Accelerating early earthquake recovery in Nepal with ACT Alliance

The 2015 earthquake dealt a devastating blow to Nepal. Its rugged terrain made the relief and recovery work extremely challenging for the government and humanitarian sector. A total of 2.8 million people were displaced by the earthquake across 39 districts, with over eight million estimated to have been affected.

The ACT Alliance consortium was, at the time, the second largest network of humanitarian and development organisations working on the ground. ICCO Cooperation provided vital technical support to this consortium, using Akvo Flow to conduct rapid needs assessment surveys. Additionally, the use of Akvo RSR as a monitoring tool allowed the consortium to accurately keep track of progress across a wide geographical area covered by various implementing partners.

Above: Thakur Tamang participating in masonry training in Nepal. Photo by the United Mission to Nepal.




Disaster relief


Tool training

Survey design

Monitoring and evaluation (M&E)

The challenge

After a disaster, a needs assessment survey is the first step in programme design. Before humanitarian organisations and governments can act, quantitative and qualitative data is vital in identifying the real needs of affected communities. Given the widespread nature of the devastation, coupled with the remoteness of the districts and the vast number of implementing partners, data collection was a serious challenge. The team needed to capture reliable data and share it immediately. The monitoring and evaluation (M&E) team faced similar challenges – how could they share updates, track progress and manage knowledge with such a widespread location and team?

Simulation Earthquake Exercise
Above: Earthquake simulation exercises with the Rural Community Development Center (RCDC) in Nepal. Photo by RCDC.

The partnership

ICCO proposed the use of Akvo Flow for digital data collection. The online workspace makes it easy to connect dispersed teams and accurate, geo-tagged data is immediately available. Together with the other members of ACT Alliance, ICCO collected real time data using Flow in the eight hardest-hit districts.

Akvo provided ICCO Cooperation with technical support so that they could use the data platform, create surveys, and aggregate large-scale quantitative and qualitative data in Flow and RSR respectively.

The change

Akvo Flow allowed the consortium to capture crucial information regarding the most pressing needs of the local communities devastated by the quake. The geo-tagging feature also enabled a more accurate and transparent mapping process of communities and households. Consequently, relief efforts were expedited thanks to the availability of real time data. Additionally, the use of Akvo RSR allowed the consortium to monitor project progress and track realities on the ground via simple updates provided by the project staff through the platform.