*The following PDF is available for download HERE
Philosophy of Mobile Technology
Mobile technology has proven itself a powerful and efficient tool that accelerates achievement of project objectives and ultimately of development goals. There is increasing evidence that digital data collection is faster, often more reliable, and in many cases, more economical than traditional forms. And over the past several years, PCI has gained significant experience using mobile technology to collect data. In an effort to provide quality programming in all of our project areas, PCI is committed to continuing to leverage the benefits of mobile-technology enabled data collection, while expanding the use of mobile technology into new areas such as mobile health (mHealth), mobile money (mBanking), and mobile education (mEd). In order to achieve these results, PCI will approach mobile technology usage from a technology development lifecycle perspective in which all technology is planned, developed, tested, implemented, and adjusted based on lessons learned.
IO Mobile Technology Team
PCI has established a mobile technology team, which is committed to the following:
- Driving the overall PCI mobile technology agenda
- Helping PCI become a sector leader in mobile technology usage
- Providing coordinated technical assistance to country and project teams in order to effectively deploy mobile technology
- Engaging key stakeholders in the mobile technology development process
The core technology team is comprised of the following:
Role: Provide oversight of all of PCI’s mobile technology needs and applications
Information Communication Technology (ICT) Officer
Role: Provide overall management of PCI’s mobile technology needs and applications
Process of Developing and Implementing Mobile Technology
Successful implementation of mobile technology is very rarely the result of the technology itself but rather the result of proper design and implementation of Systems and Processes. If a need for mobile technology has been identified or can benefit from mobile technology, a process and system has been developed to help facilitate engagement with the core mobile technology team in the mobile technology development lifecycle. Please refer to the attached flow chart (mobile technology in project implementation).
Increasingly, PCI is using mobile technology in proposal development and the mobile technology team has created a specific strategy for this. Please refer to the respective flow chart below (mobile technology in proposal).
Whether for project implementation or proposal development the process flow is divided into three main phases:
The focus is on identifying the need for mobile technology, or the problem that mobile technology will solve, and then determining budget, use case, relevant staff to be involved. At this point, whoever identifies the need for mobile technology (country staff, project staff, TSU, NBDU) can engage the mobile technology team. The IO mobile technology team can provide a guidance document to help think through needs and issues such as staffing, device hardware, connectivity, costs of ownership, and other concepts of mobile technology deployment. Initiation discussions will result in the formation of a single point of contact or team of people that will work directly with the IO Mobile Tech Team
Once the ‘need/problem’ has been defined the IO Mobile Tech Team will help facilitate discussion with other key stakeholders (Country, TSU, and SII) to confirm the need/problem, budget, and capacity to implement mobile technology. The mobile technology team will work with the country team or country point person to scope the design requirements for the solution and develop a prototype or demonstration application to test. Testing will look at how the application works on specific mobile devices, connectivity/data sync issues in the country or context and user friendliness.
In this phase the IO Mobile Tech Team will work with the in-country mobile tech lead or team in building the mobile technology solution. After initial system testing, the application will be ready for deployment in the field. The IO team will work with country staff on a training plan for end users prior to full roll out. Once the application is in use, the IO team will continue to provide technical support and guidance on using and maintaining the mobile technology solution. The IO team is also available to travel in-country to provide hands on technical support and training for implementing staff. At regular intervals during implementation, the IO team will gather feedback and lessons learned from the implementing team and use that information to improve application functionality and improve staff capacity to implement the solution.
The IO mobile technology team is currently in the process of developing tools and resources to help PCI successfully adopt mobile technology into its programming. Tools and processes are currently being developed for each of the phases (initiate, scope, implement) and will be available in the coming months. Currently we have 2 tools available
- Planning document
- Procurement checklist
Additionally, the IO mobile technology team will be able to provide a list of various services related to all parts of the mobile technology development lifecycle. These services include but are not limited to the following: