What is Capture?
Capture is a mobile and web-based data collection system designed to facilitate survey and questionnaire data capture.
The mobile component is a JAVA-based application for mobile phones that enables the phone to be used as a tool for remote data collection. Data is entered directly into an easy-to-use form on the mobile phone, and then sent via GPRS to Cell-Life’s secure database upon completion. Forms may be sent immediately or saved on the phone for later sending, for occasions where no cell-phone signal is available or where airtime is limited.
Forms may also be completed on a computer or laptop via a website.
Once forms are sent, managers are instantly able to view and edit completed forms online. Collected data may be exported for analysis in Excel and similar programs; or reports can be created by Cell-Life according to client requirements.
Capture benefits users by removing the need for paper-based forms, thus saving the time and expense of data capture, as well as reducing errors inherent in transcription.
How is Capture being used?
Capture was developed as a monitoring and evaluation tool for NGOs using community healthcare workers. Its initial users captured information on HIV prevention and treatment literacy sessions in clinics, training programme, and open day events.
Currently clients use Capture to capture data on community outreach, treatment literacy, HIV counselling and testing, media programs, training, and other HIV-related activities such as condom distribution. Using this data, clients can monitor and evaluate their programs in real time, report to funders, and manage workers.
Using Capture is more accurate than conventional paper-based survey forms for several reasons:
- Questions may be marked as compulsory; the system will not allow forms to be sent if all compulsory questions are not completed
- Forms have built-in “skip logic”, thus a question’s result will determine what the following questions will be (e.g. the form will only ask whether a person is pregnant if that person has been entered as female). This improves data integrity and reduces errors.
- Answer formats are pre-determined, such as numeric values, test fields or selection of options via drop-down lists or button selection.
Capture may also be used by management as a performance monitoring tool. Managers can monitor the number of form submissions made by fieldworkers and see at what time each form was sent, thus they are able to more accurately deploy and manage staff, as well as noting user irregularities. In this way, staff productivity can be managed effectively.
Open Source Software
Capture is built on the Open Source software openXdata (Apache License 2.0). Cell-Life is a major contributor to and member of the openXdata community, and has received funding to develop on openXdata.