Giving Compass' Take:

· This article from The Rockefeller Foundation explores the use of Interactive Voice Response (IVR) to provide timely data through the COVID-19 pandemic.

· What is YieldWise and how is IVR helping gather data?  

· Check out this publication about YieldWise

The Covid-19 global pandemic has lain bare many vulnerabilities in our current systems, from a lack of equity and economic opportunity to the weaknesses of our food supply chains. As the world moves to address the pandemic’s effects, listening to the stakeholders and intended beneficiaries can yield important insights on how to adapt and refine program approaches and impacts.

Recognizing the importance of hearing directly from stakeholders and beneficiaries, The Rockefeller Foundation partnered with Viamo, a mobile data collection firm specializing in Interactive Voice Response (IVR), to deploy a series of short micro-surveys across our YieldWise initiative in 2019.  YieldWise aims to reduce post-harvest loss across Kenya, Nigeria and Tanzania, so that food that is grown can reach more people who need it. See the results here.

Mobile data tools such as IVR are an attractive alternative or supplement to conventional measurement approaches, because they produce more timely, actionable data for as little as $5 per respondent. In the case of YieldWise, the micro-surveys were designed to gather feedback on farmers’ satisfaction and perceptions of the initiative’s effectiveness. Through gathering this feedback, the Foundation also wanted to learn more about the strengths and limitations of YieldWise’s approach.

The micro-surveys were sent to the mobile phones of farmers in Kenya, Nigeria and Tanzania. In total, 1,431 farmers participated, each of whom received a small incentive of guaranteed airtime, or credit from their mobile phone provider, when they completed one of the surveys. Their anonymous responses were shared with The Rockefeller Foundation in real time through a dashboard link on the Viamo platform, with the raw results enabling additional analysis.

Read the full article about IVR and YieldWise data at The Rockefeller Foundation.