- Introducing Akvo FLOW
Introducing Akvo FLOW
Mobile phone-based field surveys
Transform the process of field monitoring using smart phones. Design and manage surveys featuring location data and photos. Manage fleets of mobile devices online - and share the data they gather using dashboards and maps.
Akvo FLOW is a mobile phone and online service that transforms field monitoring using Android smartphones. Teams in development co-operation and aid networks can now monitor and evaluate initiatives in the world's poorest and most remote places, using location-aware mobile phone surveys. This helps everyone understand if each project is making a difference.
Akvo FLOW collects, manages, analyses and displays geographically referenced monitoring and evaluation data using mobile phones. It lets you create simple or complex surveys on any topic. The diversity is endless - surveys can include photos, videos, barcodes, and audio clips. Users have total flexibility to collect the information that will make an impact on their project.
Phones can store hundreds of surveys and data can be collected in areas where there is no mobile connection – Akvo FLOW automatically transmits the data once a connection is detected, so the system can be used anywhere in the world. Akvo FLOW has been under development for several years with significant field implementations already under its belt.
Akvo FLOW brings together three elements:
- Android smartphone app: staff on the ground can do surveys directly on their phones and send the data to database hosted in the cloud.
- Internet-based management tools: design surveys and manage how they are distributed to people through their phones.
- Maps and dashboards: create reports and show survey results online.
Akvo FLOW was used by the Liberian government to create a baseline survey of thousands of waterpoints, assisted by the Water and Sanitation Project, World Bank. This video was created by the team working on the project.
Why was Akvo FLOW built?
The research and development of Akvo FLOW was kick-started in 2010 by the US NGO Water For People. Working in the field, it saw that paper-based monitoring surveys were cumbersome. Compilation of data was manual and slow, there was a high error rate, results took a long time to reach audiences and were not visible or easily accessible.
Water For People partnered with technology consultancy Gallatin Systems to build a professional system, providing accountability and transparency to donors and the public through fast data collection, survey flexibility, analytical tools for data-driven decision making and visual reporting of results.
In 2012, Water For People has partnered with Akvo and FLOW became Akvo FLOW. Akvo has now taken the lead role in further developing and supporting the platform.