Challenges of collecting credible data in a multi country study and how to resolve them when doing research in Africa

Challenges of collecting credible data in a multi country study and how to resolve them when doing research in Africa

Through our decades long experience as multi-country research partners into Africa for many of our clients, we’ve observed three critical challenges that impact data quality and overall research outcomes. We also share 3 ways these challenges can be specifically and successfully surmounted to achieve credible data and compelling insights in any type of research project you are looking to commission in Africa.

Lack of standardization:

The Challenge: Each country in Africa presents its own unique characteristics or landscape factors that influence the collection, analysis and interpretation of data. This should come as no surprise. What is surprising is how often even the most discerning of researchers tend to assume that research methodologies and data collection protocols can be treated as homogenous resources despite the clear acknowledgement that Africa cannot be viewed as a homogenous market.

The Solution: Having a research partner with multi-county capabilities can help you standardize methodologies and protocols across each specific population of interest and granularize the depth of investigation to ensure that consistent data is achieved with the highest levels of accuracy.

Data compliance, ethics, privacy and confidentiality

The Challenge: Ensuring data is compliant to set standards of research is an important premise of credible data. Lack of compliance undermines data trust and compromises the outcomes or insights invested into the research process. Lack of compliance can also create unprecedented risk for brands and businesses that rely on the data to inform their decisions.

The Solution: Investing in rigorous training for field staff and enumerators helps ensure compliance standards are not implemented but validated throughout the research process. Technology plays a central part in ensuring that compliance measures are objectively implemented and that qualities such as transparency and accountability in data acquisition can be verified by all parties.

Cultural and Linguistic diversity

The Challenge: Research activities such as developing tools used in screening, recruitment and survey data collection are sensitive to cultural and linguistic norms of any given population. Getting words, terminologies and inferences correct right from inception ensures that our client goals and objectives always kept in sight and therefore attainable.

Designing tools that ask the right question in the right framing in linguistically appropriate ways requires close collaboration between local field teams, project partners and stakeholders constantly synthesizing and synergizing research inputs.

The Solution: Tech and software innovation has not only made it possible to collaborate and drive goal convergence between all parties, it has also made it possible to significantly reduce the operational costs of doing research in Africa that is often perceived as one of the most expensive markets to work in. Our investments in mobile data collection, real time data monitoring, analysis and visualization makes for agile performance leading to time and money savings for our clients and partners seeking insights into Africa.

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