Solutions begin with questions
|Frequently Asked Questions|
More than 1 billion people in 120 developing countries have no official record of their lives. Without documentation , these “uncounted poor” can’t work legally, can’t access many aid programs, can’t obtain loans and can’t register to vote. They work in the “informal” economy as street vendors, domestic servants, or in drug trafficking. In myriad ways, they remain invisible to the public, companies, and local governments. No one knows the size of these impoverished communities. Information we have is mostly based on estimates derived from outdated projections. How can we expect to support these people in moving out of poverty or improving their health if we don’t have information about local income, job skills, or specific disease rates? We can't. Mobile Metrix provides a solution to this challenge by providing reliable and timely information, which can link these communities that need resources to those who have them.
This data provides transparency (a window into the lives of marginalized people) and accountability (a call to action for communities and governments).
Local governments, NGOs, and/or corporations hire Mobile Metrix to gather specific information on an overlooked community. Mobile Metrix works with our partners to develop sound and customized survey instruments to ensure that the survey captures the information that the client needs, while protecting the privacy of those surveyed. This can range from basic demographic information (e.g., to inform a government on where to locate new schools) or client specific information (e.g., per capita mosquito net adoption and reasons why some households have nets and others don’t).
Mobile Metrix identifies leaders in these impoverished communities who can spearhead the local Mobile Metrix operation. Once a local leader is chosen, we hire teams of local youth to be MobileAgents™, who conduct door-to-door surveys of their own communities using digital handheld computers. Mobile Metrix trains the MobileAgents™ in professionalism, computing skills and surveying techniques. This community-based digital data collection is the cornerstone of Mobile Metrix’s value and success.
Once the data is collected, it is analyzed, stripped of identifying information, and shared with the client and the community itself. We provide timely, accurate data that captures the reality of these overlooked communities so that resources can be customized to meet their needs.
The 4 billion people in the world whose annual incomes are less than $3,000 per year represent a $5 trillion dollar market (World Resources Institute). Some powerful examples exist of selling mobile phone services or personal products, like laundry soap, to the poor. But for the most part, companies have yet to dive into serving this population. Why? Because they don’t have accurate demographic data to understand this customer or their needs. The report calls this information “a critical step toward market-based solutions.”
We help companies define this new market.
We help companies measure their impact.
We help companies scale their services effectively.
As the surveyor saves data on the handheld device, the data is automatically encrypted, so it can’t be read, either by the MobileAgent™, or anyone else who might access the device. Most of the data we collect is simple demographic information without personal details attached. Therefore, there is nothing to identify or any link to private details about the person who took the survey.
Some of our government contracts do ask for personal information (as do all census polls), which is why we choose to operate only in countries verified by Human Rights Watch that are free of widespread human rights abuse.