Digital transformation is gradually changing the operation in various sectors. To reduce the time and resources associated with collecting data and improving the data quality, digital data collection is a preferred fit for organizations that gather voluminous quantitative data.
As part of Myanmar’s efforts to towards digital transformation, the Department of Agriculture-Extension Division under the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, and Irrigation (MoALI) and the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) organized the Digital Data Collection Training Workshop on 26-28 August 2020 at the DoA Extension Division (DoA-ED) in Nay Pyi Taw.
The three-day training, using a blended training methodology of asynchronous and synchronous learning materials, online discussions, and hands-on exercises, was conducted under the Agricultural Development Support Project (ADSP) and Co-designing Myanmar’s Pathways for Agroecological transition towards Sustainable Food System (CORIGAP-CoMPASS) project.
A total of 23 participants (19 women and 4 men) including the Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist from the Project Management Unit of the ADSP, staff officers from the Environmental Conservation Department, deputy staff officers/ assistant staff officers from the DoA-ED, and research officers from the Department of Agricultural Research attended the event. In addition to an introduction to different digital data collection tools, the training also focused on Open Data Kit and CommCare.
U Thet Zin Maung, deputy director general of the DoA-Technology Department, also encouraged the participants to proactively and systematically learn and apply this knowledge in reporting and sharing information.
“The effectiveness of this training will be measured by how many participants understand the information,” the deputy director general said. “The purpose of the training will be wasted if there is no active participation and interaction.”
The participants indicated a strong interest in learning different tools for digital data collection, app building, and data collection. Most of the participants perceived these tools as a means to collect quality data quickly. After the training, at least 50% of the participants responded positively to using the tool. Most of the participants were willing to use digital tools for their upcoming survey activities and requested to provide backstopping for using these tools.
“Digital data collection approaches enable organizations to not only obtain results quicker but also use the high-quality data to make decisions faster,” said Dr. Sudhir Yadav, a scientist at IRRI and project leader of ADSP and CORIGAP-CoMPASS. Robert Caudwell, the IRRI representative for Myanmar, expressed his gratitude to the DoA-ED and IRRI team for conducting the training.
“Digital data collection training is one of the critical aspects of agricultural transformation,” Dr. Caudwell said. “I encourage all participants to ask questions whenever they want and open opportunities to bring back and share the information that they have learned from this training.”
|Thet Zin Maung, DyDG-DoA addressing the participants during the opening remarks of the training event.