Mtafiti : A mobile based micro work research data collection system
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Research is a major driver for Science, Technology and Innovation. This is through development of new knowledge, enhancement of existing knowledge and correction of errors in existing ones. The validity and quality of a given research is affected by the research data and the methods of data collection used. Currently, research data collection methods involve collection of data through research clerks who contact the respondents. This is through paper or an automated tool like a mobile phone. This model of data collection poses the problem of introducing interference in the research data collected by the research clerks. The interference can be mainly through the research clerk influencing the respondent’s response or the research clerk modifying the responses received. The model also lacks proper ways of ensuring that the response given is actually from a valid respondent and not the research clerk’s own personal composition. This research had a number of objectives first of which was to review the extent to which mobile technology has been used in research data collection. Secondly, the research identified problems with current uses of mobile phones in research data collection. The third research objective was to develop a mobile research data collection system that does away with the interference attributed to the research clerks. The last research objective was to test and deploy the developed system. This research employed the use of literature review and questionnaire for collecting its research data. The questionnaire responses were used to gather the results of the current ways of conducting mobile research. Data on present state of automation of mobile research and their shortfalls was attained through literature review. The findings of this study showed that administering a research survey directly to the end respondents through easy to use mobile technology eliminates sources of errors in the research survey. The result of this study is the design and development of mobile-based research data collection system that does not require data clerks to administer. The system is to be used by research agencies for collecting research response directly from the respondents.