Saferworld

MEL system

Saferworld is an independent international organisation working to prevent violent conflict and build safer lives.

Challenges

Saferworld has pioneered the use of outcome harvesting for many years.  Staff began collecting data in an online system designed by Kwantu in 2011.  We agreed to work together to update this, taking advantage of new technologies and tackling challenges that staff had.  These included the need to:

  • Support staff working with intermittent or no Internet
  • Following a focused, but extensible approach that allows the scope to grow over time
  • Introducing user roles and workflow to review and validate data
  • Improving how data is used

Approach

Using Skype and Zoom calls, we were able to review and update the original Process Manual to cover the changes and enhancements.  As the scope clarified we decided to cover two separate, but linked apps:

  • MEL - enables teams and partners to record outcomes and track activities
  • Projects - manages a list of projects with basic information on each project.  Projects listed here can be linked to teams or partners

Once the Process Manual and the scope was clear, we configured the first version of the two apps within a couple of weeks.  These provided the basis for the MEL team to review and give final feedback needed to refine the apps.  They were then ready to pilot with country teams, ahead of a full rollout.

Apps

MEL app - This app creates a profile for each team or partner that Saferworld works with.  Partners and teams have roles base access to their profile, but cannot access other areas of the app.  Each profile is pre-loaded with core information on the partner or team name, projects and location, avoiding the need to re-enter this data.  Partners and teams can log outcomes, which are then assigned to MEL staff who follow them through the outcome harvesting steps.  They can also record progress against core activities every quarter.

Projects app - This app manages a list of all projects and key information on the project.  Projects are linked to teams or partners implementing them, allowing outcomes to be linked back to projects.  Placeholders are left to extend this further, including managing and publishing data to IATI.

Reports app - This is a standard app.  It enables Saferworld staff to create and publish their own reports.  These combine data from any field on any form to create an XLS or PDF file.  Once published staff or partners can request up to the minute data.  The app also creates a JSON feed that pushes live data into other databases for analysis or visualisation.

Outcomes

The new MEL and projects apps provided a simplified and streamlined way to record and validate outcomes and link them to projects.  The inclusion of roles allows Saferworld to give partners direct access to enter data.  The workflow then provides MEL with notifications on new outcomes and activities, which they can then review before they are included in reports.

Summary reports give MEL staff the overview of how many activities and outcomes each team and partner have recorded.  This helps direct attention to those that need help to incorporate the app into their work.