Real-time data and the delivery of better development outcomes

Alexandra Herreño, a student from Cali, Colombia and a collector for Native, interviews pharmacy staff and inputs the data into the Native app.

Native is a technology company in the on-demand space, much like Uber, Rappi, and Deliveroo. However, instead of delivering rides, it delivers answers to questions both private and public organizations may have; anything from information on access to water in Syria as part of a project to geolocate humanitarian assistance in conflict-affected zones; the prices of soft drinks in various locations for commercial research; or the mapping of clinics to gather metadata on the number of floors, capacity, and hours open in Mexico City.

Access this visual story: Join Devex on the ground in Colombia as we explore how one organization is improving access to real-time data and improving development programs as a result.

Operating daily in over 40 countries and in 18 languages, Native enables organizations to task a fleet of trained locals, such as Herreño, to physically capture any type of data they require, from face-to-face polling to observations across thousands of locations at once, before submitting it via a platform for the commissioning organization to view.

Access to such real-time data is critical and can significantly improve development outcomes, said Erica Bustinza, a project director at FHI360 — a nonprofit human development organization dedicated to improving lives in lasting ways by advancing integrated, locally driven solutions.

But often real-time data is hard to acquire, she said, limiting the opportunities to course correct and make adjustments to a development program. Traditional field research and monitoring and evaluation of a project often reveal key insights that could have brought about more positive change, often long after a project cycle has ended.

“If you’re relying on a survey that was conducted five or 10 years ago, you’re not going to have the results you’re looking for,” Bustinza said.

Read on to find out more about how one organization is improving access to real-time data and improving development programs as a result.

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