Are you running the same activity across multiple sites or locations?  

Scaling up your programme activities often brings challenges associated with programme effectiveness and data quality.  Once your programme is implementing the same activity across ten or more sites or locations you can benefit by documenting and automating these processes.

A Process Mapping exercise can help ensure that your activities are clearly documented and that they are understood by all staff in the same way.  BetterData offers a cost effective way to create a custom App that can then help automate parts of the process to save you time and improve data quality.

What benefits does this bring?

Standardising your processes, data collection tools and management approach can in turn bring several important benefits: 

  • It improves the quality of your programme data and activities
  • It makes it possible to scale and replicate your programme activities
  • It documents what data management (at different levels of the programme) need to make decisions
  • It identifies how this data will be collected, when and by whom
  • It ensures that - as data is used to make decisions - it is also validated, improving data quality

This approach to M&E is not new. It is used in many custom applications designed to manage processes in hospitals, clinics or grant administration. However, the cost of developing and customising these type of applications has been beyond the budget of most organisations.  BetterData makes it easy and affordable to create a custom App to manage and monitor your process.

How does this work?

Our staff begin by understanding your activities.  If we already have an App designed to cover your activity then we can make it available quickly and focus on areas where it needs to be modified to fit your context.  If your activity is not covered then we begin with a two-day Process Mapping workshop.  This workshops covers:

  • Interviews with programme, M&E and management staff to understand the activity
  • Breaking the activity down into a series of stages
  • Defining which people are responsible for what at each stage
  • Defining and documenting forms needed to capture management, monitoring or learning data at each stage
  • Ensure that indicator data needed for your logframe or results framework are integrated into the forms
  • Discussing data quality challenges and considering how best to address them as part of the process
  • Reviewing reporting needs for donor, management or learning and documenting report templates

The output from this workshop is a detailed Process Manual that provides clear guidance to your staff on the process, data collection tools and responsibilities at each stage.  This provides both a field manual and the documentation we need to configure an App in BetterData.

Our configuration team then use this to configure a custom App for your process with the following areas:

Workflow

The Process Mapping exercise breaks your activity down into a series of stages that follow your implementation.  BetterData includes configurable workflow that guides people through the process.  The workflow can:

  • Provide instructions on what they need to do at this stage
  • Require specific people to complete specific forms
  • Remind people about optional forms (to report outcomes or un-planned meetings)
  • Re-direct the workflow to a supervisor for data quality checks and approval to proceed to the next stage
  • Include non-linear steps, loops and sub-workflows
  • Track which stage of the activity each site or location has reached

Forms

Process Mapping also defines which forms are needed to collect data at specific stages in the process.  These forms can be created using the form builder and linked to a specific stage of the workflow.  Data collected from forms is visible in real-time on a profile for each site or location.  Forms can include:

  • Validations (what responses are allowed for each question)
  • Rules (what happens when the form is saved)
  • Permissions (which user groups are able to edit, view or update the form)

Reports

Data from these forms is used to generate reports for management, internal learning or monitoring and evaluation.  You can create additional reports using the Report Builder tool.  Reports export data directly to Google Drive for further analysis.

Profile pages

Each site or location is assigned it's own profile.  The profile shows the workflow status and any data saved to that profile.  Profile pages can show data tables, list of data or dashboards.  You can add in collaboration features that enable staff to share documents or have email discussions.