Wadih Al-Eid
Regional Data Management Officer
Duty Station: Amman, Jordan

I’m addressing the challenge of how to integrate mobile-collected data into the RAIS system.

There is an increasing need in all operations across the MENA region to collect data using mobile devices and to then store the data in one system that can be processed and used to generate various data products (visualizations, maps, reports, etc.).

There are four main challenges I would like to address in the following order:

  1. How to enable offline/online functionalities.
  2. How to accommodate data from different sources with variable structures (data from UNHCR operations and implementing partners) and provide flexibility (because the data structure could change overtime).
  3. How to track geographical location data.
  4. How to ensure data consistency, protection, and security.

I want to find a solution to this challenge because a solution will improve information exchange among different partners and ease the constraints on connection availability.

I chose each challenge for a specific reason.

  1. Addressing offline/online functionality first will solve a major issue for all stakeholders, as most of them are struggling with connectivity issues in camps and some urban areas. Where connectivity is unavailable, stakeholders can’t see the value of the project if it does not first solve the connectivity issue.
  2. Mobile data can come from different sources: it can be assistance data, referrals from the field, or data from various assessment forms. It is crucial after solving the offline/online issues to look at the different data sets and try to extract the common data that is relevant to stakeholders’ work. This will provide flexibility and therefore improve data sharing and increase the value of collected data.
  3. The increased reliance on mobile-collected data in humanitarian work has raised the importance of collecting and analyzing geographic location information. The solution to tracking the geographic location of data should enable GPS data collection and link it to the underlying activities (assistance distribution, protection referral and assessment).
  4. Collected data will be used to improve coordination among agencies and to improve strategic planning and decision-making. Therefore, the solution should guarantee a high level of reliable data protection by enabling secure access to data.