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Bloomberg Philanthropies Data for Health Initiative at JHSPH

About Us

What We Do

The objectives of the NCD component of D4H are to:

  • Implement mobile phone surveys in lower and middle income countries and support face-to-face WHO STEPS surveys in a number of overlapping countries

  • Review and compare findings from the two methodologies (STEPs and MPS)
  • Develop a technical platform to facilitate expansion to other countries

The JHSPH focuses on research and development (R&D) for assessing data quality, validity and representativeness of  mobile phone surveys for NCD risk factor surveillance through different delivery modes including Computer-Assisted Telephone Interview (CATI), Interactive Voice Response (IVR), and Short Message Service (SMS) to help inform their future use in LMICs.


An interviewer calls participants on cell phone and administers survey.


Automated voice asks participants to record responses using their phone keypad or by voice.


Participants read survey questions and send responses using their phone rather than listening to a voice.

Examples of Our Key R&D Questions

  • How consistent and reliable are data collected using CATI, IVR and SMS when compared to each other and to traditional methods? Learn More
  • Can the use of a small airtime incentive amount improve mobile phone survey (IVR, SMS) participation and completion? Learn More    
  • Can incentive structure influence mobile phone survey (IVR, SMS) participation and completion? Learn More
  • What are the key ethical, legal & societal issues which arise from using MPS in LMICs? Learn More
  • What strategies can help target hard to reach populations for mobile phone surveys in LMICs?