Projects in the development sector are getting bigger and more complex. Large budgets, multiple partners in multiple countries. This poses new challenges for the established organisations. Traditional means like phone, email, and office tools are no longer adequate to handle this complexity.
For a large NGO in the Netherlands we examined this challenge and proposed and implemented a document and project management system that fits the new challenges but also addresses the limitations that partners in Africa face (low bandwidth, low availability of qualified technical support staff and basic computer skills).
The solutions that was implemented was selected from over 100 possible alternatives. Through a questionnaire among the partners (Netherlands, Switzerland, Rwanda, Burundi and DR Congo) 6 systems were selected. The functionality of the systems were selected and evaluated on 37 criteria.
The selected solution is cloud-based, multi language and low bandwidth. It provides excellent document management and project management functionality at a low cost and it is easy to use. This provides a good basis for sustainability and local innovation. Training was conducted to all partners, both online and face-to-face.
With this project we have lead the partners in a very large project to a new and appropriate way of working and collaborating. This will prepare the different organisations to take on more and larger project without losing control or drowning in information. A necessary step has been taken to cope with the new reality in the development world.