Do you sometimes wish you had a better understanding of context in order to respond in a relevant and proportionate manner to your NGO’s needs? Do you find it hard to decide which areas and which beneficiaries need your help the most, or to ensure that your help is effective in the long run? You are aware that there are loads of new tools out there you could use to collect data, but do you know which ones to use and how?
As the first step in any assessment, data collection is crucial to ensure quality data for adequate decision-making. Mobile data collection (MDC) uses smartphones to collect primary data about beneficiary needs, population movement, infrastructure location and assessment. Compared to the traditional paper-based survey approach, a properly designed mobile solution can help you save time, standardize responses, collect diversified information and produce ready-to-share and ready-to-analyse data. In technical terms, setting up a mobile data collection system is getting easier by the day, with great tools available for a growing number of needs. However, surveys, standard operating procedures and logistics can still present a challenge for organizations that have just embarked on MDC.
Learn more about how CartONG can help you with your Mobile Data Collection projects:
In 2018, a one-day awareness raising session was organized for AFD's Evaluation and Capitalisation division and Crisis and Conflict division on Mobile Data Collection. The session covered both an overview of the tools available and examples of the different types of use cases, but also a presentation of all the stakes that mobile data collection can represent in the development sector.
In 2018, CartONG conducted two challenging Information Management (IM) needs assessment missions, during which we evaluated the IM policies, processes, practices and tools implemented by the Solidarités International’s teams in response to the refugee crisis in Bangladesh as well as the Syrian crisis.
For these rapid assessments of information management needs, CartONG interviewed the key players to evaluate their expectations, fears and difficulties, and reviewed the existing documentation and processes in place for the IM tools used by the local Solidarités’ teams as well as the available IM products. As part of these missions, we also facilitated workshops and conducted a review of the key existing project documents to identify the IM needs per activity and the potential constraints related to donor requirements. The deliverables of these two needs assessments missions were a report and a list of recommendations and suggested priorities. The support provided by CartONG in the Middle East had the particularity of taking place following the launch of a new consortium (therefore still in its infancy), and was thus mostly focused on strategic aspects; whereas the mission in Bangladesh was an opportunity to identify the capacity-building needs of the local IM team which then led to a two-week training mission on various topics such as MDC, mapping and data protection.
CartONG provided various Information Management support to Action Contre la Faim France in 2018. Our main support was dedicated to their Afghanistan mission where we deployed an expert for 3 weeks in October. The mission aimed at providing Information Management support to the team based in Kabul regarding digitization of some nutrition processes, data visualization with Business Intelligence tools, training sessions on various tools (Excel, Kobo, Sphinx and Power BI) and support on their data protection practices. Check out an example of the tools developed during the mission: a complaints and feedback mechanism dashboard built on Power BI.
In 2018, we also provided remote support to ACF France on Mobile data collection for their Nepal field operation, as well as gave a day of introduction to Geographical Information Systems during one of their regional training workshops in Dakar.
In June 2016, following a second bidding process, CartONG was one of the organizations (including iMMAP and MapAction) to be retained by the UNICEF West and Central Africa Regional Office, setting the framework to be deployed in the WCARO region to support UNICEF country operations in Information Management and Mapping.
CartONG - building on the work done for Tdh on the evaluation of case management for child protection tools - helped Handicap International over a few days in 2017 by giving them an overview of the MDC solutions that could correspond to their needs for case management and helping them think through their strategy on the subject.
Following that work, CartONG conducted in 2018 a benchmarking of two case management tools to help Handicap International's HQ team in their comparison of SurveyCTO and Survey123 for different case management needs.
iRHIS (integrated Refugee Health Information System) is an open source tablet and web platform that was developed by GNUCOOP to allow health workers to electronically register and track the health status of refugees in camps, as well as guide UNHCR public health and implementing partners to rapidly detect public health problems and epidemics.
In 2018, CartONG developed two comprehensive training guides tailored to the different diverse health staff profiles comprising of data collectors and supervisors. Three in-country training were conducted on the use of the iRHIS platform for patients individual consultation data collection, online data synchronization to generate reports and the use of the automatic analysis dashboards.
In 2019, CartONG provided one in-country rollout training and a follow-up advanced training on the use of the iRHIS platform in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Congo Brazzaville respectively. In November and early December, our staff traveled to six different locations (more than 5000 km in-country!) and trained 62 health staff in how to use the system and to record the information. Additionally, our staff also conducted a follow-up on last year’s mission there, helped to update devices, offered tips and tricks and explained all the new functions. Learn more here or by reading our 2019 Annual Report.
In 2018, DRS undertook a comprehensive revision of the framework for monitoring the UNHCR Energy and Livelihoods programs on a global level. DRS developed mobile data collection tools which are scalable and a monitoring system that helps implement both Livelihoods and Energy activities across operations. The monitoring system is a system that allows data flow integration linking the data collected by UNHCR operations on KoboToolbox to a centralized online interactive spreadsheet for analysis and data validation before finally publishing to the program’s Livelihoods and Energy Open data platforms.
In 2018, CartONG provided timely technical guidance and support to the UNHCR DRS field operations through the following activities:
You may learn more about checking our 2018 Annual Report.
In 2019, CartONG continued to provide technical guidance and support to the UNHCR DRS field operations through the continuation of 2018 activities and the development of new ones:
Learn more by reading our 2019 Annual Report.
CartONG has helped Tdh to support its field teams through the development of tutorials and tools to help improve the data protection practices in the field.
All of the public documentation is available on the MDC-Toolkit website. The MDC Toolkit is composed of 40 documents – created under a free license- to support the use of mobile data collection by the Tdh’s field teams as well as all the actors of the humanitarian and development sectors. The MDC Toolkit is combined with a Data Visualization Toolkit whose purpose is to help field staff improve their data visualization practices, and which may be found in the Analyze your data section of the website.
Dans la cadre d’un projet de lutte contre la déforestation en Côte d’Ivoire, CartONG a été financé par l’AFD pour mettre en œuvre un outil de suivi des parcelles forestières et agricoles des bénéficiaires de NITIDÆ (ex-Rongead/EtcTerra) dans la région de la Mé. Ce projet a permis l’implémentation de la suite d’outils GeoPoppy, également pour la première fois, par CartONG à l’occasion d’une mission de deux semaines sur le terrain.
Au-delà de cette mise en pratique, CartONG a également été sollicité pour aider NITIDÆ à améliorer son système de Suivi-Evaluation en effectuant un diagnostic du système en place et en émettant des recommandations d’amélioration – à savoir, le cadre logique, les indicateurs utilisés, les outils de collecte de données primaires – ainsi que des procédures qui lui sont associées. A cet exercice s’est ajouté un travail plus général et assez complexe, de compilation de suggestions portant sur l’amélioration de l’accompagnement en Suivi-Evaluation que l’AFD offre à tous les partenaires qu’ils financent.
CartONG a présenté le projet et l'outil aux chefs de projet de l'AFD à Paris en janvier 2018.
CartONG a réalisé une étude sur les usages des NTIC dans le cadre de micro-projets de développement, comprenant un travail de recherche général sur l'utilisation des NTIC dans le domaine des micro-projets, et également une boite à outils composée de fiches Outils, Méthodes et retours d'expériences à destination des associations de solidarité internationale pour les aider à utiliser ces technologies de manière pertinente.
Accéder à l'étude et à la boite à outils ici.