Since 2015, the Mobile Acquired Data (MAD) series of research activities have supported and assessed the use of digital data collection apps within the context of agricultural research projects in low resource settings. MAD is led by AgImpact and funded by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR).
The research commenced with a desktop review of 17 commercially available apps and piloted two in the field. From there the MAD team has worked with nine ACIAR research projects across Asia and the Pacific to understand how apps impact project management and operations.
The objectives of the MAD research series are to:
- Determine the suitability of digital data collection applications in the environment in which ACIAR projects operate – that is, remote rural areas in developing countries.
- Understand the impact apps have on the ‘knowledge relationship’ between field researchers and smallholders.
- Identify the resources, training and support required for projects to effectively mainstream apps.
- Assess the value add of projects and programs adopting apps to monitoring and evaluation (M&E) processes, communications of project impacts and collaboration between projects.
- Establish a mechanism to sustainably scale out and share lessons for future teams and organisations looking to adopt apps.
The MAD Showcase
With the current MAD research due to finish in September, AgImpact and ACIAR is hosting an event to showcase the activities and provide an opportunity for researchers, development practitioners and policy makers to see and hear the results of the research series.
The agenda will provide the opportunity to hear first-hand from the MAD project team and collaborating project partners the opportunities, challenges, successes and pathways for adopting digital data collection apps uncovered in the MAD research series projects.
The showcase will have a general overview session and three targeted sessions for specific groups:
MAD for Institutions – Targeted at senior management interested in adopting CommCare across their organisation, both in Australia and overseas. E.g. funding agencies, policy makers, government extension, research institutes, non-government organisations and the private sector.
MAD for Projects – Targeted at ACIAR projects leaders and research/development team leaders interested in adopting CommCare in a project.
MAD for App Managers – Targeted at people who are interested in the survey building elements and specific features of CommCare.
CommCare is an open source mobile platform designed for data collection. It was evaluated during the MAD pilot as being suited well to agricultural research projects operating in remote rural areas with limited connectivity.
When: Wednesday, 9 August 2017 8.30am to 5.00pm. The MAD Showcase will directly follow the Crawford Fund Parliamentary Conference on 7 and 8 August.
This year’s Crawford Conference theme is Transforming Lives and Livelihoods – the Digital Revolution in Agriculture
The MAD team will also be available on Thursday 10th August to share additional learnings and address follow up questions with any attendees in a less formal setting.
Where: Canberra, Australian Capital Territory. A specific venue is to be confirmed.
Cost: Registration is free, however there are limited places available. You will be responsible for your own travel and accommodation costs to Canberra.
Registration: To register please RSVP here.
Registrations close 12 July 2017.