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© 2018, Titus Kipruto

Best digital data assessment and analytics tools for Humanitarians


admin - September 3, 2018 - 1 comment

Apart from the basic data collection tools like KOBO and ODK, There are other advanced online tools which enable easy and fast data collection/analysis. Its can be used for Community Health Surveillance or refugees rapid assessment among other humanitarian digital based assessments. Some of these tools include:

  • mWater
  • Medic Mobile
  • Fulcrum
  • Dharma toolkit

mWater

The mWater suite includes mWater Surveyor, mWater Mapper and mWater Pathfinder. Together, these apps and web platforms use GPS, cloud-based computing and widespread access to mobile devices to create an integrated approach to managing Humanitarian data.

Strengths

  • Free
  • Offline Support
  • Mature and very accessible company and support
  • Simplicity of interface, mapping and customization options
  • Ease of information sharing and possibility of different user roles
  • Optional use of public data gathered by other organizations
  • Scalability of the solution (from a small assessment to nationwide/cross country)

Weaknesses

  • Less intuitive interface on mobile application

Medic Mobile

Medic Mobile is a nonprofit technology company specializing in mHealth. Health workers use Medic Mobile to register every pregnancy, track disease outbreaks faster, keep stock of essential medicines and communicate about emergencies. Medic Mobile was created for people delivering care in hard-to-reach areas. The toolkit supports multiple languages and works with or without connectivity.

What are the strengths of this application?

  • It works offline – The application saves data on the device memory, it will then sync the data automatically when there is internet connectivity.
  • The combination of the Medic Mobile web app and analytics helps managers provide targeted support for health workers and systems.
  • It can be hosted locally or in the cloud, and runs as a responsive web app on desktops, laptops, tablets, or smartphones.

Weaknesses of medic Mobile

  • This project is customly designed for Antenatal care, postnatal care, Childhood immunization, Malnutrition and Outbreak surveillance. That mean for NCD surveillance you have to organize with the company to customize the applications.
  • No good guides and tutorials on how to privately download and host it in your own servers.
  • It takes long for the application to be fully customized and implemented (up to 8 months).

Fulcrum

Fulcrum is the industry-leading data collection platform that enables users to easily build custom apps for capturing information in the field.

Strengths

  • Improved user interface.
  • It works offline.
  • API support for integration with reporting systems like power BI

Weaknesses

  • NO SMS support
  • Limited dashboard – users can only view the latest uploaded data, for more analysis the user is required to use other tools like excel to create advanced dashboards
  • Does not support media within the forms to give easy instructions to the end users.
  • It is expensive since you have to purchase license per user.

Dharma

What is Dharma?

Dharma is a data collection and surveillance tool. It gives you a streamlined way to handle the data you rely on for your everyday work. Gather information, manage your projects, aggregate your data sources, analyze them, and share the results – all without leaving the platform.

What are the strengths of this application?

  • It has a powerful data management dashboard for monitoring and reporting.
  • Since a license has been purchased already, this will be a cheaper option.
  • It can work in areas without internet or cellular networks.
  • It is a secure platform. Their storage meets the most stringent EU and US standards for data privacy, and there’s no limit to how much information you can store.
  • Real-time data analysis.

Weaknesses of Dharma

  • No SMS support only data *Internet*.
  • It is complex to setup the dashboards.
  • It is not open source.
Solution Platforms Supported Approx. Development and customization cost Approx. implementation Cost
Medic Mobile Android, iOS,SMS, Web $60,000 Covered in customization cost
Dharma Toolkit Android, iOS,Web $0 $88,000
Commcare Android, iOS,SMS, Web $0 $100 per month
Fulcrum Android, iOS $0 $18 per month per user

1 comment

  1. Cory MacVie

    For the record, Fulcrum does provide a no-cost option for humanitarians. Go to fulcrumapp.com/community to sign up.

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