Thoughts on Outcomes for My Computer Science Students

I have been teaching project management to the students at the Deerwalk Institute of Technology for the past year while here in Nepal. This post describes two outcomes I hope my students achieve before they graduate. 1) Become confident communicators. 2) Understand how they learn best. Read more ›

Purchasing Software-as-a-Service vs. Doing It Yourself

I subscribe to the idea that 'software is eating the world' and want to share some evidence in the international development sector. New entrants in the space have built businesses providing Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) to support organizations in the development sector. Long-term players in the international development space have transformed their software models from do-it-yourself (DIY) to Software-as-a-Service. As an implementer, I value this enormously and advocate for this model even though some challenges remain. Read more ›

Creating Scalable mHealth Solutions

Our team just had a great experience with the CommCareHQ deployment management reports. We just introduced them to the organization's administration and they clearly showed which users were awesome and which were not-so-awesome. As I said in my last post, we deployed formhub for our pilot and for our production system. This got me thinking about data collection vs. enterprise systems and creating a scalable solution. Read more ›

Lessons Learned from Deploying the Systems Described in "Decisions, Decisions..."

I reviewed ODK, CommCare, Formhub, and Enketo in my Decisions, Decisions... post which covered data collection from a smartphone. I thought it would be a good idea to share some of my experiences and challenges when working with these systems that rely on mobile data (3G) to transmit information. Note that there are work arounds... Read more ›

Working with data on a PDF

Nepal's 2011 National Census Report is a challenging PDF file to work with. Here are some tips on extracting numbers with tricky character encodings. Read more ›