The Sudanese like to talk, so giving out mobile phones is always going to be a winner. Gabriel Demombynes at the World Bank is now starting to get the first data in from the Southern Sudan Experimental Phone Survey which I wrote about last year.
In November, in conjunction with the Southern Sudan Centre for Census, Statistics and Evaluation, we delivered mobile phones to 1000 households in the 10 state capitals of Southern Sudan. Each month starting last December, Sudanese interviewers from a call center in Nairobi have phoned respondents on those phones to collect information on their economic situation, security, outlook, and other topics.What is so exciting about this project is the sheer quantity and frequency of data that is being collected at relatively low cost.
For more info see Gabriel’s blogpost and photo essay, and make sure to follow his new Twitter account@gdemom.