Akvo Trains Wash Alliance Members On ‘It’ Based Data Collection And Survey Methods

The Ghana WASH Alliance, a member of the International WASH Alliance, has organized a 4 day training workshop on the usage of IT in data collection and carrying out surveys for NGO’s operating in the Water and Sanitation sector.

This workshop is being facilitated by Akvo which is a member of the international WASH Alliance.

WUZDA’s Communications specialist, Shaibu Awudu, caught up with Anabel Polerts who is project officer with Akvo, to find out what exactly Akvo does and why the need for IT based data collection and surveying and why NGOs need it.

She explained that Akvo’s duty is basically to help WASH Alliance member organizations to do better data collection and usage.

There are three stages in which Akvo approaches the data gathering and usage process. According to Anabel, capturing the data, understanding what it is and sharing it are the main stages of data usage akvo considers to take organizations through, so to make them better in data collection and usage.

”We generally see three stages in the data process; the first is capturing the data, the second is understanding what the data means, and the third is sharing the data openly, to learn from each other and also to avoid double work”.
Anabel explained how exactly Akvo is tackling this clearly manifested problem in organizations in the northern region of Ghana especially.

She said the organization in dealing with this, had to create software of various kinds and with various tasks.

”We created different software tools that support these stages of data process. We have a couple of different tools; one is a data collection tool and it is called Akvoflow and one is a data sharing tool with which you report on the progress of your project, it is called AkvoRSR.

We have more of a hardware component, which can be used as combination with Akvoflow; it helps to measure water quality against very low cost. You can take this water quality test into the field and it helps to not only find out if a water point is functional, but also to measure if the water from the point is of good quality.

We have Akvosites, we support the WASH Alliance with that. it is also more for the data sharing component”.

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According to Anabel, Akvo is working on an interactive data analysis platform called the Akvolumen.

Akvo has been a member of the WASH Alliance, formerly the Duetsch WASH Alliance, since 2012 and has had since then, the primary role of ensuring member NGOs across the member countries, are able to use IT approach in how they gather and use data.

Before then, according to Anabel, members were using pen and paper in data gathering which made it uneasy to access the information.

The workshop on IT data gathering comes off every year and it brings together all member organizations to benefit from new approaches and advancements with data collection.

Some of the participants shared their joy on how they believe the IT approach would help them improve on their data Collection.

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