The UNHCR Android project provides technical assistance to set up an Android smart phone based survey within a country operation. Topics have been including village profiles, nutrition and other public health related surveys as well as a rapid registration to verify a census of People of Concerns. A new project in 2013 with JIPS (Joint IDP Profiling Service) is looking into Urban Profiling.
The UNHCR Android project is one of CartONG’s key projects. It started in 2010 with two pilots and two different technologies, of which one (ODK- OpenDataKit) was retained for surveys in 2011. Field projects were directly supported in country in 2012 in Rwanda, Kenya (Dadaab, next to the Somali border), Sudan, Lebanon and Djibouti. Remote support was also provided to operations in Liberia and Kenya (Kakuma).
Android phones – which like other smartphones have a GPS, camera, sound and a touch pad, basically function like a mini-computer – are extremely useful tools to collect information and help gain time and money during humanitarian crisis. The 2012 surveys covered topics such as nutrition surveys, shelter assessments and evaluation of workshop events. Shelter assessments were implemented in Lebanon with Shelter Actors during the emergency information management mission. More training with shelter actors was conducted on global level, but did not result in a deployment.
Additionally, the annual UNHCR NGO Consultation event in July was supported by CartONG; and a quick survey with visitors for evaluation purposes was conducted. It was also to demonstrate how fast results can be obtained and processed: from finishing the data collection, the team had 45 min to conduct a fast analysis and show the results to the visitors of the events on a screen.