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20433
United States
202-473-7738 (Phone)
202-522-2112 (Fax)

Andrew Dabalen

World Bank - Africa ( email )

1818 H Street
Washington, DC 20433
United States

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