Data Collection with doForms Helps Improve the Lives of Mothers and Children in Rural India
With limited access to healthcare, education and many other basic necessities, Uttar Pradesh in northern India loses approximately 240,000 newborns to death by preventable causes every year.
Community Empowerment Lαβ™ initiates lasting health improvements for mothers and children in this region through careful research and collaboration between scientists and community stakeholders. This data-driven and cooperative approach enables the lab and the communities they serve to devise practical policies, to educate local communities, to implement the best solutions and make modifications based on the results.
In order to devise the best potential solutions, Community Empowerment Lαβ performs extensive research into the many risk factors that exist across Uttar Pradesh, and how those factors correlate to maternal and newborn illnesses and deaths there. This requires the gathering of extensive input from a community of over one million people and transforming that input into actionable data.
Up until 2009, the group had been collecting this input manually using paper forms, then added Intelligent Character Recognition (ICR) to translate manual data into machine-readable characters in 2009. Both processes were resource intensive and hampered by long turnaround times, inaccuracies, and high storage costs. As the organization grew, the process became unsustainable.
Realizing that automated data collection was an absolute necessity; Community Empowerment Lαβ thoroughly researched the mobile forms industry in 2012.
Their requirements were complex. Because their field data collection workforce had limited smartphone or tablet experience, any potential solution had to be easy to use. To function in an area with poor Internet connectivity, the solution would also need to allow offline collection and back-office synchronization. And because they regularly conducted long-term follow up visits with mothers, referential lookup of past data was essential.
The lab found that doForms was one of only two mobile forms solutions that could meet these requirements, and the only one that could do so at a price point the organization could afford. Further, they found the doForms team to be helpful and willing to make customizations to meet their unique needs.
The doForms Difference
doForms was able to quickly get Community Empowerment Lαβ creating, deploying, and using mobile forms in a way that’s been transformative to their workflow.
Today, Community Empowerment Lαβ is using many advanced doForms features such as Dispatch, Sync & Save, lookup tables, GPS location tagging and validation checks to efficiently collect and parse large amounts of data to be used to affect positive change. The ease-of-use inherent in the doForms mobile forms interface has empowered roughly 200 young women with no prior technology experience in a rural area to confidently use tablets to do this meaningful work.
The benefits to the organization include improved accuracy and reliability of the data collected, as well as dramatically decreased turnaround time from data collection to analysis. This in turn accelerates the implementation of the solutions and policy changes that have already positively impacted thousands, and may well save and improve the lives of millions in the years to come.