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The Information Technology (IT) Group at the Population Council responded to a need for a technology solution that would help researchers obtain more accurate responses to survey questions that concerned subject matter of a sensitive nature. The IT Group had three goals: (1) to enhance research by obtaining the best data possible, (2) to operate successfully in the local environment and be welcomed by the local populations, and (3) to increase the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of the survey process. This paper outlines approaches to consider when designing and implementing self-administered information and communications technology (ICT) questionnaires in developing countries, and reviews the problems and issues we encountered and how we overcame them. Many of the approaches outlined may also be used in general for ICT-related projects in the developing world. To meet future challenges, we have begun an effort to build a prototype system that would operate on a variety of devices—when connected to the internet or not (securely storing the data when the system is offline)—and provide an administrative application to step through simple screens to build a self-administered questionnaire with the most frequently used functions.





Audio Computer-Assisted Self-Interviewing (ACASI)