Often an unsung hero in a humanitarian response, strong information management helps get more aid to more people in need and more money to aid organizations. Whether conducting an assessment, evaluating a project or monitoring public health data, real-time (or near real- time) mobile data collection is faster and more efficient than traditional information management methods.


In emergencies, time is of the essence. Saving hours off response time can save lives. Submitting grant proposals early can mean more secure funding. Mobile data collec- tion tools help aid organizations respond more quickly and efficiently, improving operations overall. With a mobile data solution, you can collect GPS coordinates, upload data in real-time, send SMS texts AND collect the data you need. Choosing the right technology is simple using NOMAD’s Online Selection Assistant (found here).

From 24 tried and tested mobile data collection tools with various advantages, price tags and technical specs, the Selection Assistant custom fits to users’ needs by asking a series of questions, e.g. Are you conducting a one-off or reoccurring assessment? How technically inclined are the staff using these tools? How do you want to visualise the data? At the end of the survey, the best options are indicated along with a summary report that explains how and why the options provided to you are best.

Since mobile phone technology, apps and geospatial tech- nology evolves often, the NOMAD team constantly moni- tors changes in that space. Since NOMAD consists of humanitarian aid workers, team members are experts in the technology itself but also how it is implemented in various cultural, security, and emergency contexts around the globe.


Once you know what mobile data tools to use, NOMAD team members can train your organisation’s staff how to use the tools and analyse the data. If suitable, NOMAD can also join your operation to help with the data collec- tion process. NOMAD’s experts are not just information management specialists; they’re also humanitarians with real, hands-on experience implementing mobile data solutions in the field.


NOMAD was piloted in Haiti in 2010 as part of one of the largest humanitarian responses the world has seen to date. The devastating earthquake that hit Port-au-Prince in January 2010 left millions of Haitians homeless and living in internally displaced person camps. Together with the information management section of IOM, the Interna- tional Organization for Migration, NOMAD helped improve the Displacement Tracking Matrix, a data management tool.

Using mobile devices to track information, the collection and transfer of information from the field was streamli- ned. NOMAD team members trained IOM staff how to use the tools. Feedback from those trained indicated that the training process was an enjoyable one and staff saw the benefits of using mobile data collection tools as an alter- native to traditional paper methods.