Tool Name Developed By Runs On Service Model Method
Souktel Souktel phone web server SMS
SMS and Java-
FrontlineSMS Kiwanja.net enabled phone free SMS
RapidResponse UNICEF phone enterprise - server SMS
JavaRosa OSC phone free (open source) GPRS only
Java-enabled SMS or
Mobile Researcher Clyral phone pay-per-survey GPRS
EpiSurveyor Datadyne Palm O/S only free (open source) GPRS
Nokia Data Gathering Nokia Nokia O/S only free for NGO's GPRS
Open Data Kit Google only free (open source)
“If it doesn’t work in the field…
…then it doesn’t work”.
So….which mobile solution should I use?
First Things First…
The “What” determines the “How”
The technology “tool” comes Last - Always
Don’t try to force the solution to the need
Do the hard work (requirements) first,
or else you will have to do the hard work later…
If you decide to choose the tool first, then:
Best scenario: added cost, delay and poor program quality.
Worst scenario: resulting failure possibly costing lives.
Connectivity: not available available
Power availability: low (car battery/solar) high
Data transfer method: USB SMS GPRS VPN
Data quality: not important important
Survey structure: simple complex (branching)
Information complexity: text-only data/spatial/image
Tool” Determinants - continued
Data security: low high
Environmental: mild severe
Technical Support: low risk high risk
Fearlessly face what could go wrong….
Develop a plan for when it does go wrong!
(something will happen unexpectedly)
Recommended Best Practices
• Use technology that is simple, relevant, local.
• Build on what is already working.
• Assess and mitigate risks
• Engage Stakeholders
• Build local capacity to develop and maintain the solution.
• More is learned from what fails, than from what succeeds…