This is a SurveyPocket guest post and case study provided by Matthew Devlin - Interim Director of Monitoring and Evaluation at Barefoot College
Based in Rajasthan, India, Barefoot College is a community development institution focused on non-formal education, women’s empowerment, and community advocacy.
A big part of our organization is the Barefoot Solar Initiative, where over 400 women from 64 countries around the world have come to India for our six-month training course in solar electrification. Affectionately referred to as “Solar Mamas,” these women come from rural communities in countries such as Papua New Guinea, Myanmar, the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan, Zanzibar, and Colombia.
When we visit local villages to recruit new Solar Mamas, our team records baseline data for health, economic, and social indicators. Similarly, when we follow up with each Solar Mama to measure the impact of solar on their community, we implement a series of monitoring and evaluation surveys.
Many of the communities we work with are hard to reach. Previously, our team had to complete paper surveys and enter them by hand into a spreadsheet when they returned to Barefoot College’s campus in India. Now with SurveyPocket, the Barefoot M&E team can use tablets to collect monitoring and evaluation data from anywhere in the world. With Survey Analytics, our data analysis is much faster and more comprehensive.
Watch: The Solar Mamas Initiative
The Impact of the Solar Mamas (as of March 2014)
- Offline data collection allows us to continue working in villages and synchronize on our independent schedules without fear of losing data collection abilities
- SA’s 43 languages allow us to ask questions in Hindi, Arabic, French, and Swahili
- The “Cross-Tab” function allows us to compare variables we never had before
- The GPS record on each survey allows us to track changes among similar regions over time as well as conduct unidentifiable data analysis without disorganizing the series
- The time record on each survey allows managers to estimate the average length of time it takes for each survey to be completed
With SurveyPocket, I collected information on a tablet and uploaded the data once I returned to Wi-Fi in Antananarivo, Madagascar. Within minutes, I was able to download a data report from Survey Analytics and send it back to Barefoot College before I boarded the flight back to India.
The Survey Analytics suite has made data collection and analysis much faster and easier for our solar program, which has made our understanding of the impact that solar has on communities worldwide. Learn more about the Barefoot College Solar Mamas impact at: http://www.barefootcollege.org/solutions/solar-solutions/impact/.