Written by CartONG, this paper reflects on five years of experience gained by Terre des hommes implementing MDC projects in its countries of operation worldwide. Its principle aim is to help field operations make the best use of MDC in their programs by summarizing the key lessons learned throughout these 5 years of MDC roll-out. It builds both on the institutional knowledge acquired over the years as well as on the experiences shared by three delegations (Iraq, Mali and Nepal) - deliberately different in terms of size, volume of operations, and types of interventions. This Lessons Learned paper also summarizes the path taken by the organization to scale up MDC over the years and the uses to which MDC is put, both by Tdh and by the wider humanitarian community. Lastly, it also details both Tdh and CartONG’s vision for MDC in the coming years.
CartONG has helped Tdh to support its field teams through the development of tutorials and tools to help improve the data protection practices in the field.
All of the public documentation is available on the MDC-Toolkit website. The MDC Toolkit is composed of 40 documents – created under a free license- to support the use of mobile data collection by the Tdh’s field teams as well as all the actors of the humanitarian and development sectors. The MDC Toolkit is combined with a Data Visualization Toolkit whose purpose is to help field staff improve their data visualization practices, and which may be found in the Analyze your data section of the website.
CartONG was appointed by Terre des Hommes to carry out a study on Case Management tools used in the Protection field. CartONG therefore undertook the evaluation of needs (with interviews with Tdh staff and with other NGOs), before testing out a certain number of tools,and working with Tdh on the strategy for the future on these subjects.
Find out more about the project through this infography.
CartONG developed a large part of the mobile and analysis components of FACET, a facility monitoring tool for Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) services in schools (WINS) and in health facilities (WIH).
The tools are based on Kobo/ODK for mobile data collection and on a Power BI dashboard for online visualisation of indicators and an Excel offline dashboard for more advanced analysis.
The WASH in Health Facility Evaluation Tool (FACET), jointly developed by Terre des hommes, Eawag and CartONG with support from the UNICEF/WHO Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP), is based on globally recognised indicators and is suitable across the continuum of humanitarian and development interventions.
In 2018, CartONG helped build the new version of the FACET mobile data collection and analysis tools, based on a review of the needs and also an update of the key JMP indicators on which the tools are based.
A remote support hotline for all Tdh delegations has been operational since 2016 so that any staff can ask for remote support from CartONG on mobile data collection (encoding issues, choice of tools, validation of a form before deployment, etc.). The hotline is a very well liked tool and has proved to be extremely useful to Tdh delegations. In 2018, for instance, CartONG received 63 hotline activations.
CartONG set up and has been managing since 2015 a community of Terre des hommes users on data collection and analysis, using Slack as a tool.
CartONG has been supporting nutrition surveys for Terre des Hommes-Suisse since 2013: CartONG helped TdH to switch to mobile data collection- during the first deployments our team coded the questionnaires, set up all the smartphones and trained the NGO’s local staff to use the tools. The last mission there was to train the Monitoring & Evaluation staff to conceive and encode forms as well as to analyse the data independently, with no in-country support.
CartONG has been helping Tdh with compiling documentation on Mobile Data Collection and Information Management more generally to help field teams use it in the most effective manner. Since January 2018, the documentation has progressively been made public on the MDC Toolkit website to help other organizations that might find it useful. A special highlight is the Data Visualization Toolkit available on: https://www.mdc-toolkit.org/analyse-your-data/
Some CartONG volunteers have helped in the write-up of a few documents and in the translation of most of the documentation to French.
CartONG has deployed numerous times to Terre des hommes delegations to give trainings and help with the general capacity building of national and international staff in the field on information management, mobile data collection and geographical information systems.
A total of 8 regional CartONG trainings have been organized between 2015 and 2017, with a total of 74 participants and 23 countries trained on MDC throughout Tdh’s main intervention zones, with a number also trained on Information Management more widely.
In 2018, 22 people from field operations were trained from 10 different countries through one regional MDC training (Eastern Europe), one regional Information Management workshop (MENA), and a two-week training to the Iraq Monitoring & Evaluation teams.
CartONG has been helping Terre des hommes with their Information Management and data collection strategy since 2014, by evaluating tools, compiling studies and benchmarkings (some of which have been released on the CartoBlog), counseling them on how to help the organisation augment its skills and developing training kits and communication documents for its staff, as well as helping with the technical recruitment of IM/MDC staff.
Beyond this, a HQ hotline is available and two 2-day awareness raising sessions were organised in December 2016 and January 2017 to train Terre des hommes HQ Desks and Thematic specialists on what MDC could bring to their operations and also on knowing how to adapt a standard organisation form from one context to another (through XLS forms).
A Lessons Learned paper building on 5 years of MDC implementation at Terre des hommes is expected to be released in 2019.