Reflecting on 2020: Examining the Impact of Premise on our Contributors in Low and Middle-Income Countries

Reflecting on 2020: Examining the Impact of Premise on our Contributors in Low and Middle-Income Countries

By International Development Team | Chris, Daniela and Lauren

Twenty international development customers used the Premise Platform for data collection and analytics in 2020. This mix of governments, foundations, NGOs and consultancies used our technology on programs ranging from global health, governance, education, human rights and humanitarian assistance.

Our team helped these organizations use our platform to collect on-the-ground data that feeds into their decision-making processes. They collected this data by tasking our network of 2.3 million “data contributors”—citizens who use our app to complete surveys and data collection tasks and earn money while they do it. As a result, Premise has contributed to the livelihood strategies of our contributors worldwide.

We also wanted to explore the social impact Premise is having on our contributors. We built this survey to answer specific questions our team had, more specifically:

  • Are Premise Contributors increasing their awareness around key topics in health, human rights and governance?
  • Is Premise perceived as a tool to voice concerns and opinions about local issues?
  • How much are earnings from Premise providing to our contributor’s livelihoods?
  • Is Premise having an impact within communities?

Survey responses were collected from select countries in Latin America, Africa and the Middle East. In total, 5,400 responses (a statistically significant sample of our contributor base) were collected across target countries during a one week period. Following are some key initial learnings from this survey.

Premise is a Valued Source of Income for Contributors

In addition to providing an opportunity to share opinions and experiences while gaining a deeper understanding of issues impacting communities, Premise offers a valuable income source for contributors. Over 75% of contributors reported Premise as an important part of their weekly earnings. As the economic impacts of the pandemic are being felt globally, almost 70% of contributors felt that their earnings from using Premise have been an especially important source of income during COVID-19. When asked how earnings made through the Premise app are spent, over 25% of contributors reported that earnings typically go toward essential goods and services, while over 20% responded they spent it on their family.

Premise has also provided an opportunity to work and earn money in the gig economy, especially in regions where access to work within the gig economy is limited. When asked what opportunities are available in contributor communities besides Premise, the largest amount of contributor responses (43%) was “No, there are no opportunities for gig work in my community besides Premise” followed by “Yes, there are a few opportunities for gig work in my community in addition to Premise.”

Premise Increased Contributor’s Awareness of Issues Impacting Communities

Premise Contributors overwhelmingly indicated that completing Premise tasks increased their awareness of certain issues in their community. Of the issues that completing tasks increased contributor awareness of, the most common response was relating to COVID-19. Seventy percent of Premise Contributors responded that completing tasks in the Premise app has increased their awareness of COVID-19 in their community (many of our clients collected data related to COVID-19 this year). The next most common response was climate change, followed by awareness of governance in the contributors’ home country. Thirty-one percent of contributors also indicated that completing Premise tasks increased their general awareness of healthcare.

Qualitatively, contributors expressed they also learned about new places in their community, as well as topics around culture, health, politics and government. Many stated that collecting data for Premise has improved their understanding of the availability and prices of products.

Premise Provides a Meaningful Way to make Contributor Voices and Opinions Heard

Completing data collection tasks through Premise provides an opportunity for contributors to share their voices and experiences while making an impact in the community. In 2020, contributors around the world have shared their experiences relating to healthcare, education, transportation, safety and the economy, providing valuable feedback and information that shapes programmatic decisions in the international development space. When asked if Premise enables contributors to make their voices and opinions heard, over 75% indicated “strongly agree” or “agree.” When asked about the specific impact of Premise, the fourth most common response was “I feel like my voice is heard because of Premise.”

Premise’s Impact Within Communities

Over 70% of contributors agree with the statement “Premise has a positive impact on communities like mine.” Interacting with Premise has also impacted the financial literacy of contributors. When asked about the specific impact of Premise on contributors’ daily life, the majority (50%) responded that Premise was their first introduction to digital money (both mobile money and cryptocurrency). Five percent of contributors surveyed also indicated that their work with Premise has led them to open a bank account. Thirty-three percent reported that Premise has provided an introduction to the freelance or gig economy and 21% reported that Premise has helped them to afford access to essential goods and services.  


As we reflect on 2020, our work with international development organizations not only provided relevant and timely data that allowed them to make better decisions around effective aid and resource allocation; it also had a positive impact in the communities in which Premise is present. Premise gave hundreds of thousands of individuals across the globe an opportunity to earn additional or alternative sources of income, find a platform to make their voices heard, and increase their knowledge about their communities.

In 2021, Premise is experimenting and adapting to ensure greater inclusivity for the hardest-to-reach contributors. Informed by existing contributor feedback, focus groups and engagement data, Premise is iterating on communications and tasks to improve the accessibility of earning opportunities for females and rural contributors in limited resource contexts. From tasks to map local agriculture, report on staple goods, and commonly prepared meals or to share cooking equipment and others, we are working to create a more relevant, convenient and fun Premise experience for these contributors. This, in turn, will improve our product’s ability to deliver timely and representative data to international development actors.

About International Development Team

Chris Watson is an evangelist for data-driven adaptive management solutions that optimize the performance of international development and poverty programs. He currently leads Premise Data’s international development team, with a focus on product-market-fit, use case definition, sales, and customer success. 

Daniela Rubio, as a Customer Success Manager, works with Premise clients on remote data collection in the international development space. She works cross-functionally with different teams at Premise including growth, engineering and solutions. She provides insights to the marketing team and supports the product and sales teams in customer discovery discussions with potential clients and partners. She has more than 10 years of global experience helping organizations and governments tackle complex problems with strategic thinking, partnership and cultural empathy.

Lauren Gray is an Operations Specialist in Washington, D.C. With a background in international development and national security, Lauren previously worked in East Africa with social businesses focused on health and technology. At Premise, she focuses on project design and data collection operations for Premise’s international development and foreign affairs clients.