Ali J. Karisa, Tara Nutley, Ian Wanyeki, Bobby Jefferson
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Public Health Informatics; Surveys; Mobile Health;Monitoring and Evaluation.
In many countries, limited capacity inhibits utilization of
data generated in the health sector for decision
.To address this, the MEASURE Evaluation
project developed a decision support tool, the District
Health Profile (DHP) tool and deployed it across Kenya.
Six months post-deployment, an SMS survey was
conducted to assess the utilization of the tool across the
The SMS survey was administered to all the 388 DHP
tool end-users. An initial email was sent to participants to
inform them (1) of the purpose of the survey, (2) that the
survey would be administered via SMS, (3) that mobile
carrier costs incurred would be reimbursed, and (4) of
Each survey question was sent in separate SMS message
with instructions on how to respond. A response would
trigger an automated reply with the next question. On
completion of the survey, a refund was credited to the
interviewee’s phone number.
Twenty-six percent (101/388) of DHP training
participants who were sent the survey completed it in
entirety. Survey completion rate for the messages sent in
the afternoons was higher (73.7%; 28/38) compared to
mornings (57.4%; 68/119).
SMS can be used to effectively conduct short survey
efficiently and at low costs. In conducting this survey we
learnt some good practices including (1) prior notification
of respondents (2) short autonomous SMS questions
complete with instructions on how to respond, (3) timing
the survey for the afternoons and (4) reimbursement on
the costs of participation.