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Towards adoption of mobile data collection for effective adaptation and climate risk management in Africa

Adekola, Olalekan; Lamond, Jessica; Adelekan, Ibidun; Bhattacharya-Mis, Namrata; Mboto, Ekinya; Eze, Bassey; Ujoh, Fanan

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Olalekan Adekola

Jessica Lamond
College Dean for Research & Enterprise

Ibidun Adelekan

Namrata Bhattacharya-Mis

Ekinya Mboto

Bassey Eze

Fanan Ujoh


The collection and use of data on climate change and its impacts are crucial for effective climate adaptation and climate risk management. The revolution in internet access, technology and costs has led to a shift from using traditional paper-based data collection to the use of Mobile Data Collection using Personal Digital Assistants (PDA) such as smartphones and tablets. In this paper, we report our experiences using both approaches for a household and business survey during a climate adaptation study in two Nigerian cities—Makurdi and Calabar. The focus of this paper is to evaluate and compare the effectiveness of using traditional paper-based data collection and PDAs as data collection tools for climate change study in African societies. In Calabar, data were collected using paper questionnaires, while in Makurdi the questionnaires were developed on Open Data Kit (ODK) and administered using PDAs. Results show that data collection using PDA was faster, cheaper, more accurate and resulted in fewer omissions than paper-based data collection. There was a time saving of four (4) minutes per questionnaire and a 24% cost saving when using PDA. PDA provides additional benefits where platforms can collect images, videos and coordinates. This significantly improved the credibility of the data collection process and provided further data that allowed for the mapping of environmental phenomena by linking survey research with geo-referenced data in a geographic information systems platform to provide spatial representations of social and environmental system convergence. PDA offers a tool for collecting data that will make necessary socio-environmental data available in a faster, reliable and cheaper manner; future research can build on this study by discovering other possible but less highlighted benefits of PDA. Although, with great benefits, there are lessons to be learnt and issues to consider when deploying PDA in large-scale household surveys.


Adekola, O., Lamond, J., Adelekan, I., Bhattacharya-Mis, N., Mboto, E., Eze, B., & Ujoh, F. (2023). Towards adoption of mobile data collection for effective adaptation and climate risk management in Africa. Geoscience Data Journal, 10(2), 276-290.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Feb 28, 2022
Online Publication Date May 16, 2022
Publication Date Apr 1, 2023
Deposit Date Mar 14, 2022
Publicly Available Date May 19, 2022
Journal Geoscience Data Journal
Electronic ISSN 2049-6060
Publisher Wiley Open Access
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 10
Issue 2
Pages 276-290
Keywords disaster risk mapping, household survey, methodological innovation, open data kit, personal digital assistants
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information Related dataset available from


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