Above: The road by Thomas Baron.

2018 is here, and the Akvo Flow team are looking forward to another year filled with improvements, so that you can continue scaling your data collection projects in a simple way. Before I share a peek into the ideas we have for this new year, here is a little summary of what happened in 2017.

Scaling your data collection

Our number one goal in 2017 was allowing you to scale your data collection with Flow. We improved Flow’s technical architecture to make it a faster and more reliable tool so that you don’t have limitations when capturing data. Besides fixing bugs you shared with us, we also improved the overall performance of Flow. Have you created a large survey form with more than 100 questions in Flow? Now it will show up within two seconds, rather than the everlasting 15 seconds it took before. (more…)

Above: Akvo’s open source badge, designed by Thomas Bjelkeman-Petterson and Anke van Lenteren. 

At Akvo, we believe that open source software provides substantial benefits for organisations in the international development sector. Nowadays, we expect a high quality and rich feature set from any software that we use. 
Thanks to open source software, relatively small organisations and development teams are able to build sophisticated and feature-rich applications by virtue of gluing together pre-existing open source software components in unique or specific ways. To be able to reuse all those pieces is awesome, as it is a lot less complex to assemble existing components than it is to create them from scratch. (more…)

Above: Photo by Matthew Henry on Unsplash

At Akvo, we help organisations in the international development sector capture, understand and share data in order to improve decision making. In a bid to become more effective and evidence-driven, governments and the international development sector often collect more data on people than is actually required to solve a problem.

In the excitement of trying to do good through big data, it can often be forgotten that we are still dealing with real people. Not numbers or strings or objects – natural persons. Their data can be emailed around, left on laptop harddisks, copied to phones or USB sticks, or retained indefinitely in unsecured backups. A data breach in the international development sector can have dire consequences for the organisation involved and could also be detrimental to the individuals identified by the breach.

GDPR – the General Data Protection Regulation – is a term that’s been on the minds of many in the sector in recent months. This new EU law will replace the current Data Protection Act, and introduces new requirements for how organisations deal with personal data.


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