Leveraging WhatsApp for Rapid Response Research
This event is open to:
On Wednesday, September 30 at 12:30pm PT the King Center's Migration and Development Initiative held an interactive discussion with researchers from the Immigration Policy Lab (IPL). The center's Migration and Development Initiative addresses the barriers to making migration a powerful catalyst for development in low-income countries.
IPL is a Stanford University lab that conducts research that employs field and natural experimental methods to examine the impact of immigration and integration policies throughout the world. IPL works with government and non-profit partners that serve immigrants and refugees. Their projects require regular communication with often hard to reach and mobile populations. Traditional data collection methods such as in-person and phone interviews are costly and sometimes impossible given ongoing migration.
To overcome these challenges, the IPL team developed a novel outreach methodology for non-profits and researchers that leverages commercial technology to automate communications over the mobile messaging service WhatsApp.
Members of the project team demonstrated the WhatsApp methodology and presented preliminary results from projects using this outreach approach in the U.S. and Colombia. With traditional data collection hindered by the global pandemic, insights from this approach may be more broadly useful to researchers.
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