The App in Action: Notes from the Field Testing
We have some exciting updates to share about the Ebola Care app. Last month Journey, the Ebola Care app developers, reached out to us at GlobalGiving for help connecting with grassroots organizations working in West Africa that normally wouldn’t have access to this much-needed software and technology. GlobalGiving works with thousands of locally-driven organizations around the world, and specializes in connecting these nonprofits with money, information, and ideas. We were able to connect Journey to two nonprofits in Liberia (More Than Me and Imani House) that piloted the app and provided feedback to the developers.
“I am blown away by the Ebola Care app developed by your team at Journey Apps and must say it exceeded my expectations, “ said Sam Herring, a Liberian data manager from a small organization called More Than Me. Sam was one of the field testers of the app. “The application is very user friendly, secure, which is of the utmost importance when dealing with medical data, and having data automatically dumped into a spreadsheets makes developing reports a walk in the park.”
Sam explained that as data manager, one of his biggest hurdles has been accessing real-time data: “the use of paper based forms has proven to be challenge. We've developed custom forms to capture exactly what we need in terms of data, but collecting the data has been a slow process. In order to be effective during any crisis, accessing real-time data is paramount as time is of the essence.”
Sam describes how the Ebola Care app has sped up the data collection and reporting process: “Data that once took weeks to receive is now rolling in by the minute. This allows us to identify hot zone (areas with a high rate of suspected cases), have our ambulance transport suspected Ebola patients to ETU's (Ebola Treatment Units) immediately, send in our social mobilization team to provide psychosocial support, food and cleaning items to affected homes, and our nursing team to educate residents on way to prevent the spread of the virus.”
One of the key benefits of the app has been the elimination of the use of paper forms by data managers like Sam: “Limiting interactions and contact with people is an effective means of limiting one’s chances of contracting the deadly Ebola virus. Handling thousands of paper forms not Knowing who or how many people touch them prior to you has been one of my greatest concerns. The Ebola Care app gives me the ability to collect data while limiting my interactions with hundreds of data collectors.”
Now that the app has been field-tested, the Journey team has begun working with additional organizationsto use the app for their Ebola relief efforts. (And given the nature of the technology, they’re looking forward to continual improvement of the app as more partners put it to use.) A corporate partner donated one thousand Android phones to GlobalGiving for distribution to healthcare workers in West Africa. Once the app is loaded on those phones, GlobalGiving and Journey will work hard to get those phones into the hands of the right people on the ground to make sure they can do the most good. If you know of any additional partners who may be interested in using the app, please send them this link: https://surveyglobalgiving.wufoo.com/forms/ebolacare-smartphone-request/
The Ebola Care app story highlights several really exceptional stories of people coming together to fight Ebola from within and from outside West Africa. What’s clear here is that key to fighting Ebola is not just raising more money. It’s about making sure that that the right funding gets to the right people who are driving prevention and treatment systems that make sense in the local context. That’s why GlobalGiving is partnering with Journey for this project: not only to provide our local partner organizations access to the funding they need, but also to help them connect to information, ideas, and people that can help multiply their impact in their communities.
We look forward to sending more updates in the next several months. Thank you for your support.