This post reviews a free technology assessment tool published by the Nonprofit Technology Enterprise Network. It has largely been geared towards the domestic (USA) nonprofit world. We evaluated its application to the international development industry as a resource to add to your digital development freebie toolkit.
Our high level approach digital development software vendors in a nutshell. The presentation walks through different types of vendors and questions to ask when discussing pricing, volume and features with potential vendors.
Two members of the TecSalud team, a designer and an engineer did an exercise to compare three popular data collection platforms used in global development. Angela, our systems engineer, is a programming expert with no prior knowledge of any of the tools. Jose, our designer, has never built a data collection tool nor seen one.
Across our 5 scoring categories, we found CommCare to be the most powerful tool of the three platforms, mostly because its easy-to-use interface allows users to build very simple or complex applications.
We found SurveyCTO to be very easy to use. It functions in a very similar way as CommCare, with fewer features. One benefit of SurveyCTO over CommCare is that it does provide an in-tool data visualization feature.
Magpi is a great tool for one-time surveys, with a big advantage of being the only tool of the three that works on Apple iOS.
There’s a lot of debate about what to call the industry we work in – the industry of applying technology (hardware, software, connectivity) to contribute to social good. Some popular names include “Technology for Good,” “Digital Development,” and “Information Communication Technologies for Development (ICT4D).”