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AgTech Survey FAQs

  • Who is 60 Decibels?

    60 Decibels is a tech-powered impact measurement company that makes it easy to listen to the people who matter most. We speak directly to customers, employees or beneficiaries, usually over mobile phones. We return high-quality data to you in weeks, with minimal hassle or distraction, to help you maximize your impact and grow your business.

  • How does a 60 Decibels project work?

    Our main responsibilities are to:

    • Understand your business context and impact thesis
    • Translate your impact thesis into an agreed-upon set of metrics
    • Design a mixed-method survey tool to gather these metrics, using our tried-and-tested questions developed over more than 1,000 projects. A typical survey consists of 40-45 quantitative and qualitative questions.
    • Receive customer contact details from you (typically mobile phone numbers). We typically gather 250-300 responses, to ensure a representative sample. 
    • Deploy the survey using our team of 850+ trained, in-country Research Assistants in 70+ countries, randomly calling from the list of numbers you’ve provided
    • Clean and code all of the collected data
    • Analyse the collected data and create a report that we deliver to you

    Our goal, with this approach, is to make it as straightforward as possible to get the impact performance and customer feedback data that will help you serve your customers better, create great impact for them, and drive improved results for your business.

  • What makes 60 Decibels different?

    Since 2014, we’ve been building our approach to impact measurement working with resource-constrained social businesses. Our first clients were mostly in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa, though now our work spans the Americas and Europe as well. We understand that you have a growing business to run and we recognize the significant constraints on your time and resources. At the same time, we know that you’re deeply committed to making real and lasting change for the customers you serve.

    Our approach is designed to get you the information you need to serve these customers better in ways that improve their lives. We do this by bringing deep domain expertise in social impact measurement; a multi-sector library of tested questions to understand social impact; offering an approach that is fast, nimble, and burden-free and that’s proven to work remotely (over mobile phones); and the world’s largest database of benchmarked, customer-level social impact gathered from more than 200,000 stakeholder voices.

  • What are the objectives of the Agtech Survey?

    To evaluate and establish a standardized approach for assessing the value that farmers derive from digital farmer services (DFS) and establish the extent to which DFS use contributes to farmers’ climate resilience.

  • What kind of personal data will you collect and how do you ensure data privacy for any farmers interviewed in the AgTech Survey?
    As an end-to-end impact measurement company, 60 Decibels maintains and executes a robust set of policies and internal controls to ensure that personal data that is collected, handled and stored to meet the company’s data protection standards and comply with the law. More info can be found here.
    As part of our data collection process, we ensure that all the people we contact as part of our surveys have consented to us contacting them, a point that is reinforced and covered by clauses within our contracts with clients, and has measures in place to ensure that all personal data we are given is stored securely.
    The AgTech survey will be collected using the following data received from the companies who take part:
    • Respondent Name
    • Phone number
    Where additional segmentation analysis is required, 60 Decibels may also receive and use other non-sensitive personal data, such as product purchased or approximate geography (city or state).
  • Is it only a phone survey only or do you also plan to do triangulation with in person interviews etc?

    The survey will primarily be phone-based with a few select in-person qualitative interviews (across a few participating firms) by our partner, Busara Center for Behavioral Economics. We will let you know in case we need to do qualitative interviews with your farmers.

  • Stratified sampling – are you open to bucketing and selecting respondents by things like date of onboarding/ gender/ user behavior in app/ whether they were trained or not/ etc.?

    We will be using random sampling for this survey with respondents selected from the contact list you choose to submit. We will also be doing gender and tenure segmentation as part of the survey analysis.

  • What prep (if any) will you do with participants?

    No preparation will be required. We may however send out text messages to inform the participants of the survey and target contact date and time.

  • Will participants be compensated?

    The phone survey participants will not be compensated for participating in the survey.

  • How much input can I have into the survey design? (some of the language and categories in the sample report do not fit our product/ user experience)

    The survey is standardized because it is designed to enable aggregate analysis of 24 companies. There is some customization inherent as digital information solutions will receive the information version of the survey, instead of credit, insurance, etc. If there is a question that is truly irrelevant to your user base, it can be removed. To give you a better idea of what to expect, the following metrics will be assessed among others:

    • The extent to which the agtech meets farming needs.
    • The extent to which the agtech makes it easier or harder to perform the solution’s target farm activity e.g. accessing credit, providing advisory services etc.
    • Comfort or discomfort levels associated with use of the digital agricultural solution.
    • Stickiness of the digital agricultural solution as measured by loss aversion.
    • Willingness to pay.
    • Perceived vs realized resilience to climate related shocks as a result of the digital agricultural solution.
    • The extent to which the digital agricultural solution reaches lower income populations.
  • If I can not modify the survey, can I make a final decision after our team has reviewed the final survey?

    We could share the survey instrument once finalized in January 2024 but we encourage you to submit your completed onboarding form as soon as possible, given that participation slots are limited. Please note that the deadline for submission is set for the 21st December 2023.

  • And how much time do you anticipate it will take to complete an interview?

    About 15-20 minutes.

  • What control do I have over the publishing / not of the report and the data?

    The anonymized Raw Data (data collected as part of the survey) associated with your firm and partner farmers to be surveyed, may be published and distributed publicly pursuant to the Global Access policy between 60 Decibels and the Grantor (see Only firms that accept these terms may participate in the survey. The data from your firm will not be identifiable to your firm in the published dataset or report, but your firm will be listed as a participant. 

  • Will data results be shared externally for each organization/ or in aggregate (since you will work with a number of partners)

    Participating firms will receive a private snapshot report summarizing the results from their farmers, and their respective anonymized raw data sets. An aggregate report with findings across all the 24 participating firms will be shared publicly.

  • How are you funding this work?

    Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) and Busara are funding this work and deliverables will be shared with the organisation. The focus of the survey is to contribute towards the measurement of value farmers derive from digital agricultural solutions and not for BMGF/Busara to evaluate the individual impact of the participating firms. If you have specific concerns about this, please let us know.

  • The Data Sharing Agreement mentions that you will require some commitment from us in the form of project management, communications, meetings and visits. Can you share more specifics?

    Participating companies’ involvement in the survey will be limited once the contacts are submitted. We may however reach out with some queries after contact cleaning and to understand your definition of active use so we are able to tease it out in the survey. We may also request for your involvement in some dissemination events but will give you ample notice in advance.

  • What are the expected outputs for the participating firms?

    Once data collection is completed, our reporting will include:

    • Insights Reports for Each Company: These reports will provide outcomes of each company’s impact on farmers and the farmers’ experience with the company. 
    • Raw data sets: Anonymised raw data sets will be provided to each participating firm for further in-house analysis.
    • Aggregate report: This report will have overall survey findings from all the 24 participating firms.
    • Meaningful Use and Resilience Testing Implementation Guide: We will provide a guide on our recommended approach to use the meaningful use survey instrument, how to calculate the score based on our testing, and key lessons learned. The guide will also offer suggestions on measuring the resilience impacts of DFS. 
  • Do we need to seek authorisation from the target farmers before we share their contacts with 60 Decibels?

    Participating firms are required to obtain all necessary consents and approvals from the designated farmers to: (a) provide their contact information to 60 Decibels, and (b) for 60 Decibels to contact the designated individuals and to collect the relevant data and information. By sharing your farmer contact information, you authorize 60 Decibels to contact the designated individuals and collect the relevant data and information. 60 Decibels will therefore collect consumer data directly from mutually agreed to individuals (“Designated Individuals”). That said, we will ensure that we collect farmers’ explicit consent to respond to our questions before we conduct the survey.

  • How will 60 Decibels sample respondents from submitted contact lists if a company offers multiple services across multiple countries?

    We will select respondents in a manner that ensures an adequate spread across the target geographies and service clusters. This implies that we may need to prioritize certain contacts per company based on their locations or services accessed as opposed to surveying across a company’s entire contact list.

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