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MARKET CASE STUDY: Kazakhstan & Kyrgyzstan

How have online surveys helped to understand the disinformation in Central Asia?

How was online data collection used in Kazakhstan and Kyrgistan to understand susceptibility to disinformation?


How have online surveys helped to understand the disinformation in Central Asia?

Disinformation is a big concern nowadays; this applies to many countries but is especially visible in the post-soviet region. TGM Research has conducted an online research study in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan for one of our clients, countries which are not usually targeted for online studies, to explore this topic. We explored the news and information consumption, awareness, and orientation in countering misinformation. The project's insights helped verify and address potential causes of social tensions and shape future aid when it comes to media.

Project background:

During the global COVID-19 pandemic, multiple countries faced a great flow of non-verified information, and some considered fake news. Therefore, our client initiated a project which aimed to understand the primary sources and frequency of news consumption and the impact of misinformation on individuals and countries.

Research Goals:

The Digital News Viewers project explicitly focused on: What are the most common sources of news consumption in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan?

Measurement included items such as:

  • What is the frequency of news consumption in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan?
  • What is the level of awareness of misinformation among the online population of Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan?
  • What are the attitudes towards misinformation within the countries?
  • What are general behaviors connected to the spread of misinformation?
Online data collection in Central Asia
Social media and exposure to unverified
information hightens susceptibility for missinformaiton.


Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan share similar fieldwork issues – with a population of almost 27 million spread over a large landmass. Half of them live in non-urban areas. Coordination is a big issue when reaching regions with traditional fieldwork. Severe challenges in transport, especially for rural communities, make it hard to conduct projects timely on the general sample.

Luckily, digital technologies and the penetration of mobile internet access increased over the last few years. With over 80% of the population with Internet access in Kazakhstan and 50% of mobile penetration, it provides chances to reach various segments. However, the penetration of online panels is low in this country, and its focus is in urban areas, which creates significant challenges for conducting typical online studies.


  • Design: experimental design (ad banner exposure organized as a simulation game module and an exercise of a different combination of fake news claims / real news claims to rate) with post-test measurement.
  • Sample: N=600 (N=300 Kazakhstan, N=300 Kyrgyzstan) online interviews using a hybrid sample approach.
  • Target Audience: general online population (representative digital-national sample in terms of demographics & regions).
  • Age: 25-44.
TGM case study map - Kazakhstan
Scope of work: questionnaire development consultancy, survey localization (Kazakh and Kyrgyz), translation, scripting, data collection, and data cleaning & processing.


With this research, it was possible to understand the behaviors of the Kazakh and the Kyrgyz online population. The research was an awareness campaign as to how we as digital media readers debunk the misinformation which is prevailing within the different digital platforms and how important it is for an individual and country to check the accuracy of the news. It was possible through the usage of the advert banner test. The digital media/news consumers were exposed to an ad simulation and asked about their awareness of fake news and orientation on content accuracy.

The project took ten days to collect data. TGM Research used multiple sampling methods to deliver Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan countries' online representative samples (N=600; N=300 each) using the online methodology.

As the leading online data collection agency, TGM Research conducted multiple market research projects in Central-Asia, pioneering online research in this region. To learn more about other recent projects we did in Kazakhstan or other countries of Central-Asia and our expertize, please contact us.

We hope you have found this short guide useful

If you have any further questions about how best to set up your online research study in Central Asia, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.
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