Sigmah is an initiative by a group of NGOs to develop open source project management software for the international aid sector.
Sigmah is an open source software for the shared management of international aid projects. The software is simple, flexible and intuitive and allows each organisation to organise its own work methods, and thereby improve the Quality and Accountability of its programmes.
Sigmah is the result of a participatory project facilitated by a group of organisations from the sector. Using Groupe URD’s expertise and that of our technical and voluntary partners, Steering Cooperative members are able to develop the Sigmah software in order to address expressed needs. Sigmah software is a common asset which is made available to everyone.
Information management is a complex process in the humanitarian sector, due to the many types of data produced, high staff turnover, lack of technical expertise, geographical distance between offices (numerous field bases and headquarters) difficult working conditions (isolation, slow and intermittent internet connection, etc.). This context requires a simple, easy-to-use tool which centralises and cross-references all this data. Sigmah is a web-based application, i.e. a system which can be accessed from anywhere via the internet. Additionally, as of December 2014, Sigmah will have an offline function, enabling users to do essential tasks within the system and consult their copy of their organisation’s database, even when the internet is down.
Sigmah aims to empower humanitarian organisations by allowing them to deal with their project information management issues. With strong emphasis on user autonomy, Sigmah is designed so that each organisation can adapt the software to its own practices, and parametrisation and the organisation’s work processes may develop in parallel.
An external evaluation, funded by the Agence Française de Développement, is planned as part of the project. The aim of this evaluation will be to establish to what extent the following impact indicator has been met: “An improvement has been observed in the quality and effectiveness of the project management mechanisms of organisations that have used Sigmah for at least a year”.
Watch this video on ‘Sigmah in a nutshell’
After a successful pilot phase in 2010-2012, Phase 2 of the project began in 2013 with support from the French Development Agency. The aim of phase 2 is to allow Sigmah to be taken to scale.View
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