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This year’s awardees represent cutting-edge, ambitious research with a high potential for impact on policy across countries and disciplines.

The second Primary Data Collection Research Grant amazed the team at SurveyCTO with the quality and breadth of applications. We feel privileged to support and learn from individuals on the cutting edge of research methodologies in their respective fields. SurveyCTO is a platform for secure, high-quality data collection, and we’re also a company that is deeply interested in the work of researchers collecting high-quality data in support of worthy causes. This grant allows us to become even more involved and connected with up-and-coming researchers, which we love. 

Applications for the 2022 grant were more diverse than ever, both by topics and geography of applications. To give you a sense of the breadth of applicants, here’s a sampling of some of the fascinating topics our applicants submitted: 

  • The effect of child labor on school dropouts in Kenya
  • The experiences of parents/caregivers raising children with Autism Spectrum Disorder in South Africa
  • How the risk of lead poisoning is related to demographics in Pakistan

12 new countries were represented in the applications compared to last year, including Burundi, the Philippines, Afghanistan, Spain, Japan, Togo, Sierra Leone, Brazil, Montenegro, Hong Kong, Gambia, and Singapore. 

Without further ado, we’d like to introduce you to the recipients of the 2022 SurveyCTO Primary Data Collection Research Grant. Make sure to click on each of the videos below — it’s inspiring to hear the passion each of the researchers exudes when they talk about the potential impact of their research on policy and humanitarian causes.

SurveyCTO Primary Data Collection Research Grant 2022 awardees

Let’s introduce you to the 2022 recipients. 

Jiyoung Kim, University of California Los Angeles

Jiyoung Kim, Political Science PhD candidate at the University of California Los Angeles, Department of Political Science. “Dividing Us: How Climate Change Increases Violent Conflict in Nigeria.”

“I am very excited to work on this project because climate change affects many communities in the world and the insights gleaned from my work can have implications for other communities facing similar challenges. I hope the findings of my research contribute to climate change adaptation policies and provide a useful framework for other communities to address the challenges of climate change.” 

Matilde Grácio, Nova School of Business and Economics

Matilde Polónia Gonçalves Grácio, Economics PhD candidate at the Nova School of Business and Economics, Department of Economics. “Evaluating the impact of a support hotline for cashew producers in Guinea-Bissau.”

“The potential policy implications of this project are what excited this team the most. Guinea-Bissau is one of the largest producers of raw cashew nuts in the world. The production and commercialization of raw cashew nuts, represents more than 90% of total official exports. Increasing access to information is a potential mechanism to create higher revenues for smallholder farmers from cashew production.”

Shashwat Dhar, Vanderbilt University

Shashwat Dhar, Political Science PhD candidate at Vanderbilt University, Department of Political Science. “Political Brain-drain or Brain-gain? Labor Migration and Citizenship in Rural India”

“I cannot overstate the importance of this award to my research. This grant will help me carry out a household survey in the eastern Indian state of Bihar. India is home to an estimated 100 million labor migrants that oscillate between their destination cities and their home villages in search of dignified livelihoods. Most of these migrants leave their families behind in the village even as they collect new experiences living and working in the city. My work explores how exposure to life outside the village that comes with greater labor mobility affects the political attitudes and behaviors of those who stay behind.” 

Partial grant recipients

Akokponhoue Bertrand Houngnigbo, University of Abomey-Calavi (UAC)

Akokponhoue Bertrand Houngnigbo, PhD candidate in Geoinformation and Applied Geophysics, University of Abomey-Calavi — National Water Institute. “Evaluation of the groundwater potential of the Kandi sedimentary basin in North-East Benin”

“The objective of this project is to develop new multidisciplinary approaches to assess surface and groundwater resources…This is an opportunity for us to conduct studies on the living conditions of the population in the North-East part of Benin in terms of water availability in order to access the percentage of population with access of water [that is] drinkable.” 

Duncan Webb, Paris School of Economics

Duncan Webb, PhD candidate in Economics, Paris School of Economics, Department of Economics. “Reducing Transgender Discrimination in India” 

“I’m trying to analyze the effect of a very macro-level policy, which is giving minorities human rights, or rights in the legal system of a country, and understanding how that can affect people’s attitudes towards those minorities. I’m focusing on a group who has not received any attention in the economics literature so far: transgender individuals, and more broadly, LGBTQ individuals.” 

“When you delve into the details of [SurveyCTO], even though you can do many standard things in terms of survey design, you can also do lots of much more complicated things in terms of designing lab-in-the-field type experiments, and doing lots of randomization. I’m going to be doing an implicit association test as well.”

Elizabeth Hentschel, Harvard University

Elizabeth Hentschel, PhD candidate in Population Health Sciences at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Department of Global Health and Population. “The Nurturing Care Framework: Measuring Nurturing Care: A Pathway to Healthy Child Development and Protection.” 

“In collaboration with the World Health Organization, I developed a universal indicator tool to measure responsive caregiving. How can responsive caregiving improve child development beyond the socioeconomic status of the family? This grant allowed this work to be possible. In addition to the funding, it also provided the SurveyCTO software, which made data collection a lot easier for our team.” 

Gabriella Fleischman, Harvard University

Gabriella Fleischman, Ph.D. candidate in Public Policy, Harvard University, Kennedy School. “Meal-Sharing and Social Network Formation: Experimental Evidence from Malawi”

“Many young women in rural Malawi told me about feeling lonely and inhibited from making connections with other people in the village. One place where people enjoy time together is while sharing a meal, but fear of rejection and food insecurity makes these connections difficult to form. In Malawi and throughout the world, many young women move for marriage, and thus do not have existing social networks at that time in their lives. I hope I can impact these women’s lives positively by helping them to strengthen their support networks.” 

Guanghong Xu, University of California, Santa Cruz

Guanghong Xu, Ph.D. candidate in Economics, Economics Department at the University of California, Santa Cruz. “Farm to Fridge: Digital Traceability and Quality Upgrading in Kenyan Dairy Value Chain” 

“Without an effective traceability system along the value chain, farmers will not be rewarded for producing high quality products, and thus they have low incentives to invest in quality upgrading. This project proposes to establish a traceability system to reduce asymmetric information on quality and to add accountability in the Kenya dairy sector.” 

Moritz Poll, PhD candidate in Economics, Brown University, Department of Economics. “Periodic Market Day Coordination”

“Market days are the pulse of rural economic and social life in many parts of the world. We will be documenting parts of this history – which has so far been passed on in oral tradition – from markets in western Kenya. We hope to use these data for a more nuanced understanding of how the current market system came about, and how it has affected local trade patterns and livelihoods.” 

Muhammad Zia Mehmood, University of California, Berkeley

Muhammad Zia Mehmood, Ph.D. candidate in Business and Public Policy at the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley. “Training with Technology – Lessons from a field experiment with Kenyan MSMEs.”

My research explores the potential of SMS-based trainings to improve outcomes for micro-entrepreneurs in low-income contexts. Since SMS messages are so cheap to deliver, the amount of people you can reach can be orders of magnitude higher in the same amount of funding compared to conventional trainings. If my research finds that SMS can be an effective way to target support to these populations, then it could have big implications for policy.”

Nicholas Swanson, University of California, Berkeley

Nicholas Swanson, PhD candidate in Economics, University of California, Berkeley, Department of Economics. “Kinship Pressure and Firm-Worker Matching Distortions” 

“The project I’m working on is asking why there are so many firms and businesses employing members of their extended families in low-income countries…I’m excited to try and generate evidence suggesting a different reason for why many business owners hire their relatives, and with this project I hope to impact the policy debate about whether firms face important constraints to their growth in development in the labor market, and how to overcome these constraints.” 

We’ll continue to showcase these researchers’ work throughout the year 

Congratulations to the recipients, we’re thrilled to be a part of your journey and support your impactful research. And to everyone who applied, we’re truly blown away by the quality of your applications and the innovation shown by your research. Keep striving for high-quality research. 

The applicants and recipients of the SurveyCTO Primary Data Collection Research Grant inspire us and motivate us to continue building and improving this platform that helps enable such impactful work. We feel so lucky to get to see behind the scenes how researchers are using SurveyCTO as a tool across various disciplines.
Over the next year, we’ll be sharing updates and opportunities to learn from the grant recipients. Sign up for blog updates so you don’t miss anything.

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Lindo Simelane

Digital Analytics Associate

Lindo is a part of the marketing team at Dobility, the company that powers SurveyCTO. He is responsible for all aspects of data management and analytics for SurveyCTO’s website, social media, and other marketing efforts.

Lindo has a passion for research to inform policy in international development and economics. He has extensive experience in the ICT4D space that includes research work, and a background in international business and finance.