5.1.4 Use software that works on multiple platforms

Finding software that works on multiple platforms will facilitate technology use. This is particularly important for organizations using one software or application but working in multiple regions or countries in the world. That way, software can be used with locally- available platforms. Multiple platforms that function on- and off-line can also ease sharing and back-up of data. In Kenya, EDC programmed the questions for Survey-to-Go at a laptop or computer workstation and downloaded the survey via the mobile application. Data was collected off-line and stored on the device while off-line. Once online, the data can be immediately uploaded to the remote database.

Creative use of surveying devices can also engage youth in different ways. The SYLP delivered services via SMS and radio instruction. Their M&E system also made creative use of multiple platforms to interact with youth in innovative ways.

Bright Ideas: EDC Creatively Employs Mobile Infrastructure to Survey and Engage Youth

The Somali Youth Program employed mobile infrastructure for both program delivery and M&E. The three main technology uses are detailed below.

Infomatch Survey: To test the effectiveness of using short message service (SMS) for job matching, the SYLP completed a one-day survey sending 200 randomly-selected participants an invitation to participate in the survey. SYLP sent six questions in Somali language via SMS and offered a phone credit incentive to be split between the first nine respondents. Eighty percent of the youth responded within one hour of the survey being sent.  The total response rate was 90 percent.

Placement Satisfaction Survey: Using the existing database of learners and mobile phones, the SYLP conducted phone interviews of learners who had completed the program in Burao to gauge their satisfaction with job placement.

Interactive Audio Instruction: The SYLP included an audio learning on financial literacy and entrepreneurship. After learners listened to MP3 audio instruction, they could respond to a streamed quiz by plugging true or false answers into their phones.  Program coordinators could see in real time who was listening and who was learning. Over the course of 40 episodes of the financial literacy services broadcast to 1,400 listeners, they received 757 calls from 18 devices across Somaliland, Puntaland, and South Galkayo.