March 7, 2019

Mobile Connectivity in Emerging Economies

Appendix A: About the focus groups

Pew Research Center conducted a series of focus groups to better understand how people think about their own mobile phones and the impact of these devices on their society. Five focus groups were held in each of the following four countries: Kenya, Mexico, the Philippines and Tunisia.1 Each focus group consisted of 10 adults coming together for an hour and a half for a discussion led by a local, professional moderator using a guide developed by Pew Research Center.

In each country, the groups were structured according to the following criteria:

  • Group 1, “basic phone” – all participants either owned or shared a basic phone that could not connect to the internet and were 36 years old or older;
  • Group 2, “younger, smartphone” – all participants owned or shared a smartphone and were under the age of 30;
  • Group 3, “older, smartphone” – all participants owned or shared a smartphone and were at least 30 years old;
  • Group 4, “women phone users” – all participants were women who either owned or shared a phone (including a minimum of five participants who owned or shared a smartphone), and at least two participants were married and two were unmarried;
  • Group 5, “migrant phone users” – all participants either owned or shared a phone (including a minimum of five participants who owned or shared a smartphone) and all either lived in a place that was different from where they grew up or had a family member who lived elsewhere.

All focus groups also required participants to have at least some interest in politics, and, aside from group 4, which was all women, they were balanced with regard to gender. Aside from group 1, participants were also required to use their phone at least once a week. Where feasible, participants were also recruited to ensure diversity with regard to education levels, employment status, rural and urban location, and the duration for which they have owned their phones.

Focus groups were held in the following locations and on the following dates:

  • Mexico City, Mexico: March 13-15, 2018
  • Manila, Philippines: March 21-23, 2018
  • Nairobi, Kenya: March 26-28, 2018
  • Tunis, Tunisia: March 28-30, 2018

D3 Systems, Inc. worked with local field partners in each of the four countries to recruit the participants using a screener designed by Pew Research Center. All participants were given financial remuneration for their time.

These groups were primarily used to help shape the survey questions asked in each of the 11 countries. But, throughout the report, we have also included quotations that illustrate some of the major themes that were discussed during the groups. Quotations are chosen to provide context for the survey findings and are not necessarily representative of the majority opinion in any particular group or country. Quotations may have been edited for grammar and clarity.

  1. Focus groups were held in four, rather than all 11 countries, because of time and resources. Countries were chosen purposefully to cover all four key regions included in the survey: Latin America, the Asia-Pacific, sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).