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April and May have been very busy months, mostly taken up with testing, training and analysis.

As we mentioned in our previous blog data collection has completed and we have now also completed cleaning the data. We have run an initial analysis and are working on producing a draft interpretation of this ready to share internally amongst partners at first and then with a wider audience as the project draws to a close.

Software development continues to dominate most of our time following feedback from pilot and partner testing.  The software was piloted in India, Yemen, Myanmar and Ethiopia, and was shared with all partner NGOs and members of the original MRP steering committee such as WFP, Unicef and ECHO.  Whilst we didn’t get quite as much feedback from external partners as we would like, we have had some very engaged feedback.  This has been mostly positive and very constructive.  The process of sharing version 5 has allowed us to identify areas that need work; areas which we will need to pull out and really explain well in user manuals and areas that are working well.  Inevitably, the pilot and partner testing resulted in a long list of jobs for the software developers, which has meant further delays in development.  We have also had to take a look at the outstanding development areas and identify priority areas for a go live version and consider some elements that may be released after an initial release.  In the last blog we mentioned the 30th May as our roll out date, due to increased work from pilot and partner testing (and training which will be covered below) this is now planned for the 30th June.  No further delays are possible after this as our funding will draw to a close.

In preparation for the end of development and roll out of the new software, we have facilitated 2 training of trainers (TOT).  The first was a regional TOT in Nairobi, with participants attending from East Africa, Nigeria, Afghanistan, Myanmar and the Asia regional office.  The second took place in London and was attended mostly by head office and emergency teams from SCUK, SCUS, ACF and Concern.  A separate web-based training was facilitated for IMC as they were unable to attend other dates.  We were working with a much more developed version of the software than was released for testing and so were essentially able to perform end-to-end testing of the software during the training (raising more issues and increasing developer’s work which has contributed further to the delay).  Pictures from the Nairobi training are below.

Despite all the delays, we are coming to the end of development and the end is in sight, and so preparation is on-going for issues such as data migration, website development, training manuals, finishing touches, writing of help page screens and eventually the launch.   Once complete, the software will be housed on a new website which is under development (near completion).  We have the first drafts of the website and have purchased a new web address.  In the next update we will present the layout of the site.

Finally, the evaluation of the current system and system requirements has been completed.  The consultant performing this evaluation presented her results in London next week and the report is being finalised.  Once finalised, it will feed into an overall briefing report of the project which will include case studies, description of the process of development, lessons learnt, findings etc.  This will be widely shared.

For information related to any of the above, please contact Susan Fuller at s.fuller@savethechildren.org.uk

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