Last Friday the development team burnt the midnight oil and released Akvo Really Simple Reporting (Akvo RSR) 1.0.8, which went live a couple of minutes before Friday turned to Saturday. This release is significant as it adds the ability to do video updates of a project as well as starting our field testing of updates via mobile phone text messages/SMS.
In January the Akvo team met in the Netherlands, to among other things, discuss priorities. The priorities for Akvo RSR for the first half of 2011 we decided to be:
- Map widgets, which were nearly completed at the point. They were delivered at the end of February with Akvo RSR 1.0.4. An example of a map widget can be seen on Walking for Water’s website.
- International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) compatibility. This is related to our work with the Dutch Foreign Ministry which Peter talked about in a blog in February. This is still ongoing and we expect to showcase some of the results at the Open for Change Open Data Development Camp on 12-13 May in Amsterdam.
- Partner sites. All of you who use Akvo RSR, or would like to use it, have told us you would love to be able to have all the Akvo RSR tools on your own web site, with your own branding, without having to run your own server. We are very excited about this, as we think it will become the main way of using Akvo RSR pretty quickly. Once the first version of the IATI work is done, this will become our top priority item. We have also done some work for a client which is using Akvo RSR on their own site, to ensure it will be easier to migrate them onto this system once it is finished.
- SMS updates. The ability to make project updates in Akvo RSR using any mobile phone has been high on the list of priorities for a long time. We are very happy to say that we have just started field testing this. Kathelyne and Luuk just went to Uganda and Kenya to, among other things, field test this with some of our partners.
- Small enhancements. We have a long list of small enhancement requests, of which we have been implementing some this last month, the most fun is probably video updates (which turned out to be a rather large enhancement), which we will talk more about in a later blog post.
During the summer I expect us to complete the features which aren’t done yet, like IATI compatibility and Partner sites and improve on those which are new, like SMS updates and video updates.