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Releasing research reports: Mobile Data Collection Opportunities in sub Saharan Africa

Aman Grewal · September 17, 2012

In July we  announced a new research project, Mobile Data Collection Opportunities in Sub Saharan Africa . The Web Foundation has been involved in the mobile data collection space since 2010 when it engaged in conducting a study on the state of the art in multi-channel data collection. As an extension to our mobile data collection project, the foundation is carrying out this study to better understand the landscape of Mobile Data Collection activities and opportunities in Sub Saharan Africa.

As part of this new research one of our objectives was to identify the actors in sub Saharan Africa (governments, international organizations, NGOs, businesses, etc.) either engaged or in need of data collection. As a first step our task was to map and analyze various activities involving the collection of data, constraints & the context in which these activities take place and tools currently in use either on the mobile platform or elsewhere.

We are happy to announce the publication of two reports linked to the first phase of this project. The first report  attempts to understand the fundamental constituents of any data collection exercise while identifying the key actors, activities, use cases and requirements that form part of such an activity.

The second report  revisits the field of mobile data collection and panorama of tools available, new trends and how issues previously outlined in our research have evolved. It also highlights how new ones have appeared.

As a next step we will now undertake a deeper dive by selecting few thematic areas of data collection and conducting interviews with various layers of stakeholders. We will arrive at a list of interviewees over the next project phase and conduct interviews with an aim of landscaping the unmet requirements of these segments of stakeholders. We will specifically investigate the opportunities available for mobile data collection technologies.

We will also attempt to flesh issues linked to Open Government Data projects that involve aspects such as the data not been collected with the purpose of being re-used by third parties, and a number of other issues that are derived from it.

Globally we intend to continue working in this domain and look forward to sharing our views with you in the future.

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