In The Field Online a complete mobile-powered information system


Posted Mar 16, 2011
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Most information systems available today require a great deal of technical expertise to setup regardless of the context the information system is being used within. It creates a new type of digital divide previously not seen. The traditional digital divide was that organizations didn’t have access to tools and information, but now the tools are available, but people in these organizations lack the knowledge to use them. From my experience of working with a vast number of organizations the main obstacle for any organization is to have the proper technical expertise and training.

There are plenty of platforms available yet few allow the information creation, ensure journalistic principles for relevant content and also provide sustainable paths for the creators and editors. In The Field Online includes tools for creation and distribution of content, an editorial process and additionally also provides tools to fundraising for sustainability. 

Little has been done to eliminate the need for technical expertise in these settings to set up information systems. This need for substantial technical expertise must be eliminated and is the guiding principle of In The Field Online platform. The main focus of the platform is to shield every part of the technology allowing the organization to focus on their field work.

One of the key aspects of the platform is that it allows posting and distribution of content to and from an online entity even if the areas it serves are offline. There are two basic needs the platform resolves: 

  1. The platform allows for a crowd-sourced model to send and distribute information via cellphones to remote areas. 
  2. It includes a novel approach to relaying and retrieving information to and from an online entity. This ensures real-time and direct access even for extremely remote areas.