We reinforce the sector

Strengthening NGO practices in Data Management (phase 1)

Data collection, Information management strategies, Mapping, GIS and data visualization


Date : from December 2019 until December 2023
Project managed by : Staff CartONG
World's region : Global


The general aim of the CartONG initiative is to professionalize civil society organizations (CSOs), by supporting them in the adoption and use of program data management (GDoP) methodologies and tools. More specifically, it aims to strengthen the headquarters of international and local civil society organizations, their field teams and the wider sector.

  • At head office level, by providing them with strategic support as they take on board the challenges and impacts of data management, and helping them to select the right tools.
  • At field level, by providing them with practical training in GDoP methods and tools, such as Mobile Data Collection, mapping, Data Protection and optimizing data analytics and processing (see our Learning Corner and discovery webinars).
  • At sector level, by providing input for sector-specific reflection on technological and cross-sector developments.

Many stakeholders are involved in the project’s governance or are beneficiaries. Network heads are also indirect beneficiaries of the project: Coordination Sud, Groupe Initiatives, F3E, Forim, RESACOOP, RRMA Lianes, and RRMA BFC International.

Structuring studies for the sector

In 2020, CartONG produced an unprecedented inventory of the needs, practices and challenges of French-speaking CSOs in the field of data management.

This inventory has been supplemented by other structuring work – a self-diagnosis tool enabling CSOs to assess their degree of maturity on the subject, HR tools providing methodological support to help CSOs better structure their human resources on the subject, a study on training practices, an exploratory study on the question of localization and the role of local organizations in data management.

These sectoral studies are complemented by comparative software studies, for example on Mobile Data Collection and mapping (see all here).

Exchange days

All these topics are then discussed 2 times a year since 2020 at the Francophone inter-NGO exchange session, which is a space for reflection, learning and resolving difficulties shared by French CSOs – see the global resources overview for session reports.

Resource portal and learning corner

To facilitate the dissemination of key GDoP resources, CartONG launched the IM Resource Portal in 2021. It was created to help local, national and international humanitarian and development actors build their Information Management capacity by making available in French and English technical and methodological resources, training materials, studies and lessons learned documents, and by promoting learning and knowledge sharing.

It is regularly updated with outputs produced by CartONG as part of this project, resources identified as part of CartONG’s monitoring work, and external submissions from other CSOs in the sector wishing to share their own data management resources.

The IM Resource Portal has also been complemented by a “Learning Corner” developed directly by the CartONG team and accessible via the portal (https ://www.im-portal.org/learning-corner). This sub-section of the IM Resource Portal provides practical tools – such as toolkits and other methodological tools – in French and English. Its main objective is to support humanitarian and development practitioners in their mastery of program data management tools and methods.

Discovery webinar series

As part of the project, several series of webinars were organized to facilitate exchanges between CSOs on GDoP-related topics, and to help them use the practical resources and tools available in the Learning Corner.

During the first years of the project, 8 awareness-raising sessions (in the form of webinars available online) helped to explore some of the issues by involving members of CSOs facing GDoP-related issues. This series has helped to decipher some of the issues involved, whether it be the underpinnings of digital transformation, the real risks of data protection or topics such as open source and open data.

In 2023, a cycle of webinars for local and national organizations on discovering data collection was organized between May 2023 and January 2024, and all recordings and associated media are available on this Youtube channel. After a general introductory session on data collection, the sessions focused on setting up quantitative data collection and geographic data collection. External testimonials in each session provided additional insights into the field, and gave participants the opportunity to listen to concrete examples of use and best practice in program data management.

An evaluation of the first three years of the project is available here, and you can access an overview of its conclusions by viewing the recording of this intervention, which took place in October 2022 at the GeOnG forum. Don’t hesitate to contact the project team by email (renforcement-osc@cartong.org) to find out more, and/or get involved in the next phase of this initiative over 2024-6.

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