Child-friendly surveys deployed by Save the Children

Making answering surveys easy for children

Save the Children (STC) is passionately committed to one goal: Giving all children the best chance for the future they deserve – a healthy start in life, the opportunity to learn, and protection from harm. Every day and in times of crisis.

To be able to achieve this goal Save the Children needs reliable and direct information about the actual needs of children. So far, STC has obtained the data from adult surveyors asking children. However, often children are hesitant to discuss their needs and expectations with adults who are not family members.

Save the Children has engaged with the Poimapper team to develop a new approach to surveying children. The app enables questions to be expressed visually and with audio so that even children with limited reading and writing skills can answer the questions.

How it works

At the beginning of each survey, the first question is whether a child wants to answer the questions by writing or speaking. Based on this the app automatically shows either text fields or audio buttons in the follow-up questions.  To make the survey easy for children, each page always contains just one question. Choice questions can have at most six options. Each option contains an image or audio to describe the option.

To do the survey the surveyor circulates a mobile tablet or smartphone among a group of children for instance in a classroom. Each child then independently answers the survey questions. Therefore, after the child has answered the survey questions, the app automatically uploads the data and returns to the beginning of the survey form.

Save the Children has trialed the approach in Somalia, Turkey, and Burkina Faso with positive feedback and enthusiasm from the children. Based on this experience, we have developed a new improved version of the app.

If you are interested in exploring the use of child-friendly data collection, please contact us at

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