IPA and Gates Using ODK To Improve Safe Water Systems

Jessica Vernon from Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA,
http://www.poverty-action.org/) wrote in to contact@opendatakit.org
and shared a blog post highlighting the improvement in their safe
water systems that have come from using ODK.

The blog post (http://www.impatientoptimists.org/Posts/2012/03/Being-Smarter-About-Safe-Water)
notes that "the Dispensers for Safe Water (DSW) program at IPA
(supported with a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation) is
improving water quality by providing a point-of-collection Chlorine
Dispenser System in western Kenya. Treating drinking water with dilute
chlorine solution can cut child diarrhea by 41%, but this fact alone
doesn't guarantee impact. Using Open Data Kit, an open source set of
data collection and management tools, DSW can significantly shorten
the feedback loop from data collection to course-correction, allowing
us to identify challenges with real-time data and address issues at a
rapid pace. Surveys are built in Excel, uploaded to a server and
downloaded to a low-cost smartphone.

DSW's field officers visit chlorine dispensers in the field and
identify them individually with a quick scan of their unique barcodes.
Data are collected on any dispenser hardware problems, the backup
chlorine supply, and their frequency of use by local community
members. Daily results are then uploaded to a centralized database and
available for instant analysis to guide subsequent fieldwork.

The Chlorine Dispenser System is being scaled up in Kenya, and DSW is
committed to applying rigorous evidence to programs. Having real-time
data available for decision making helps take the guesswork out of
safe water delivery by quickly focusing efforts where they are needed
most. In this way, smartphones can help bring us one step closer to
providing safe water for all."

It's always exciting to see ODK tools powering decision-making, so
congrats to Jessica and the entire IPA team! Find out more about their
work at http://www.poverty-action.org.


Oh man I LOVE IPA - I wonder if they have used us more recently.