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Sauti za Wananchi mobile phone survey baseline takes off

Uwazi at Twaweza has just launched the baseline survey for Sauti za Wananchi (Voices of Citizens), a new initiative that uses mobile phones to regularly collect information from a broad cross-section of Tanzanian citizens. The initiative will allow survey data to be gathered quickly and efficiently, at low cost, to inform citizens of what's going on and to support policy-makers to be more responsive to the needs and aspirations of citizens.

Surveys, the means by which policy makers and donors collect data on the effectiveness of interventions as well as the priorities of citizens, tend to be costly and time-consuming. They can often take as long as two years from concept to the data becoming available. Sauti za Wananchi aims to bridge this gap so that all interested parties can regularly access frequently updated data on citizens’ realities.

And while a number of these surveys are often restricted in scope and scale – from subject area to geographical inclusivity – Sauti za Wananchi aims to provide monthly data on a comprehensive range of topics for a representative sample of 2000 respondents from all regions of Mainland Tanzania.

The initiative consists of two phases: during the first, a baseline survey with household interviews, 2000 respondents are asked to become Sauti za Wananchi respondents and receive a mobile phone and solar charger. During the second phase the respondents will be contacted monthly by a call center with questions on a diverse range of topics. After months of preparation, the baseline survey was launched in Dar es Salaam in October 2012. The first survey is expected to take place before the end of 2012.

Twaweza hopes that the rigorous and high frequency nature of Sauti za Wananchi will provide a powerful new way for citizens to matter in the public imagination and policy decisions of Tanzania and other countries. In addition to monthly reports, Twaweza aims to make the full dataset available online for researchers to conduct their own analyses.

 

Read more: Baseline survey

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