Grameen hosts focus group for Question Box

Here's a few shots from the extensive focus group this week. The CEO of Grameen Foundation Alex Counts was there, as were Whitney Gantt, Eric Cantor (Applab), David Edelstein and Kiki Noviandi (Applab Indonesia). The format worked well with two focus groups held throughout the day.

There were two presentations on “What is it like to be a CKW?” and one presentation from our operators on “What is it like to be an AQB Operator?”.

For the focus groups, essentially we all sat around in a circle, Nat, Barbara and I being in separate groups with between 15 and 20 CKWs. Each operator I think was also assigned to a separate group which allowed them to take notes and defend themselves on occasion. The operator in my group, Lydia, did a great job of not being defensive while pointing out specifics about the service and how we are working to improve. Then the CKWs all introduced themselves, where they work, and answered a random question that they had on cards that were handed out earlier. The questions were:

“What excites you most about AQB?’

“What is the most interesting question you received?”

“What service would you like to see next from Applab/Grameen?” (or how can we improve the ones you already have)

“What challenges do you face as a CKW?”

“What Applab service is most popular?”


The good news for us is that the most popular services were AQB and 6001 (Google SMS Search). The common gripe about 6001 is that information wasn’t thorough enough and lacked the ‘human’ interaction of AQB. The most common gripe about AQB was about the time it took to get a response back where 6001 usually takes only a minute to respond. Overall the feedback was positive as was the general response following Google, Grameen and MTN revealing that they were partnering to deliver the SMS applications (SMS Search, Google Trader, and Google Tips) the day prior.

These are really exciting times for Question Box!