Welcome Mek and Chantal!


New additions to Ona!

It’s always exciting to announce our new additions. Introducing Mekdim Ashebo and Chantal Openda, our recent inclusions to the Ona team.

Mek is an exciting chap who’s joined Ona as a software engineer and is working on a project involving RapidPro, a technology platform that lets you create SMS-based apps. Together with a bot he built, RapidPro will make it easier for mothers to be informed about their child’s development progress. A junior at Harvard University, Mek has a background in electronics engineering and has a keen interest in math and computer science. He was previously a research assistant in a photonics physics lab at Harvard. A little something to know about Mek is he is astoundingly good at soccer. Rumor has it he once challenged Christiano Ronaldo to a friendly and won! Aside from soccer, he is passionate about running and has medals to flaunt for winning a few 100m sprint competitions.

Chantal has joined Ona as a growth and marketing associate. She is currently working on making Ona reachable online, so be sure to follow and interact with us on our social media pages. Through her, we are aspiring to make our efforts more customer focused than before. She was previously a business development executive at a Nairobi-based startup that represented Kenya and won at the 2015 Startup Istanbul Challenge. With 6 years experience in B2B sales & marketing and having served in various industries, she is looking forward to taking Ona to another level. She’s also a firm believer that children born with a disability have equal rights to life, a female children’s activist striving to empower African women, and a supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement. When she’s not trying to change the world, you’ll find her spending time with her son Taiden or working on her yoga poses.

We look forward to greater heights with the addition of these two vital roles.

Welcome Mek and Chantal!

Ona now fully supports HXL


Ona Supports HXL

We are really excited to announce that Ona now fully supports the Humanitarian Exchange Language, or HXL. HXL is designed to improve information sharing during a humanitarian crisis by creating a simple way to promote interoperablity of data. It does this through an ingenius approach of coding data through hashmarks (#), similar to Twitter.

Part of our mission at Ona is to promote better coordination of aid and humanitarian efforts. Key to this is achieving a common understanding of data. Data standards like HXL go a long way towards helping groups be on the same page about “what” the data is about. This allows data to be easily aggregated into common indicators and fed into data exchange platforms like HDX. We feel equally passionate about the challenge of shared location data and feel OpenStreetMap has a huge role to play here, especially as a “check-in” service.

 Continue reading Ona now fully supports HXL...

Ona at the World Humanitarian Summit This Week


2016 World Humanitarian Summit

Ona will be at the 2016 World Humnitarian Summit in Istanbul on May 23 and 24. We’ll be at the Innovation Market Place in booth 039 to talk about our work in Somalia with DFID. We’ll also be available to talk about the Ona platform.

Stop by the booth to say hello!

2016 World Humanitarian Summit Booth

Ona at the 2016 ICT4D Conference next week


2016 ICT4D Conference

Ona will be at the 2016 ICT4D Conference in Nairobi next week. We’ll be giving a talk, speaking on a panel, and meeting with partners.

Ukang’a Dickson is speaking about Advanced Mapping, Workflows, Real-Time Data Analysis and Sharing with Ona on Wednesday, May 18 @ 10:45 am.

Matt Berg is participating on an OpenSRP panel on Monday, May 16 @ 11:30 am. He is also giving an OpenSRP Technology Overview on the same day.

Throughout the conference you can find the Ona team camped out in the Exhibit Hall at the Safari Park Hotel Monday, May 16 through Thursday, May 19. We’ll be at Booth 7 representing both Ona and as part of the OpenSRP team. We’re talking about what’s new and what’s next on the roadmap for Ona.

If you want to meet, come by the booth or email cgulas@ona.io.

What's New in Ona: Release Notes


We’re constantly working to improve Ona, but we’ve overlooked letting the world know what’s been updated. To fix this, we’ve added Release Notes to keep track of updates in each release. We’ll also be sending monthly email summaries to those of you on the mailing list. Here’s the latest summary:

Chart Improvements

We’ve added a few things to charts that make them more useful. For starters, you can now group one field by another. This feature is supported for select one category fields. We’ve also added the ability to define custom colors for pie charts and stacked bar charts. This is an extension of the work from last year that allowed specifying colors for responses on the Ona maps. With our new interactive charts it is now also possible to save charts to a dashboard, allowing you to quickly refer to the charts you are most interested in. In addition to these new features, we’ve made performance improvements that should make the charts interface more snappy.

Aggregated Chart

Exports With HXL

We’ve enabled support for HXL-enabled forms on form downloads and exports. Humanitarian Exchange Language (HXL) is a standard for increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of data exchange during humanitarian crises.

Coming Soon

We’ll soon be supporting exports to Google Sheets, which will allow users to push data to a spreadsheet Google Drive. Users will be able to authenticate and either send data to an existing sheet or a new sheet. A live update option will ensure that the Google sheet is updated every time the Ona form receives new data.