Data collection has become an integral part of every major NGO engaged in active campaigns to justify the directed use of resources and monitoring of their activities to a growing number of stakeholders, including but not limited to outside funders, governments and other partners. It is also driven by an increasing need for transparency in activities conducted in a dialog with the public at large. As the world’s largest youth organization operating in 119 countries, the World YMCA is characterized by a very heterogenous membership structure in terms of resources, capabilities and institutional capacity of each of its members (national movements). This diversity continues within the individual national YMCAs. The organization faces a core challenge to collect consistent and high-quality data across multiple organizational levels and members to provide an empirical basis for impact assessments, project and process evaluations, and other uses of empirical data for strategic decision-making and data-driven management. It further is challenged to move from established paper-based to digital forms of data-collection and by general resource constraints to justify the previously high costs of quality data collection and analysis.
The Project aims to
- develop a basic common data-framework for all its members for monitoring, impact assessment, evaluation, and controlling purposes;
- develop a Raspberry Pi hardware-based, rugged and low-cost mobile data-collection and e-learning serverbox (MODE) that serves both, as a mobile training and data-collection hub providing wireless access to mobile phones and access to an e-learning platform and data-depository through a local wireless network with no need for constant and high-speed internet access;
- enable young people to participate in the data-collection effort and develop critical basic digital and data-literacy skills through e-learning tools hosted by the databox;
- establish a basic data analysis solution suitable for different audiences across the multiple organizational levels;
- design the tools together with stakeholders at all stages of the project; and
- design the system based on open standards to ensure the ability to cooperate with a large set of stakeholders and partners.
The project is currently under review for funding.