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//Illuminating the developing world’s “invisible” consumers

Illuminating the developing world’s “invisible” consumers

By | 2018-03-26T16:54:23+00:00 March 20th, 2018|Innovators & Inventions|

by Rob Matheson | MIT News Office

While on location in remote areas of Kenya, researching automation and home manufacturing for his doctoral dissertation, Kenfield Griffith PhD ’12 encountered a significant lack of data.

For example, information he needed about whether people had access to indoor plumbing was scarce or nonexistent — and conducting traditional surveys to gather the data would be arduous and time consuming. But nearly all rural Kenyans, he realized, had texting-capable cell phones.

Back in his MIT dorm room, Griffith built a platform that allowed users to easily create and send text message-based surveys, and monitor incoming results in real time on a web dashboard. Returning to Kenya, he amassed hundreds of participants to use the platform, and completed his research.

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