The annual ICT4D Conferences have proven to be an invaluable opportunity for NGOs, private sector organizations, universities, governmental agencies and foundations to share their experience in using ICT to increase the impact of development programs and to learn from each other. In 2016, 750 individuals from 76 countries and 320 private sector and public sector and civil society explored the ways to harness the full power of digital solutions to achieve the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. Our thanks to Accenture, Catholic Relief Services, Esri, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, iMerit Technology Services, Inmarsat, IS Solutions, Making All Voices Count, Mercy Corps, Microsoft, NetHope, Oxfam, Pandexio, Qualcom Wireless Reach, RTI International, SimbaNet and World Vision for making that possible.
After more than a decade of success of sustainability standards in agriculture, a debate arises on the impact of such standards and how they have contributed to improved livelihoods for small-scale farmers and their families. Unfortunately facts are difficult to demonstrate. Larger farmer-based organizations (FBOs) that run certification programs often have a low ICT-capacity and consequently no or limited technologies have been used to collect and analyze data from their certified farms and farmers.
From 2012 to 2013, THINK! Data was involved in the internal inspection program of a cocoa farmers’ association involving 16,000 members. All these members’ farms had to be inspected internally on compliance with respect to the criteria out of the cocoa standards, in their case UTZ and Rainforest Alliance. Manually assessing inspection forms of all these farms was a tremendous job, and it took all the effort and working-hours of staff at the association. Consequently, the inspection forms i.e. data that was collected in the field ended up in boxes in a storage and was not being analyzed for other purposes.
Based on this experience, we decided to build a low-cost and easy-to-use data collection and data analysis solution for certified cooperatives, which resulted in the AuditAide solution. The data collection tools, data analysis software in combination with our AuditAide ‘roadmap’, helps FBOs to structure their internal inspection process more efficiently, combine it with other data collection activities, and makes it easier for them to analyze their data by means of a custom-designed reporting module in the software. In West Africa there are currently 4 FBOs that are using our AuditAide solution.