Comparing Smartphones to Tablets for Face-to-Face Interviewing in Kenya

Publisher: Survey Methods: Insights from the Field (published online)
Sep 05, 2016
Sarah M. Hughes, Samuel Haddaway, and Hanzhi Zhou
Research conducted over the past 30 years has demonstrated a reduction in errors and improvement in data quality when face–to-face social surveys are carried out using computers instead of paper and pencil. However, research examining the quality of data collected by interviewers using mobile devices is in its infancy and is based in developed countries. In a small pilot study conducted during the World Bank’s Kenya State of the Cities Baseline Survey, a face-to-face survey on living conditions, infrastructure and service delivery, the authors compared the quality of data collected using smartphones to data collected using tablets. The study of mobile touchscreen devices showed that tablets outperformed phones in some cases, but that the results were highly dependent on the interviewer.