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NEWS: Open Data Kit Joins Open Mobile Consortium!

From: Katrin Verclas <katrin@mobileactive.org>
Date: Tue, 16 Jun 2009 13:49:44 -0400
Message-Id: <07C14388-1660-4EB2-B792-F8DE81EDB1B5@mobileactive.org>
To: mobileActive-discuss <mobileactive-discuss@googlegroups.com>, Mobiles and Development <mdevelopment@dgroups.org>, mobile-society@googlegroups.com, public-mw4d@w3.org
All of us at the OMC are very pleased to announce today that Open Data  
Kit has joined the Open Mobile Consortium.  See the press release  
below, and also http://www.open-mobile.org/news/open-data-kit-join-open-mobile-consortium 
  for more information on ODK and why it is important!

Thanks, and welcome ODK team, to the Open Mobile Consortium!

***For Immediate Release***

Media Contact:
Robert Kirkpatrick, Chairperson
Phone: +1 650 796 5709

New York, NY, June 15, 2009.  The Open Mobile Consortium is pleased to  
announce today that Open Data Kit is joining its growing line-up of  
organizations working towards social good through collaboration on  
open-source mobile technologies.

Open Data Kit (ODK) is a suite of open-source tools to help  
organizations collect, aggregate and visualize complex data. Examples  
of these tools include ODK Collect, a powerful phone-based replacement  
for paper forms, and ODK Aggregate, a scalable online repository for  
collected data.

Among ODK's users is AMPATH, the largest HIV treatment program in sub- 
Saharan Africa and Kenya's most comprehensive initiative to combat the  
disease. Over the next two years, ODK Collect will be used to conduct  
a home-based testing and counseling program reaching 2 million people.

ODK’s efforts exemplify the interoperability and code reuse that Open  
Mobile Consortium aims to achieve by bringing together diverse  
organizations building open source mobile solutions.

For example, although ODK Collect is designed for Android phones, it  
leverages the OMC's JavaRosa project to ensure that forms designed for  
JavaRosa work with ODK tools. Moreover, ODK Collect allows GPS  
location, barcode scans, photos, and video to be added to the forms --  
a powerful mix that enables an entirely new class of data collection.

Robert Kirkpatrick, chairman of the Open Mobile Consortium says: "We  
are excited to welcome ODK as a member of the Open Mobile Consortium.  
We believe that the Open Data Kit will have opportunities for field  
use far sooner than many expected. The arrival of Android in India,  
for example, indicates that ODK’s strategic decision to adopt these  
cutting edge software technologies both on mobile devices and in the  
cloud is prescient. In the meantime, a number of OMC members have  
already begun exploring possibilities for integration between ODK and  
their respective tools. ODK is yet another clear indication that the  
new generation of data collection tools is beginning to hit its stride  
in terms of power, portability, and ease of use, to the point that we  
may soon see relief and development practitioners consider abandoning  
paper en masse."

Yaw Anokwa, one of the developers of Open Data Kit, notes, "We want  
our users to choose individual technologies that are appropriate for  
their organizations and be confident that it will all work together.  
Open source and open standards are important, but we are also building  
an open community that makes the tools easy to try, easy to use, easy  
to modify and easy to scale. ODK helps organizations rid themselves of  
the problems of expensive and error-prone paper-based data collection.

ODK's demo videos, source code, and current roadmap can be found at http://code.google.com/p/open-data-kit 
. ODK is possible thanks to generous support from Google.

The Open Mobile Consortium's open source software tools help  
organizations to better serve the health, humanitarian and development  
needs of the “bottom billion,” the poorest and most disenfranchised  
citizens of the world. It is an unprecedented collaboration across  
organizations to better serve communities with open source mobile  
tools.  Together, they are building a vibrant set of platforms for  
use, at no cost, with no restrictions. OMC members share a vision that  
by working together to drive grassroots mobile technology innovation  
in some of the most challenging, resource-poor environments in the  
world, they will create a simple, flexible, and reliable set of  
technology that enable to individual and organizations anywhere in the  
world to effect social change.

With almost 280 million subscribers in Africa alone, mobile phones are  
recognized as instruments of change in finance, agriculture, media and  
development work. Mobile technology can easily provide data on food  
prices to farmers, patient  information to remote medical clinics, and  
help track supplies and logistics. It is estimated that by 2010, 1 in  
3 Africans will own a mobile phone. The Open Mobile Consortium was  
founded to develop and bring to scale free  and open-source solutions  
that leverage the power and ubiquity of mobile phones.

OMC has already brought together a number of mobile technology tools  
for collaboration and sharing.  These include, among others:

    * CommCare, a mobile-phone based application that allows community  
health workers to provide better, more efficient care and improve  
coordination of community health programs;
    * Mobilisr, an open source enterprise class mobile messaging  
platform for NGOs around the world;
    * Mesh4X, a platform for seamless cross-organizational information  
sharing between mobile devices, databases, desktop applications, and  
    * RapidSMS, an open source platform allowing for any mobile phone  
to use SMS to collect data, used in Malawi, Ethiopia and Nigeria to  
collect information and provide rapid feedback to field workers;
    * GeoChat, a flexible open source group communications tool that  
enables mobile field communications and situational awareness during  
    * Ushahidi, a web-based platform that any person or organization  
can use to set up their own way to collect and visualize information.

About the Open Mobile Consortium

The Open Mobile Consortium is a thriving and growing community of  
mobile technologists and practitioners working to drive open source  
mobile solutions for more effective and efficient humanitarian relief  
and global social development. Founding member organizations include  
Millennium Villages Project, Cell Life, Dimagi, D-Tree, InSTEDD,  
MobileActive, TextToChange, UNICEF and Ushahidi.  We are at http://www.open-mobile.org 


Katrin Verclas
Co-Founder and Editor
+ 1 413 687 9877
skype: katrinskaya

Read the latest about mobiles in social change work at http://mobileactive.org
Received on Tuesday, 16 June 2009 17:50:19 UTC

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