IVR, Facebook and WhatsApp: tech and M&E at AfrEA

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Linda Raftree
I’m currently working part-time with Plan International USA and serving as a special advisor to the Rockefeller Foundation’s Evaluation Office. I convene Technology Salons in New York City and am a co-founder of Kurante, a start-up consulting firm. Linda's posts are from her blog called "Wait...What?"

Our latest Technology Salon, at the African Evaluation Association (AfrEA) Conference in Uganda on March 29th, focused on how mobile and social media platforms are being used in monitoring and evaluation processes. Our lead discussants were Jamie Arkin from Human Network International (soon to be merging with VotoMobile) who spoke about interactive voice response (IVR); John Njovu, an independent consultant working with the Ministry of National Development Planning of the Zambian government, who shared experiences with technology tools for citizen feedback to monitor budgets and support transparency and accountability; and Noel Verrinder from Genesis who talked about using WhatsApp in a youth financial education program. Using IVR for surveys Jamie shared how HNI deploys IVR surveys to obtain information about different initiatives or interventions from a wide public or to understand the public’s beliefs about a particular topic. These surveys come in three formats: random dialing of telephone numbers until someone picks up; asking people to call in, for example, on a radio show; or using an existing list of phone numbers. “If there is an 80% phone penetration or higher, it is equal to a normal household level survey,” she said

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IVR, Facebook and WhatsApp: tech and M&E at AfrEA