Meet the team: Vikas Arora on quality data and public health in India

Recently, I had the pleasure of interviewing my colleague, Vikas Arora, who has over a decade of experience in the public health sector. Prior to joining Dobility India, he worked in the pharmaceutical industry, taught public health courses at university, and managed mHealth projects in rural areas. I asked Vikas about his work and the opportunities he see to further engage public health researchers in India.

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Photos from the Field: Ministry of Agriculture and IDB in Haiti

The Ministry of Agriculture in Haiti (Le Ministère de l’Agriculture, des Ressources Naturelles et du Développement Rural) recently collaborated with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) on two impact assessments in Haiti. We connected with Jery Rambao, the field coordinator for the study, and Sébastien Gachot, a rural development specialist at IDB, to learn more about their work.

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Studying the impact of the Right to Education Act in India with RTERC-IIMA
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Studying the impact of the Right to Education Act in India with RTERC-IIMA

Researchers at the Right to Education Resource Centre of the Indian Institute of Management are studying the implementation of the RTE Act in Indian states, with a special focus on Section 12(1)(c), which mandates that a minimum of 25% of seats in private primary schools be reserved for children from disadvantaged economic backgrounds. Right now, they are working in collaboration with Central Square Foundation (and using SurveyCTO!) to follow up with 2000 children who were part of an earlier study on the impact of different information campaigns on enrolling eligible students in private schools.

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Population Council: WhatsApp, early marriage, and real-time data

The Population Council conducts research to address critical health and development issues around the world. We recently connected with Andrea J. Melnikas about the Council's work in empowering and improving the lives of adolescent girls through her research on child marriage. She is using tools like WhatsApp and Google Sheets for real-time monitoring and collaboration in India, Malawi, Mali, and Niger to determine approaches to delay early marriage.

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So you’ve decided to go digital… now what?

So you’ve decided to go digital for your next data collection project. Great decision! Perhaps you were persuaded by some of the benefits of going digital including lower cost, higher-quality data, and more immediate access to your data. Or perhaps you’re just tired of printing pages and pages of paper forms, dragging them around, keeping them organized, and spending hours and hours entering the data you collected by hand. Whatever your reasons, we’re here to help ensure that your first digital data collection project is a success.

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SurveyCTO: You don’t need to be a ‘computer genius’ to use it!
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SurveyCTO: You don’t need to be a ‘computer genius’ to use it!

With the launch of our drag-and-drop form designer and the free Community edition of SurveyCTO earlier this year, SurveyCTO has become even more accessible for small-scale NGOs, students, and researchers, not to mention users who are just getting started with survey design. We hear wonderful feedback from our users daily, and we thought we'd take this opportunity to share a few recent testimonials.

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From squirrels to SurveyCTO

In this week's Terms of Reference podcast by Aidpreneur, Dobility founder and CEO Dr. Christopher Robert tells the SurveyCTO origin story (fun fact: it involves squirrels), discusses why he founded Dobility as a for-profit company, and provides a critical analysis of the development landscape.

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Data quality and measurement: A call to action

The true front line for data quality – the place where the battle for data accuracy is often won or lost – is the point of original data collection. This is the reason why we have been focusing our SurveyCTO efforts on how to help our users collect higher-quality data, and the reason why we’re painfully aware of the so many ways that we and our users could do better.

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Save the date! Join us at HumTech2016

This year, join SurveyCTO from June 7-9 at HumTech2016, the annual conference that brings "together scientists, engineers, technologists and policymakers from across academic, government, industry and non-government organizations to discuss, share and promote current research and recent accomplishments across all aspects of technology, from science to systems, that have a global humanitarian impact."

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On SurveyCTO: An open letter

It started as a modest experiment in electronic data collection embedded within a much more ambitious experiment involving microfinance in rural India. Today, SurveyCTO has grown into a mature technology platform used to collect data in hundreds of projects around the world. This inaugural blog post seems like a good time to look briefly back, and then forward to where SurveyCTO is headed...

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