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 In International Development Research

GeoPoll is pleased to announce our endorsement of the Principles of Digital Development. As an organization, GeoPoll is, and has always been, committed to using technology responsibly with the community’s best interest at heart. Our mindset regarding data collection for development aligned seamlessly with the Principles of Digital Development, which made our endorsement an easy decision.

The principles are defined simply as, “Nine ‘living’ guidelines designed to help digital development practitioners integrate established best practices into technology-enabled programs.” The need for such principles arose from a recent boom in the accessibility of modern communications technology in developing communities. ICT have since become an extremely successful tool for development organizations, yet the widespread adoption of the use of ICT for development led to the need for a set of guiding principles that would take into consideration factors including user privacy, data-driven decision making, and the other Principles of Digital Development found below. We are happy to see so many companies in a similar space as GeoPoll, including many of our partners, have also endorsed the Principles of Digital Development.

Digital Principles For Development Endorsement

Each of the nine principles is important to the security of the people that digital development initiatives serve, as well as the communities undergoing change. GeoPoll’s mobile-based remote data collection platform is designed with special consideration for the people and communities who we reach daily on behalf of partners including aid organizations, governments, and foundations. Due to GeoPoll’s diligence in responsible data collection processes and a platform that has the ability to reach individuals in a manner that is convenient to them – the mobile phone – we have had the pleasure of facilitating projects for socially responsible organizations across the globe, collecting data on everything from food insecurity, to the state of economies following disease outbreak, to the TV ratings of independent media outlets.

A few examples of how GeoPoll’s platform embodies the Principles of Digital Development can be seen when examining the following principles:

Understand the Existing Ecosystem

GeoPoll’s platform allows our partners to survey the people within an area of interest before an organization develops tactics for a development or aid initiative, giving citizens a say in what their community needs most. Due to the real-time nature of mobile surveys, GeoPoll enables organizations to collect on-the-ground feedback throughout projects, ensuring that they stay on track and are meeting the desired goals. Within our own organization, GeoPoll is proud to have built a team of experts who are knowledgeable about the markets we work in, and act as advisers throughout each project we undergo. We have team members located in East, West, and Southern Africa, and seek out local partners in nearly every country we work in, leading to a deep understanding of cultural context which is brought into every aspect of our work.

Design for Scale

GeoPoll’s survey platform is unique due to our capabilities to quickly reach and engage a huge number of people and target extremely specific populations. Our database includes more than 250 million mobile subscribers, and we complete over 10 million survey interviews per year. In addition, our solutions can be quickly launched in areas of need with very little notice, as exemplified by our recent launch of a call center in Venezuela, and prior experience scaling to be able to reach countries during outbreaks of Ebola and other crises. GeoPoll’s scalable platform helps organizations conduct large-scale research quickly and cost effectively.

Address Privacy and Security

GeoPoll is hyper-conscious of our survey respondent’s safety and the security of the data they share with us. Our platform has controls in place to protect our user’s privacy in each step of the survey process, including ensuring we have explicit opt-in and opt-out wording and that any sensitive topics are treated with consideration for our respondents. We never share personally identifiable information, store all data securely, and adhere to all ESOMAR market research ethics guidelines.

As part of our endorsement of the digital principles, GeoPoll looks forward to continuously educating ourselves on new perspectives and best practices that may arise in the future. When working in a space that is as rapidly evolving as technology for development, it is important to embrace change as a constant factor of the work we do and be ready to adjust processes accordingly. GeoPoll is excited about what is on the horizon in terms of technology advancement and learnings from current and upcoming projects, and are confident in our ability to adapt quickly to the changing needs within the space. To learn more about our capabilities and processes, contact us today!

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