How Firelight Partners Use Mobile

Mobile data collection is here to stay. It can be a great tool to cut costs and improve accuracy and efficiency of monitoring and evaluation efforts. Several of our partners had expressed an interest in adopting mobile data collection tools for their monitoring and evaluation work, so we conducted a survey of 27 partner organizations to understand the contexts in which they work. These tools can be incredibly useful in the long run, but they require that every stakeholder is ready and willing to put in lots of time and financial resources up front to learn how to use them properly. With our partners on board, we wanted to make sure we had all the information we needed to start off on the right foot. We used this information to make a decision about which data collection tool would be the best match.

 Read how we support our partners in mobile tech

We had lots of questions when we started. What kinds of mobile devices are available and widely used? How are partners using mobile technology already? How are community members using mobile technology? What type of internet and cellular connections are available and where? What types of barriers do partners and community members face when using mobile technology? How reliable are connections and electricity? How is data currently being collected, how often, by whom, and using what methods?

The infographic below shows what we found out.

As a result of this survey, we decided that Magpi, a mobile data collection tool widely used in the international development community, is the best tool to meet the needs of this group of partners at this time.  We have been working with Joel Selanikio, founder of Magpi, as we move forward to pilot-test the tool this summer.

Infographic of survey responses


Kate DiMercurio is a mobile tech intern at Firelight.

Check out her website or follow her on Twitter to learn more about topics like this!