Highlights Of The e-Sir Design Workshop


e-SIR Ona at the e-SIR design workshop.

Last week Ona took a trip to Naivasha for a two-day design workshop with representatives from UNICEF Kenya, the Ministry of Devolution and Planning, and sub-county level officials. We all worked together to define requirements for the Electronic Social Intelligence Reporting (e-SIR) project.

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Don't Settle. Get The Right Data Collection Tool For Your Survey


Whether you are an organization carrying out humanitarian/development initiatives around the world, or a student carrying out research for a project, when it comes to selecting a data collection tool for your next survey, choosing the first result on Google’s first page may not be the wisest choice to make. You have to be thorough and do your ‘due diligence’ when choosing a provider.

Here’s a list of the most important things to consider when choosing a survey tool:

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Karibu Megan and Henry!


Megan and Henry

We are happy to introduce Megan Schroeder and Henry Ng’enda, the new members of the Ona team.

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Leveraging Distributed Data Collection Methods For A More Democratic Agricultural Policy



Harvesting organic parsley near Watsonville, CA.

We are delighted to share with you this blog post written by Ona Impact Grantee, Adam Calo. Adam is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of California, Berkeley who is doing great work using Ona in his Farmland Monitoring Project. In his guest post, Adam tells us about his project and the data collection process with Ona.

In my early university days, I trained as a field ecologist. I long had the idea that emerging information technologies could make data collection more impactful and be used to help farmers better understand the ecology of their farms. However, during my Ph.D. program at UC Berkeley’s Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management, I came to realize that the crucial barriers farmers faced were not technical, but rather political. Understanding the ecology of their farms was never really a problem. Their decisions were constrained instead by the agricultural policies embedded in the California landscape. It was their autonomy as a tenant farmer, their inability to access loans or reliable markets, and the dearth of quality land available for their agricultural pursuits that impacted their decisions. All of this led me to think about how tools that facilitate bottom-up data collection and information sharing could be applied to more socio-ecological systems, like smallholder agriculture.

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My Summer Experience at Ona


Mekdim Ashebo is a junior at Harvard University who joined Ona as a software engineering intern. In this interview, Mek tells us about his experience at Ona, his projects and what he enjoyed about Nairobi.

Mek Summer at Ona
Mek sits at the center of attention on his last day.

What projects were you involved in at Ona?

The core project I was involved in was one on tracking early child development. I assisted in the design of an enumerator bot that could make it easier for health workers to track the development of children under 5 years. With leading technology companies taking the route towards artificial intelligence, it comes as no surprise that Ona is following suit. The bot, called Sofia, interacts with mothers/caregivers via Facebook Messenger or Telegram to collect data about their children. She does this by asking the mother several questions about her child’s health like, the child’s ability to walk on their own or their ability to say certain words. The project is currently being piloted in Indonesia.

I also participated in some tasks for OpenSRP and RapidPro.

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