byHarro Riedstra via web
The D2D project on partner services focuses on Akvo’s activities to further develop our expertise on our ‘services’; to train our partners on our tools and on these services and implement the services in joint projects with our partners. The services project includes our services on PMEL, data science and analysis and feedback systems. Lastly, the project also includes our activities on improving Akvo’s technical support to our partners.
Building the capacity of our partners on D2D is at the heart of Akvo’s work. Through training, Akvo supports partners both in knowledge and skills. In this subproject, Akvo evaluates its training and implements improvements, also based on input from participants. The ultimate goal is to contribute to higher data quality, ensuring greater sustainability and better long-term outcomes for the work of our partners. In 2018 the focus will be on further implementing training evaluations and following up on those, to improve the training materials that we provide and to increase capacity building coverage through developing online training
Programme support and helpdesk
To make the application of technology work effectively, support is essential. Akvo wants to not only maintain its current level of service provision, but where possible and needed professionalise it further. In 2018 the focus will be on ensuring Akvo's partners are well serviced by the professionally managed helpdesk and high-quality support documentation and ensuring Akvo’s partners can make most efficient use of Akvo’s tools by keeping the online self-help materials on Akvo's products up-to-date.
In 2017 Akvo set out to “further develop and professionalise tailor-made planning, monitoring, evaluation and learning (PMEL) methods (...) to enable our partners to collect relevant quality data that they can use to improve the effectiveness of their WASH interventions.”
A solid base for this objective was developed in 2017 by the participatory development of the organisational Theory of Change of Akvo, which visually explains how we support our partners to become more collaborative, transparent and effective, with PMEL support services with software tools. In the first months of 2018 the ToC will be rolled out to the hubs, followed by external communication to our partners, focusing on the benefits of developing ToC’s within their organisations.
Furthermore, guidelines for partner intake and outcome assessments will be developed and piloted after which colleagues in the hubs will be trained to implement them. Partner intake assessments will be facilitated at the start of a new partnership, to help determine PMEL and data service support needs at the start of the partnership and enable us to offer our partners effective, tailor-made solutions. Connected to the intake assessment, annual qualitative outcome assessments will be facilitated to review to which extent partners are using insights from the data they collected, for decision making, accountability, steering and learning. The first findings from this annual assessment will be generated towards the end of the year.
Lastly, we will improve internal capacity on PMEL to ensure we can better support our partners in developing PMEL expertise through training and support.
Data science and analyses
The overall objective of the D2D activities on data science and analyses is to facilitate and support data science processes with our partners. In 2018, we want to focus on developing further data science projects and further create awareness among our partners on the added value of data science by sharing our knowledge and expertise.
In 2018, Akvo will therefore create a data science project demo case in the WASH sector based on the open data collected in Sierra Leone. A summary of that case will be developed that can be easily used to demonstrate the potential of data science to our partners.
Secondly, we aim to link WASH facilities functionality with budgeting. We will create an interactive tool that will help to predict how the amount of functioning WASH facilities can (potentially) change based on the investments in a specific region and increase or decrease in the budget allocation. A hackathon will be organised in Amsterdam to bring together a group of data specialists and help us tackle that problem. The hackathon will be based on the dataset of Sierra Leone.
Lastly, based on the results of the prototype that we expect will be developed during the hackathon we will adapt the tool to data obtained in the Nine Country Programme to provide local governments with a tool they can use for increasing sustainability of the WASH facilities. In order to be able to scale up and provide our partners with better support for data science and data analysis projects we will increase the internal capacity and build an Akvo data analysis experts team. We will do this be continuing training we started in 2017 and through creating guides and tutorials that can be used both internally and externally
Based on the work in 2017, in 2018 we will develop a WASH survey portal supporting SDG-monitoring. To support SDG-monitoring there is a great need for aligning data collection on programme level by predominantly NGO’s/local authorities, and national level by the National Statistical Agencies. A survey library with standardized surveys which support data collection on both levels ensuring that programme data can also be used for SDG monitoring at national level has a lot of added value towards filling data gaps.
The aim is to start the library with surveys and indicators focusing on the SDGs on water, based on the surveys and indicators developed by the JMP. After that, this library will be extended with other topics and other surveys and indicators. If our partners require this, an integration will be built with Flow which allows for automatic importing of the surveys.
In 2018, Akvo will support the development of projects that include feedback systems and feedback loops, based on the work done in 2017. Secondly, we will develop a concept including a business model for a system in which local people are trained to become professional data collectors that can be called upon when data is required on their local environment. This concept will be developed by Akvo in cooperation with interested partners and a pilot proposal will be submitted to potential funders.
Specific objectives 2018
A1. To enhance capacity on data to development tools and practices with our partners through improving Akvo trainings. A2.To increase the audience reached by capacity building efforts on data to development through developing online trainings. B1.To ensure Akvo's partners are well serviced by the professionally managed helpdesk and high quality support documentation B2.To ensure Akvo’s partners can make most efficient use of Akvo’s tools by keeping the online self-help materials on Akvo's products uptodate C1. To communicate the Akvo ToC internally at Akvo C2. To develop a strategy and material to share Akvo ToC and ToC expertise with partners C3. To share Akvo ToC and ToC expertise with partners " C4. To develop guidelines for the intake / inception assessment with new partners and support colleagues in performing these assessments C5. To develop guidelines on the facilitation and analysis of annual qualitative outcome assessments (based on pilot 2017) and support colleagues in performing these assessments C6. To analyse findings of qualitative outcome assessments and follow up to improve the services and tools offered by Akvo " C7. To investigate and improve internal capacity on PMEL D1. To create a WASH democase for data science projects D2. To organise a hackathon based on the WASH demoset to investigate the link between WASH facilities functionality and budgeting. D3. Adapt the tool developed in the hackathon to data obtained in the Nine Country Programme to provide local governments with a tool they can use for increasing sustainability of the WASH facilities. D4. To support Akvo partners in discovering potential of data analysis and science for becoming more efficient in their work." D5. To enable increasing capacity in data analysis among our partners by increasing internal capacity to train and assist our partners. D6. To further develop data science services in Akvo and increase awareness of our partners that such services are available. E1. To develop an Akvo Survey Library Portal in Akvopedia including both surveys and indicators, focusing on the WASH SDGs F1. To support and develop practical projects including feedback systems F2. To discuss and prepare a proposal on engaging local data collectors in data collection in Africa and present this to interested funders, including Omidelta