No Internet Connection? No Problem: Collecting Mobile Data in Rural Communities

July 8, 2014 by Lindsay McNamara
No Internet Connection? No Problem: Collecting Mobile Data in Rural Communities

Throughout Africa, South Asia and Latin America, Hunger Project programs operate in rural and sometimes remote communities. Since we began monitoring programs using cutting-edge mobile technology, areas without internet connection have posed a challenge for our committed Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) team.

To meet these challenges, The Hunger Project has implemented the ThungerPlug®.

ThungerPlug® is a compact device that runs the server of iFormBuilder (the cloud-based mobile data collection platform that we use to monitor programs) without an internet connection. ThungerPlug® allows local Hunger Project staff to capture, sync and view data without requiring internet access.

The device essentially acts as a local area network that, when within 50 meters, will sync data from any assigned mobile device. The data is then stored locally on the ThungerPlug®, which frees up space on the mobile devices collecting data. ThungerPlug® then compacts the data allowing shorter transmission time of the data to the server once plugged into an ethernet outlet.

Moreover, ThungerPlug® allows data to be uploaded to a local cloud system. This means that enumerator teams can view, analyze and discuss the data collected on a daily basis to make adjustments, as needed, and to strategize.

To date, The Hunger Project has piloted the device in Senegal and Uganda. We are looking forward to scaling up the use of ThungerPlug® in the field over the coming months.

Learn More about M&E at The Hunger Project:

 

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