You are viewing an old version of this page. View the current version.

Compare with Current View Page History

« Previous Version 3 Next »

The purpose of the Project Needs Assessment Tool is to understand the priorities of your organization and expected outcomes of the mobile intervention project.


The tool is available here as a Word document.

The Needs Assessment tool was developed for Dimagi staff to use during initial scoping of a project. The goal is to understand the program priorities, expectations, anticipated barriers, resources, costs, and partnerships. The information collected in this process is used to inform timelines, application design, and project planning. Walking through the questions in this tool may assist your organization in thinking through the early stages of a pilot design.

Explanation of Tool

The purpose of this survey is to understand the priorities of the organization and expected outcomes of the mobile intervention. 

Part One - Program Priorities and Expected Outcomes


Most important areas that the program will benefit from deploying CommCare

  • An indication of the kind of application the organization wants - workflow, counseling, data collection.  
  • For example, if Supervision of FLWs is selected, you might want to focus on training project team on using and interpreting CCHQ performance reports more. You may engage with project team early on about what their current supervisory structures are and if we can involve key people from those roles during design and training.
  • For example, if Monitoring and Evaluation/data analysis is checked off, you may want to spend time understanding whether form exports or case exports will be important for partner. You may orient them on custom reports, or determine if keywords in the form builder need to specifically defined for ease of data analysis later on.
How partner perceives FLWs to benefit from deploying CommCare
  • Use this information to focus on features that will help the FLW improve upon whatever is listed.
Barriers expected for the mobile phone intervention
  • Lack of on-the-ground infrastructure - This refers to network, power, electricity, but also no office on site. Can be important in planning site-specific work
  • Government/health system barriers - May be an indicator of the need to reach out to other organizations and learn from their experience.
  • Lack of technology/computer programmer staff - If this refers to lack of MIS capacity, find out at which levels. I.e. if at field level, you'll know at that level staff may not be able to understand any downloaded data correctly. In this case, is there capacity higher up
  • Lack of program staff capacity - Make sure you check in with Program Manager if they'll have a field-based Project Coordinator or at least someone who will be able to support the deployment closely.
  • Lack of mhealth budgeting/finance capacity - See Total Cost of Ownership model which should be used as a planning tool.
  • Lack of interest/understanding/commitment from organizational leadership - This is worrisome for scale-up. Will likely take a huge lift and crossing red tape to grow the project. Discuss in advance plan.
  • Lack of donor interest/funding - The POC packages will enable organizations to try and learn CommCare. It may be easier to apply for grants if organization's demonstrate they have had some experience testing the intervention at a small scale.
  • Cost of deploying technology - At some point, I would share our Total Cost of Ownership Model
  • Inability to scale after pilot - Probe why this is so.
Factors the organization will focus on to determine whether CommCare should be scaled up


Part Two – Organizational Survey


Information about:

  • number of FLWs and direct beneficiaries they work with
  • supervisory structure and 
  • performance expectations of FLWs


  • Number of FLWs and Beneficiaries: Can inform how you approach organizing user groups, reports and processes even if working at a pilot level. Run pilots with scale in mind.
  • Supervisory structure: Determine early on if supervisors need to be brought into design and field testing of the application and most importantly, training the users. Determine what role the supervisor will play during the training and post deployment. Based on this, determine if the supervisors need any training on the mobile tools. For example: will they troubleshoot phones, will they view performance reports and take respective actions/decisions in the field?
  • Performance expectations: Interesting discussion to start with organizations. Most do not have performance metrics. You may discuss our work with Active Data Management and get organization to start thinking about bench marking.
Language, literacy and technology experience of mobile users and  project staff
  • Mobile users: 
    • Important information to consider whether the application needs multimedia support for better usability. 
    • Begin to think about where and how you may use media (i.e module and form names, in every question vs. some questions etc.). 
    • In which language do the mobile users need to see the application? 
    • In which language will training have be delivered?
    • Is it necessary to assess literacy more robustly?
    • Is it necessary to assess the technology experience of the user in greater detail? (See Mobile Experience Survey)
Network and electricity challenges expected
  • Start thinking about device feasibility. If power and electricity are a problem, and user may not have access to charging facilities after long hours of device use in the field, a tablet might not be a good device.
  • If network challenges are persistent, consider that data collection will not be real time, but data collected will be saved on the phone and then sent once connected to network.
Government collaborations that the organization may leverage for scale
  • Good to consider if there are useful connections with government, especially for scale-up potential. May want to encourage inclusion of a government official during the field testing/design phase to at least review the material. This builds government ownership of the content at early stages. Could also include government representatives in training.
  • No labels