Project HOPE staff at our field sites around the world interview program participants on a regular basis as part of our monitoring and evaluation efforts. And now - instead of equipping themselves with pencil and paper for regular data collection - staff are taking technology to some of the most remote regions of the world to gather data more quickly and accurately and to improve results of our global health programs.
“Through a comparison of data collection methods at a program site in Indonesia, we discovered that, in comparison to traditional paper, using electronic devices reduces errors, requires less staff time and lowers costs over time,” says John Bronson, Senior Director for Economic Strengthening Programs at Project HOPE. “Tablets with large screens produce the least amount of errors, take the least staff time and are relatively easy to train on and use.”
Why is compiling data more quickly and accurately so important? Using electronic data collection allows Project HOPE to use the information to quickly improve the programs – providing more benefits to the people we serve. It also helps us to quickly detect problems that need to be corrected.
Project HOPE is now working to incorporate electronic data collection into more of our global health programs to make them more effective. In Namibia, as part of the USAID funded OVC and TB Care Services project, a recent training on data collection using Samsung Galaxy tablets equipped the staff with the knowledge and skills needed to accurately collect data about the people benefitting from our Orphan and Vulnerable Children and Village Savings and Loan programs in the country. Finally a community group helped to test data capturing at a community level.
“All of the trainees welcomed the idea of using the electronic devices, and they were easily understood,” says Bronson.
Now our newly trained field officers are equipped with the knowledge and skills they will need to use the device in Namibia, which will result in more reliable information about our programs and many improvements that will benefit the Namibians we serve in the future.
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