FEATURE23 March 2017

Bridging the gap

x All content on Research Live and in Impact magazine is editorially independent from sponsorship or other commercial arrangements.
Find out more about advertising and sponsorship.

Features Impact Middle East and Africa Mobile

Mobile research is helping to connect decision-makers with previously hard-to-reach people in emerging markets. By Leonida Kombo, of mSurvey.

Bridging the gap

According to the European Central Bank, emerging markets are home to more than 80% of the world’s population and account for almost 60% of the global gross domestic product (GDP) – yet 1.2 billion people in these countries live in extreme poverty. 

Many citizens of these emerging markets are – from a research perspective – invisible; gathering data on them remains a challenge, particularly for those who live in remote and rural areas that lack infrastructure and access to information. 

When mSurvey CEO and founder Kenfield Griffith was completing his PhD in Kenya, in 2011, he noticed that – while he was looking for input from hard-to-find people – most of the population was walking around carrying a mobile phone. In fact, he found that 70% of Kenyan adults had access to mobiles. 

Since then, according to the Communication Authority of Kenya, mobile phone penetration in the country has increased to ...