Currently, 85% of the world’s youth live in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean. Young people across the globe face multiple challenges today, from accessing quality education and finding employment to accessing youth-friendly health services. At the same time, mobile phone usage among youth is rapidly growing, with over 50% of young people in many emerging markets owning mobile phones.

Mobile, therefore, is one of the most plausible tools to reach young people, whether for marketing and promotion or when you need to collect feedback. Using mobile modes such as GeoPoll’s SMS, mobile links, CATI and WhatsApp, organizations can collect data directly from the youth using self-administered or enumerator surveys. Given that younger people are more tech-survey, mobile surveys promise an excellent interaction rate.

In this article, we look at the various ways mobile can be used to reach and survey the youth and suggest considerations from GeoPoll’s experience conducting mobile research.

Examples of youth-targeted survey research

  • Understand youth perspective: Surveys are an effective way to gain real-time market and human development insights on how the youth perceive brands, development topics, and unfolding events. Given that the youth form the most significant population segment, surveying them can be the driver for most initiatives.
  • Tracking trainees: During and after training programs targeting the youth, it is imperative to understand their effectiveness. Mobile surveys can be used to track the progress and success of participants during and after training without the risk of bias.
  • Surveys integrated into training: Surveys can be part of training and can be used to track participants’ learning goals in skills development programs.
  • Incentivized follow up: Participants can be contacted in the future to evaluate program effectiveness
  • Identify in-demand skills and labor markets: Since they form that largest part of the global workforce, the youth are well placed to point to skills gaps, the direction of work, employment rates and to inform workforce development programs as the youth share their experience in the job market.
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How to design and run youth-friendly surveys

Short surveys: Younger generations are known for their short attention spans, and the lengthier the survey, the higher the chance of them dropping off before finishing.

Short and simple questions: The best survey questions are simple and straightforward, particularly for younger people whose concentration levels will make them gloss over complex questions and either drop off or provide rushed responses.

Vibrant, casual language: They say the best way to speak to someone is to speak their language. When surveying the youth, it is advisable to make the tone chatty and fun to keep their concentration.

Ensure the survey is mobile-friendly: Over 60% of the youth spend most of their time on mobile, as compared to desktops. The survey design should, therefore, be mobile-focused.

Ethical considerations: When surveying younger people below 16, 18, or 21 depending on the country, we’re surveying minors who legally fall into a protected class of people whose parents or guardians may need to consent.

Incentivize: Responding to surveys takes valuable time that could be spent doing anything else, which applies to most age groups. To get optimal participation levels, it’s a great idea to incentivize the process so that the respondents feel appreciated as they readily complete the survey.

GeoPoll Surveys

GeoPoll’s data scientists and market researchers are experts in collecting reliable data through mobile and will assist you with youth-friendly survey design, mode selection, and data analysis. With our robust mobile surveying platform, we can target youth specifically, with advanced demographic/geographic targeting, survey routing, and complex skip logics for reliable, high-quality data.

If you would like to collect data from younger populations or learn more about our work, please contact us for a personalized demo.