Listening to Malawi: Using mobile phones to collect welfare data across Malawi

March 22, 2016
Centre for Social Research
Senior Common Room Lounge
March 30, 2016 - 2:00 pm
March 30, 2016 - 3:00 pm


Alvin Etang Ndip, PhD
Economist, Poverty and Equity Global Practice,
The World Bank
Washington DC.


Data and evidence are crucial to monitoring and meeting the goals of ending poverty and promoting the welfare of the least well-off in every country. With the expanding coverage of mobile phone network in Malawi (and elsewhere), there is an unprecedented opportunity to collect welfare data more frequently. One approach proposed by the World Bank combines a baseline face-to-face survey with subsequent interviews of selected respondents using their mobile phones. This is known as the “Listening to Africa” initiative. This approach has been shown to generate data of good quality, is rapid, low cost and flexible. This approach has the potential to meet urgent data needs of policy makers and to provide regular feedback on large scale programs.

The Malawi mobile phone survey - “Listening to Malawi”, implemented as part of the Listening to Africa initiative by the National Statistical Office with financial and technical assistace from the World Bank, is collecting data on a wide range of topics including education, health, nutrition, employment, governance, electricity, water and sanitation, etc. Alvin, who is managing the Listening to Africa surveys, will present the Listening to Malawi pilot survey and share some results from already collected data.  

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