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Maria Jones and Florence Kondylis share hard-won “Lessons from a crowdsourcing failure” in Rwanda in their latest post on the World Bank’s Development Impact blog. (We’re glad that SurveyCTO was part of the solution after they ended their relationship with an unnamed technology partner.)

Their key points:

  1. Crowdsourcing options are limited in rural Africa
  2. Crowdsourcing may not be the right choice for rigorous sampling
  3. “Don’t fall for a sexy pitch!”
  4. Keep it simple

And our favorite part:

“The happy epilogue: We re-contracted the work to a regular survey firm, opting for a much more traditional strategy. We are working with professional enumerators who visit the markets on a regular basis and collect data on the full set of products, ensuring full coverage, and use kitchen scales. The instrument we programmed in SurveyCTO is much more sophisticated in terms of data quality checks and less linear, allowing enumerators to pull up products as they encounter them rather than moving in a set order. And it’s only a little more expensive, as the instrument design was done in house over a number of days, rather than months of app development.”

Image: “Rwanda – Markets by cambodia4kidsorg Beth Kanter is licensed under CC BY 2.0