Use of internet based tools of data collection is a global trend that is rapidly gaining popularity over the traditional paper and pencil method. A typical web survey will be self-administered by a literate community, with access to internet. Even though technology is one of the fastest growing sectors in Kenya, with a particularly rapid increase in access to the internet and mobile phones, web surveys are yet to gain popularity as the data collection method of choice. This is mostly attributable to low literacy levels and poor access to internet connectivity in the rural areas, where the biggest proportion of population lives. Motivated by the inherent benefits associated with use of internet based surveys, one organization in Kenya, TARDA, successfully developed and adapted web based tools to collect data from 3,400 households most of who were offline. The mobile phone was the basic tool of data collection. The survey yielded a response rate of 96.5%, was completed within one week, reduced cost of data collection by 60% and eliminated errors resulting from data entry. The paper looks at the design and execution of the survey, the success story and lessons learned from the challenges encountered.
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