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Mobile Data Collection toolbox

2.3.3 Checklist to help you decide

Please explore the following questions before resorting to MDC :

  • What are the objectives of the data collection exercise? Are they clear enough?
  • Will the exercise be repeated over time (and therefore the investment be worthwhile)?
  • Where will the MDC tool be used? Will data synchronisation also have to be offline (for example, in remote areas with no internet connection)?
  • Does the country office already have Android devices?
  • Is your sample size sufficient for it to be worth while? For more information on sampling see section 2.4.3 Building an analysis plan - A quick look at sampling of the Analysis toolkit.
  • Has your risk analysis shown that the data might be sensitive (e.g. personal information, information collected in a conflict-affected area or protection-related information) and will it need to be stored in a secure environment, or managed and used in particularly safe way (advanced user access, encryption…)?
  • What are the different anticipated types of data to be collected (qualitative or quantitative)? Have you made sure you can make the data collection exercise as participatory as it should be?
  • How will the data later be used?
  • Who will be collecting the data and how often?
  • Who will the data users be? Will they require different access rights or functionalities such as searching and editing information?
  • How well versed in MDC are your enumerators and survey managers?
  • What type of analysis do you expect the tool used to offer? Is there a need for automated dynamic reporting to be linked to the data collected?

Keep in mind that choosing MDC over paper-based data collection should never put at risk the “Do no harm” principle.