Mobile Technology

Information Management and the Digital Platform

In order to improve the accountability of the Shelter partners and to ensure an efficient system of information sharing, the Shelter Cluster decided to provide a web-platform as a service to all its partners through the use of mobile technology. In the last quarter of 2013, the Shelter Cluster piloted this initiative with mFieldwork. The mFieldwork digital platform is provided as a service to the wider shelter community who can use it for their own programming purposes. The system is built on flexibility to provide different degrees of permissions that control what users can see and do.​ 

Shelter Cluster has been able to roll out the use of mobile technology in most regions of Somalia. The tool has furthermore proven that it increases the engagement in-between regional and national level.

Shelter Cluster has used the digital platform to collect data for the following purposes:

  • Infrastructure mapping exercises: a total of more than 15 urban centers have been mapped out since March 2014
  • Initial Rapid Needs Assessments: Shelter Cluster piloted the SIRNA in Mahaday in December 2014
  • 4W Matrix: Since January 2015, all 4W data is collected through mobile technology
  • Post-Distribution Monitoring: In more than 5 locations, INTERSOS has rolled out this third party monitoring through mobile technology
  • Ad hoc surveys: ARC in Kismaayo has used the technology for joint shelter and protection needs assessments
  • Tri-Cluster REACH assessment: REACH has used the technology since mid-2013 for all data collection
  • Pre-eviction assessment tool: Shelter Cluster provided support to UNHCR protection unit in rolling out pre-eviction assessments in Kismaayo and Mogadishu
  • Pre/post survey data: During the training/workshop in April 2015, Shelter Cluster collected all feedback through mobile technology

The Shelter Cluster is intending to increase the use of the digital platform and is planning to develop new tools specifically looking at improved monitoring and evaluation methodologies. Over time, the platform will form a historical library of all shelter and mapping related information regarding Somalia.​​

      mFieldwork is a social enterprise supporting humanitarian organizations to make a transition from paper-based data collection to digital data capture and information management processes in difficult to access areas. mFieldwork was founded in 2012 and has worked extensively in the Horn of Africa and the Middle East. Please contact for more information or visit the mFieldwork website at mFieldwork.


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