This post extract suggestions from lecture n. 1 of week 2 and discusses their impact in the context of support to information systems of institutions and organisations in developing countries by not-for-profit international organisations. This is the third post of a series of six posts according to the mid term assignment titled “Digital Portfolio and Written Assignment”.
The lecture suggests that the number of active users in public networks increase in a such dramatic way that figures go beyond imagination.
Such huge presence of users is a resource for data research, acquisition, mining.
It is, of course, a resource for a lot of more aspects in sociology, economics and politics.
Figures suggests two more possible ideas: illiteracy is no more an issue, otherwise the “digital divide” would be a serious risk of social disruption; populations, as a whole, reached a higher level of education in relation to previous generations. The last assumption has to be carefully verified, but excluding personal cases and small communities, it seems that populations writes more and on more subjects, which could be interpreted as a literacy and cultural improvement.
As a consequence data research, acquisition and mining through users became possible and fruitful.
The reflections help to interpret the case of Master Facility List consolidation in the Republic of Mozambique.
The Ministry of Health of Mozambique was in need of consolidate the list of health facilities in the country with the aim of creating an electronic information system able to retrieve quick information everywhere in the country and having in place an instrument for decision making.
The Ministry of Health of Mozambique launched an appeal with the aim of collecting funds for financing a national survey conducted by state institution’s officers.
Mozambique covers an area three times bigger than UK, most of the roads are in bad conditions, the number of health units to visit is approximately 2,000. The Ministry of Health of Mozambique calculated the cost of the survey to be 2,000,000 USD.
Because of political reasons, the International Monetary Fund and the majority of international funders do not give direct financial support to the Mozambican government. A financial scandal is still on course1.
I have been in charge to write a project for achieving the national survey with lower costs.
Mobile phone territorial and population coverage was more than 80%, Internet was accessible from all locations interested by the survey, with these figures the use of Internet as instrument for collecting data was feasible.
I wrote a project that involved the population in data collection through an online competition. Mobile users were rewarded for the best information sent on a weekly and territorial base as incentive for a direct involvement in data collection. The project included a consistent marketing campaign. The costs were reduced to 300,000 USD.
Details are spared because they could go far beyond the scope of the post, the point is that nowadays users on big scale can be involved in data collection with a huge advantage in term of expenses.
1) There are plenty of articles on the argument, here are listed few of them:
WHO, Master facility list resource package, 2018
AHRQ Publication No. 14-0041-EF, A Robust Health Data Infrastructure, 2014
mStar, Mozambique mobile access & usage study, 2016,
Statista, statistic portal, 2017,