Innovation and Technology
The pace of change in IT is fast and constantly creates new opportunities for collecting, managing and processing information that is of importance to development. At Stats4SD we are focusing our energies in closing data-information loops. That is how to integrate in real or near-real time the collection of data, secure storage, seamless communication with data processing engines and global databases, whilst devolving information to a community of diverse stakeholders. While this has been an area for very specialised services providers, we are exploring how to create an IT infrastructure that uses open source software and prioritises software that is already part of the toolkit of our community of partners.
Our latest advances use Open Data Kit (ODK) for data collection and R as a powerful data processing engine. They are not restricted to a single operating system or type of device and use servers that are scalable depending on needs and demand. We deliver information in multi-platform dashboards that are designed to work in contexts where internet connections are slow.
We have developed a few “proof-of-concept” apps and some apps already in use by researchers in Africa and South America, as our process of experimenting, learning and innovation continues. We are happy to share our experiences with people who are interested in international development. All of our developments are open source and available from our GitHub repository.