Last week, GeoPoll was recognized as an integral part of the groundbreaking United Nations MyWorld 2015 survey. The survey gathered opinions from 1 million people across the globe on the issues affecting their lives and is being shared with global leaders to impact development goals for 2015.
The UN used a variety of means to conduct surveys for MyWorld 2015. Most surveys were conducted the old fashioned way – with face-to-face interviews, a method that, in developing world countries, is slow, inefficient and inconsistent. And sure enough, by mid-July, with a September release date looming, the UN realized that it was running out of time to collect the remaining votes they needed. Over the course of the previous year, the UN and all of its partners had only collected 870,000 surveys; they were 130,000 short of their goal. They needed a solution quickly.
We are honored that the UN entrusted us with this project.
We leveraged the power of mobile surveys to quickly achieve reliable and accurate responses. After a quick ramp-up, we launched GeoPoll surveys in 15 countries and got 130,000 votes in about 20 days. This helped the UN achieve its objective and equaled approximately 13 percent of the UN’s total survey goal of 1 million voices.
Gathering ideas, perspectives and priorities from 1 million people is a serious undertaking. We are proud and energized to have played a critical role in such an important program, and to demonstrate the value of mobile surveys in the developing world.
We were able to reach people who cannot be reached at the same scale any other way. In countries like Ghana, Madagascar and Tanzania, many people don’t have Internet access, and it would take a massive, long-term effort to get a large number of meaningful responses from them through face-to-face surveys.
Perhaps the most exciting part of projects like this is finding out why people choose to respond. We heard things like: “Because I think I’ll make my country a better place,” or “Because someone asked.” For many people in the developing world, responding to a survey is a way to be heard – perhaps for the first time. It shows us something we’ve known for a while: there’s a vast number of people who simply aren’t being asked what they want.
We are proud to help the UN pioneer the way information is gathered. We believe that reaching people via mobile has the potential to change how organizations interact with entire countries and populations, and that has the potential to change the world.