On July 10, Mark and Anahi participated in a Google+ Hangout to talk about the Humanitarian Data Toolkit to a wider audience of donors and potential partners. The Hangout was not only an opportunity to discuss lessons learned from piloting the HDT in Dadaab, but also talk about the future development of the toolkit.
While the pilot provided a proof of concept that the HDT's workflow of data collection and aggregation could be accomplished in ten days (2 days of preparation, 3 days of enumerator training, 3 days of data collection, and 2 days of data cleaning), it also demonstrated clear opportunities for further development. The HDT needs to be further streamlined to become a one-click install software solution for information needs assessments. As it is designed to be open source and customizable, we are also improving the toolkit's flexibility to be modular (i.e. enabling organizations to use different software as they like). We also intend to further develop the software currently contained within the kit, including an analysis tool that can generate rapid data analysis from raw survey data. Furthermore, instructions and design need to be simplified, so that even those with little technical knowledge can learn how to use the toolkit easily and quickly. We hope to continue our human centered design approach to understand how to improve the design of the kit, and integrate some of the recommendations that arose out of last summer's design challenge with DT:DC.
The Center is currently seeking additional partners to operationalize and test the toolkit in other countries. This would not only improve the technical aspects of the kit, but also increase the number of humanitarian organizations that can autonomously conduct information needs assessments in their areas of operation.
Thanks to the Internews Development Team, and particularly Amanda Frankel, for organizing Humanitarian Data Toolkit: a Rapid Assessment Kit for Emergencies!