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Two-day data training in Macedonia

- January 5, 2015 in Data for CSOs, Skillhare

At the end of November (26th-28th), in Dojran – a city in Macedonia, we held a two-day training with Milena. Tailored to the needs of the 24 participants from different CSOs, we tried to cover as much as possible of the topics we narrowed down using the form we composed for determining their skills and needs. 15744717149_815962dc69_z 15904939606_5c95d53b46_z We started the training with the basic introduction to what data is and where to find it, and the first day we mostly focused on working with spreadsheets, formulas and pivot tables. The next day we shared some thoughts and skills on data visualization, worked with different online data visualization and mapping tools and talked about creating beautiful timelines. Anyhow, the agenda for the training is here for everyone to check, use and adapt. 15308502654_ccc0d72c23_z During the two days we tried to be as flexible as possible and adapt to the real time needs of the participants, and to engage everyone in a more interactive way of learning through practical exercises and teamwork. Here you can see some more photos from the training. flattr this!

Mobile data collection

- December 16, 2014 in data-collection, mobile, Skillhare, tech

This blog post is based on the School of Data skillshare I hosted on mobile data collection. Thanks to everyone who took part in it!
Of recent, mobile has become an increasingly popular method of data collection. This is achieved through having an application or electronic form on a mobile device such as a smartphone or a tablet. These devices offer innovative ways to gather data regardless of time and location of the respondent. The benefits of mobile data collection are obvious, such as quicker response times and the possibility to reach previously hard-to-reach target groups. In this blog post I share some of the tools that I have been using and developing applications on top of for the past five years.
  1.       Open Data Kit
Open Data Kit (ODK) is a free and open-source set of tools which help researchers author, field, and manage mobile data collection solutions. ODK provides an out-of-the-box solution for users to:
  • Build a data collection form or survey ;
  • Collect the data on a mobile device and send it to a server; and
  • Aggregate the collected data on a server and extract it in useful formats.
ODK allows data collection using mobile devices and data submission to an online server, even without an Internet connection or mobile carrier service at the time of data collection.   Screen Shot 2014-12-15 at 20.15.30 ODK, which uses the Android platform, supports a wide variety of questions in the electronic forms such as text, number, location, audio, video, image and barcodes.
  1.      Commcare
Commcare is an open-source mobile platform designed for data collection, client management, decision support, and behavior change communication. Commcare consists of two main technology components: Commcare Mobile and CommCareHQ. The mobile application is used by client-facing community health workers/enumerator in visits as a data collection and educational tool and includes optional audio, image, and audio, GPS locations and video prompts. Users access the application-building platform through the website CommCareHQ  which is operated on a cloud-based server. Screen Shot 2014-12-15 at 20.20.30 Commcare supports J2ME feature phones, Android phones, and Android tablets and can capture photos and GPS readings, Commcare supports multi-languages and non-roman character scripts as well as the integration of multimedia (image, audio, and video). CommCare mobile versions allow applications to run offline and collected data can be transmitted to CommCareHQ when wireless (GPRS) or Internet (WI-FI) connectivity becomes available.
  1.      GEOODK
GeoODK provides a way to collect and store geo-referenced information, along with a suite of tools to visualize, analyze and manipulate ground data for specific needs. It enables an understanding of the data for decision-making, research, business, disaster management, agriculture and more. It is based on the Open Data Kit (ODK), but has been extended with offline/online mapping functionalities, the ability to have custom map layer, as well as new spatial widgets, for collecting point, polygon and GPS tracing functionality. Screen Shot 2014-12-15 at 20.21.48 This one blog post cannot cover each and every tool for mobile data collection, but some other tools that can be used to accomplish  mobile data collection each of which having their own unique features includes OpenXData and Episurveyor. Why Use Mobile Technology in Collecting Data There are several advantages as to why mobile technology should be used in collecting data some of which include,
  •         harder skipping questions,
  •         immediate (real time) access to the data from the server, which also makes data aggregation and analysis to become very rapid,
  •         Minimizes workforce and hence reduces cost of data collection by cutting out data entry personnel.
  •         Data Security is enhanced through data encryption
  •         Collect unlimited data types such as audio, video, barcodes, GPS locations
  •         Increase productivity by skipping data entry middle man
·         Save cost related to printing, storage and management of documents associated with paper based data collection. flattr this!

Get better feedback from your data training events!

- November 13, 2014 in impact, Skillhare

“What do we require to evaluate our programs? How do we show that our program is making a difference? Why is getting feedback important for data trainers? How can we get feedback from training events?”
Last week we hosted a School of Data skillshare with our M&E gurus Rahul Ghosh (Open Knowledge) and Oludotun Babayemi (School of Data Fellow) to explore these questions, and share some methods and toolkits for gathering feedback from training events. This skillshare was tailored to data trainers from the School of Data network, but is also general enough to provide some of the basics of feedback collection and useful methods and tools that can be adapted to other contexts. This is a one-hour video to learn all about feedback collection from Rahul and Olu:

Learn the basics of feedback collection with slides

Olu and Rahul prepared these slides with corresponding notes and resources. We hope that this will be useful for you when you run your next training event.


Slide 4: Why collect feedback for training events Slide 5: Feedback collection methods Slide 6: Types of data collection designs


Slides 9 – 11: Pre training feedback forms & guide Slides 13-15: Post training evaluation forms & guide

More details:

This presentation has detailed speaker notes. Open the slide deck to see them. flattr this!