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About Company

From data to policy

Laterite specializes in research for social impact. Our approach is structured, data intensive and embedded in the local context. More about our sectors.

We use rigorous techniques to provide context-relevant evidence. Our team combines technical excellence in quantitative and qualitative methods with a deep understanding of the local context.

Laterite was founded in Rwanda in 2010. We have offices in East and West Africa and we are in the process of expanding to Latin America. More about where we work.


Making an impact

We know that achieving impact doesn’t happen overnight. Our philosophy is that you need an excellent understanding of the local context to deliver sound advice that makes a difference. This requires building a local team, collecting high-quality primary data, understanding the context, and establishing close working relationships with key players. As a result, we only conduct research where we have a local presence.


Transforming research

At Laterite, we combine established evaluation methods with the latest advances in econometrics and data technology. This allows us to extract more detail and insights and deliver more impact. We are proficient with causal machine learning techniques and we have a large database of geospatial data we can deploy to enrich survey findings.


Collaboration and learning

We believe that working together and building the capacity of our teams and the organizations we work with is the best way to deliver high-quality research. We bring this collaborative spirit to our own teams: our research and data professionals work in the same offices, combining the ability to collect and process data with policy thinking and analysis. This synergy between our teams and our offices is one of our biggest assets.

Our strengths

Local knowledge

To deliver useful insights, you need to understand the context. That’s why we only work in countries where we have an office.

Full-cycle support

We offer tested data collection systems, a large pool of enumerators, an expert research team and a thorough understanding of the countries where we work.

Focus on quality

At Laterite, we work to build quality control into every step of the research process.

Dignity first

The safety and dignity of participants comes first. We can advise our partners on how to adhere to local ethics and research permit requirements.


Laterite has offices in Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Uganda and Peru.

We also have a support team based in the Netherlands.


Data collection

We provide experienced field teams, all the equipment and local knowledge to ensure high-quality primary data collection.

Why Laterite

Experienced teams

Our enumerators, field coordinators, moderators and translators have a track-record of success on multiple research projects with Laterite. All field staff is selected through a competitive process and are rigorously trained by our in-house data team.

Complex projects

Laterite manages all the logistics of large-scale surveys. We have experience with running complex data collection projects, involving thousands of respondents, in remote locations, or covering sensitive topics.

Focus on data quality

Our team specializes in coding surveys on electronic platforms working with the SurveyCTO platform as a proud member of the SurveyCTO partner program. We follow a rigorous approach to data quality, including built-in quality checks, back-checks and audio audits.

Our data services

Large-scale surveys

Laterite can quickly mobilize a network of hundreds of enumerators, field coordinators and translators to implement quantitative data collection campaigns in East Africa.

In 2021, our enumerators spent almost 26,000 days in the field, conducting 80,000 interviews in 66,000 households using 98 surveys for projects in Rwanda, Ethiopia, Uganda and Kenya.

Laterite has experience with fieldwork in remote locations and in complex projects covering sensitive topics or involving at-risk populations.

Qualitative data collection

Our data team includes field supervisors specialized in qualitative data projects. We have led focus group discussions, key informant interviews and semi-structured interviews as the main research instrument, or to provide nuance to quantitative findings.

In addition to data collection, our team can transcribe, translate, code and analyze the data from qualitative research instruments.

Phone and SMS-based surveys

Laterite has the know-how, infrastructure and procedures in place to conduct full-scale data collection campaigns using phone surveys. In 2020, our team completed 20 remote data collection projects, most structured as high-frequency surveys, with multiple rounds.

Our team understands the implications of remote methodologies on sampling and survey instruments and we can advise on how to design, or adapt, research for this medium. We also have experience in developing and conducting SMS-based surveys and have successfully secured high-response rates using this methodology.

Complex data collection methods

We specialize in mixed-methods data collection involving multiple instruments and methodologies. Past projects have included anthropometric and biometric measurements, early childhood development assessments, classroom observations and student learning assessments, behavioral games, and environmental exposure monitoring.



We deliver full-cycle evaluation projects and partner with organizations to bring evidence and learning to the center of decision making.

Why Laterite

Local context

Laterite’s data and research teams are embedded in the local context. We believe that delivering impactful research requires building a local team, understanding the context, establishing close working relationships on the ground.

Actionable insights

We strive to deliver analysis of the highest quality, leading to actionable insights for our clients.  Our priority is to ensure that our research is impactful and designed to answer the questions our clients have.


Our approach is data intensive. We work with local and international organizations to improve their research functions and help them learn from the data they collect.

Our research services

Data analysis

Laterite’s research team works with clients to extract value and knowledge from data. We draw on a range of analysis techniques from different disciplines, including econometrics, data science, economic complexity, network theory, biology and engineering.

We strive to innovate with every opportunity. We also put a strong emphasis on ensuring that our research is fit for purpose, timely and pertinent for our clients.

Program evaluations

We specialize in program evaluation techniques, with a focus on ensuring practical and actionable insights for our clients, ideally during and not only after the end of an intervention. Our approaches may include rigorous experiments, quasi-experiments, tracer studies or process evaluations. We always prefer mixed-method approaches.

Laterite has conducted or contributed to the design and analysis of impact evaluations across East and West Africa, covering gender, education, teacher training, gender-based violence, cash transfers, poverty reduction and agriculture support programs.

Monitoring and Evaluation diagnostics

Our diagnostic tool was designed to help our partners improve their Monitoring and Evaluation systems and use them efficiently to extend their impact.
Grounded in our experience in research design, data collection and analysis, our diagnostics tool can strengthen the understanding of matters such as: program participation and selection criteria; theories of change; gender inclusive approaches; operational plans; capacity building strategies.

Learning partnerships

We build long-term learning and research advisory partnerships with development organizations, NGOs, social enterprises, and government agencies. As a learning partner, Laterite supports organizations to design learning strategies that directly feed into their operations. Laterite can support the design of research and evaluation projects; train research teams in all stages of the monitoring, evaluation and learning cycle; and provide additional research capabilities where needed.

Landscape mapping

Laterite provides detailed, in-depth analysis based on desk research, complemented with key stakeholder interviews, focus groups and/or quantitative surveys. We have prepared landscape mapping reports (e.g. on the education system in Ethiopia, on social inclusion assessments in Rwanda) that have helped large NGOs and governmental officials steer future programs and interventions.



We combine established evaluation methods with the latest advances in econometrics and predictive AI.

Why Laterite

At the forefront

We are continuously investing in our capabilities to find new solutions to socio-economic development problems.

AI for social impact

As a tech-enabled firm with expertise in data and AI, we are positioned to lead on AI for social impact.

Laterite Labs

We have a team of dedicated individuals testing out innovative data-driven solutions in the field of development.

Intelligent knowledge hubs

One of the key challenges faced by decision-makers in the development sector is the difficulty in accessing a complete understanding of the landscape on a topic or portfolio of work.

Using knowledge graphs and LLMs to distill program or policy information into a searchable chat format for easy access, collaboration, and better-than-human insights.

Predictive AI and modeling

We use predictive analytic and modeling techniques to, for example, define target populations, extract insights from unseen data, extrapolate findings, or plan ahead.

Some of the techniques we have used include: machine vision techniques to estimate coffee tree yields, Markov chain models to predict the evolution of education systems, gravity models to identify infrastructure gaps in Rwanda’s economic geography, and economic complexity models to study the latent trajectory of economies.

From hard copy to dataset

We build systems to transform information locked in hard copy into datasets ready for analysis and visualization.

Laterite deploys optical recognition techniques that can be used for example to grade student assessments, monitor attendance sheets, or extract information from administrative data. In our experience, optical recognition can generate high-quality data for relative low cost.

Read about our work here:

Optimizing work streams

Optimization algorithms are emerging as a game changer for the way organizations conduct day-to-day work. When carefully used, LLMs can be used to enhance internal processes and streamline routine tasks.

We can tailor large language models to address specific needs of social impact organizations.

Geospatial data

Social research is geographically situated. Laterite has a large database of geospatial data from the countries where we work. Indicators include, for example, terrain, climate, population composition and density, nightlights, distances from roads and urban centers, and a vegetation index.

We use geospatial statistics to strengthen econometric analysis and ground our findings in their geographical context. This allows us to enhance our analysis and build powerful maps & tools to visualize development-related indicators.

Tools to accelerate research

Designing and conducting survey research takes a lot of time. Some of that time is spent on technical and repetitive tasks, like coding a survey, cleaning data or coding qualitative data. Laterite has developed a set of tools for our work to answer these challenges, using the latest AI technologies.


3rd Floor, Kalamu House
Grevillea Grove, Brookside
Phone: +254 798 951 284

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