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Dear members,

do you have any experience/expertise in using tablets for data collections? Please share.

thank you 

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My organization leads a consortium of organizations under a contracting mechanism for USAID called TASC4 ICT that offers expertise in a whole range of information communications technology. We held our first free "coffee-break" or mini-webinar on the use of cell phones for data collection, and the video of the presentation is online here:

We are about to publish a white paper on interesting methods for ICT, and will hold another free webinar soon. This is part of our "10 Minutes to TASC" webinar series where different consortium partners present their technical knowledge and experience on special topics.

At IDS we use tablets for quantitative field data collection as well as for qualitative participatory research such as digial story telling (DST)

DST allows individuals- project beneficiaries or staff or activists- to give personal views in short films that are made by themselves on Ipads. Digital Story Telling as a process can be
empowering as it helps participants to reflect at both an individual and a group level and connect with others in the group. The stories can be anonymous, using apps for drawing and scanning and the product can be used for wider communication by 
grass roots organizations, local media as well as IDS to inform policy makers. The method is particularly suited for marginalized people whose voice is rarely heard and who want to give a personal view but also want to stay anonymous. To use stories for wider audience participants will have to have given written consent.  

one has better quality check  in developing  face to face  story  over DST but more freedom to story teller. One needs to make choice. Also internet connectivity in remote places is  a challenge so data transfer from tablet may need attention. 

Hi Dechen,

I curate a Pinterest board on mobile data collection here:

Good luck,


It is very sensitive to mother earth as it bypasses use of paper. that much less wood cutting.

but needs education in computer use if advocated for outreachworker. cost for training, follow up and maintenance. May be good idea for ANM.

I have none but I can only think of positives of using tabs for data collection. As one member has stated below, it is nature friendly as it minimizes paper use. Also,  I think it should be time saving - you know the data collected can directly feed into an excel sheet. This way it can also minimize errors - no data lost in data entry.  I don't think internet connection for data collection is a necessity but yes minimum training is probably required.

Thank you wishes..dechen

I am actually supervising a project here in Ghana and data collectors are using Tabs. Using tabs reduces the work of data collectors and managers. Skips patterns are automatic and reduces inconsistencies, while ensuring completeness. The only critical are, in my opinion, is software development. Developers should develop easy to use data collection software to enhance efficiency.

Dear Bruce,

Thank you. We are planning to use open data kit for this survey using tablets. 

Dear All,

Very valuable and useful inputs from everyone. Could you also share whether there are special programmes that need to be developed for using TABS to do a survey and if yes, where can one find such a resource in India?




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