Open-source reporting system uses Google Earth for faster response times to problems and data-driven decisions
Submitted by: Edelman
Posted: Oct 21, 2010 – 09:54 AM EST
DENVER, Oct. 21 /CSRwire/ - /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ - Water For People, (www.waterforpeople.org), a U.S.-based international development organization, introduced a visual, open-source mobile-based data monitoring and mapping tool called Field Level Operations Watch (FLOW) today at the annual Pop!Tech conference. This new mobile application baseline and monitoring tool allows the organization to capture, report and analyze real time and historical data on water-point and sanitation-project status in developing countries over time.
At the touch of a button, community members, entrepreneurs, industry professionals, partners, staff and volunteers can quickly report on the status of their projects - showing the world that water is in fact flowing or indicating that the water system is not working properly. This rapid feedback of information will allow Water For People to understand the long-term status of their work, build on programmatic strengths and proactively address weaknesses so that investments truly can transform lives with sustainable services.
"It's not enough to install a water point and celebrate the number of people with access to clean water on that particular day. We need to be accountable for the projects we put in place and ensure that they are operating for at least 10 years," said Ned Breslin, CEO, Water For People. "With FLOW, Water For People will be better able to evaluate its work, share the results and work toward more effective and sustainable programming. FLOW enables a faster response when problems arise and gives a voice to community members on the ground."
Utilizing cutting edge technology, including Android® cell phone technology and Google Earth, FLOW enables Water For People to demonstrate real data as soon as it's reported. This wide-spectrum view into the organization's work will allow Water For People to be flexible and quickly respond when problems arise.
According to the International Water and Sanitation Centre in the Netherlands, of the 600,000 to 800,000 hand pumps installed in Sub-Saharan Africa over the past 20 years, approximately one third failed prematurely, resulting in a wasted investment of more than $1 billion. FLOW provides the technology needed to transparently and accurately assess the status of programs to avoid future unsuccessful commitments. Water For People will utilize FLOW to move toward its goal of measuring the efficacy of programming results three, six, and 10 years from the project completion date.
"FLOW truly demonstrates Water For People's commitment to its strategic plan that calls for accountability and transparency in every project. I am excited about what that means for our local programming," said Kate Fogelberg, Water For People Regional Manager, South America. "By opening up our reporting, we're flagging our own project failures to the world. It's this level of honesty that is necessary if we're going to drive progress toward future, sustainable programming successes."
Water For People will immediately begin using FLOW to track thousands of water projects around the world. Because the FLOW application is based upon open-source standards, features will grow over time as other nonprofit organizations expand its capabilities into their areas of work. Nonprofits are encouraged to join the effort by contacting the organization at email@example.com.
About Water For People
Founded in 1991, Water For People is an international, nonprofit humanitarian organization that focuses on long-lasting, safe drinking water resources and improved sanitation facilities in the developing world. Water For People works in 11 countries and strives to avoid creating dependence on charity among the communities we serve. Instead they focus on empowering local communities to plan, build, finance, maintain and operate their own systems. The organization works in Africa, Asia, and Central and South America to show that its successful programs can be replicated anywhere. Water For People is a charity of choice of the American water and wastewater community. For more information visit the website at www.waterforpeople.org.