Humanitarian Operations Mobile Acquisition of Data (NOMAD)

Organisation: CartONG

Partners: iMMAP

Location: Global

Type of grant: Core – invention

Status: Completed



Summary: Humanitarian Operations Mobile Acquisition of Data (NOMAD) aims to improve information management for humanitarian organizations by linking them with the latest mobile data collection technology to improve collection, analysis and management of information.

Challenge(s) addressed:

  • Mobile technology is a fast phase market and the project has to keep up with the phase to make sure that the recommended data collection tools are up to date and effective.
  • It is a challenge for the non-expert to find a suitable tool for mobile data collection matching their context (staffing, devices, type of survey/assessments, skill level). The Online assistant of NOMAD is the first step to guide organizations.

Innovation Factor: In emergencies, time is of the essence. Mobile data collection tools help aid organizations respond quickly and efficiently, improving operations overall.

Choosing the right technology is made simple by using NOMAD’s Online Selection Assistant(link is external). From 24 tried and tested mobile data collection tools, price tags and technical specs, the Selection Assistant customizes fits to users’ needs by asking a series of questions. At the end of the survey, the best options are indicated along with a summary report. Once the organization knows what mobile data tools to use, NOMAD team members can train its staff how to use the tools and analyse the data and if the need be to join the operation to assist in the data collection process.

Added Value: Using tools like mobile phones and software like apps, mobile data collection simplifies and streamlines the data collection process in the field. As easy as checking a box on a touch screen or sending a text message, data can be collected and stored easily during times of crisis as well as times of calm. Mobile data collecting saves time, saves money, reduces margin of error and improves accuracy.

Innovation Phases Description:

  • Inception and project development: In 2010, the NOMAD project began, with a secondary data review based on research carried out by ACAPS, the Assessment Capacities Project, and UNPULSE. Interviews were conducted with key stakeholders and an online survey was performed. The NOMAD team then looked at the elements in separation, e.g. dividing tools that provide a Data Collection interface, a Geodata portal, a visualisation system and/or Communication element. The Online Selection Assistant was piloted and developed. The team then decided to build a service wherein experts in humanitarian information management can be deployed to provide hands-on assistance with the tools.
  • Information dissemination on the project: Now the project has reached a milestone in its live cycle where it has to be diffused among potential partners, humanitarian organization in order to build awareness about this new technology.

Key Deliverables / Impact:

  • Re launch and update the NOMAD WEB site with RSS feeds of new mobile solutions and launch and maintain the social media campaign
  • Organize workshops in order to disseminate the innovation amongst potential partners
  • Participate in humanitarian and development events in the coming 6 months in order to introduce the service to potential partners.

Elrha is hosted by Save the Children, a registered charity in England and Wales (213890) and Scotland (SC039570).

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