Field Data Collection

Efficiency of the development sector in India suffers due to unavailability of quality data the impedes not only targeting, but also planning and assessment.

Various government departments and NGO spend enormous amount of time and resources collecting data. However the community participation, methodology, process and technology that are in use render the data unusable due to poor quality. Errors creep in at various stages in a traditional paper based data collection process:

  • Inaccurate and biased information provided by the citizen
  • Transcription errors in filling up forms based on data provided by the citizen
  • Data entry errors in digitizing handwritten forms

Use of portable hand-held device to capture digital data at source can reduce the occurrence of errors in each of the areas mentioned above.

This document provides some initial specifications of the hand-held device.

System Design and Development

The system has to be architected keeping in mind the following important environmental factors:

  • Rural Conditions – The Hand-held will operate in rural conditions that are especially dusty. In addition to this, multiple people would handle each device and it is difficult to ensure that the users have clean hands etc.
  • Power Conditions – The quality and quality of power is the rural areas needs to be kept in mind during system design. The equipment has to handle erratic power quality and provide backup for atleast eight hours of normal working.
  • User Attitude – The users could include government employees whose earning potential (illegal) could be substantially reduced by accurate data collection. This could make the user naturally disposed towards finding faults with the device and the process. Care has to be taken to make the device and process as smooth and easy as possible to negate any complaints.
  • User Friendliness – The system has to be designed to enable high school educated users to use all relevant features of the system. The system should take minimum time to complete a transaction and also ensure that it obviates the need for keeping physical records.
  • Indian Language Interface – The entire user interface should be provided in Indian languages starting with Kannada and this should be extendable to other major Indian languages.
  • Data Security and Integrity – The data that is stored on the system has to be secured and the integrity ensured. Techniques to track data tampering and corruption should be easily implementable.
  • Data Transfer Mechanism – The data transfer mechanism should be both simple and secure from accidental loss and tampering. It would be ideal to allow use of SD cards or Pen drives.
  • Speed of Operation – The speed of operation including data upload and download will be critical to the usage and should be considered during the system design. A standard operation would be the data entry of an assessment result of the student after choosing a student by entering his ID.
  • Identification Accuracy – The accuracy of identification of the beneficiaries including false positives and false negatives are central to the model. The biometrics hardware and algorithm that are used in the design should ensure high accuracy and speed.
  • Voice Capability – The system should preferably have the capability to render voice prompts and responses. This would be used for seeking input and also announcing information to the user and citizen/community.
  • System Expandability – The system design should allow expandability to the extent possible to allow development of various data collection and transaction applications. One or two USB or micr-USB ports would be desirable. They could run in both master and slave mode.
  • Maintainability – The system has to be easily maintainable and common maintenance tasks such as battery change, storage change and software upgrade should be capable of being performed by a person with minimal training.
  • License Free Ownership – There should not be any software and other licensing costs that needs to be paid during the life of the equipment after it has been purchased.

Hardware Requirements

The hardware specifications for the hand-held device is summarized below:

1 Processor The processor should be an industry standard processor capable of completing data retrieval of a student record from a student ID of 10 digits and updating 4 two digit fields within 30 seconds.
2 Internal Program Memory The System memory should cover all requirements of the Operating System and Application software.
3 Internal Data Memory The Internal memory should be sufficient to store details of upto 1000 families having upto 4000 family members. The data could include upto 1K of demographic information per citizen. Apart from the demographic data the system should be able to store one fingerprint template and a photograph in low resolution (50 KB).
4 Display The display should be at minimum a High-Clarity LCD with backlight (4 Rows of 20 Characters) capable of displaying Kannada language.
5 Keypad The keypad should be of Membrane or Elastomeric type and have keys for numeric input and navigation to ensure an effective user interface for applications. The keypad can also touch-screen based.
6 Battery Backup The device should function under normal conditions for a minimum period of atleast 8 hours on a full charge. Standard Nokia Lithium Ion batteries would be ideal along with the ability to accept a standard Nokia charger.
7 Battery Charge Time A fast battery charger should be provided. This should be capable of rendering a full charge within 4 hours.
8 Real Time Clock A Real Time clock with battery backup should be available
9 Ports One powered USB port is essential (even if it is not required by the system design to allow for future expandability) Additional USB ports that allow the device to operate in USB host or slave mode would be desirable.
10 Operating System Any operating system including Linux and Windows variants, which are stable and robust. The system should be immune to Virus or the cost of the anti-virus should be included in the bundle price.
11 Other System Features The system should have a fool proof biometric enabled user authentication mechanism and software features should be enabled based on the user. All user activity should be logged. The system should have the optional capability to deliver voice messages.
12 Biometrics Fingerprint Biometric is preferred and specifications are: * Optical Type Finger Sensor with 500dpi resolution, * Capability to store Raw Image and Templates and * Live Finger Detection Capability
13 Printer 2 or 3 Inch Thermal with low cost, off the shelf consumable requirements. Printing of a receipt to be completed in less than 5 Seconds. Optional
14 GPS An entry level GPS receiver with a 1Hz refresh and capable of 10m accuracy needs to be integratable into the system.
15 Camera A 2MP CCD camera should be integratable into the system. Optional but desirable
16 Construction Rugged design with Tough dust proof enclosure. Compact to allow easy storage and movement for charging and to Taluk when required. The total weight of the system including battery should be less than 2 Kilograms.
17 Environmental Specifications Operating Temperature: 10°C to 55°C Storage Temperature: -20°C to +70°C Humidity: 5 - 95% (Non conducing)
18 GPRS/3G The device should be able to accept a SIM card and use the GPRS/3G backhaul for data receipt and transfer. Full mobile phone functionality is not necessary
19 Microphone The device should be able to accept a standard microphone input Power considerations to be noted.
20 Headphone Out The device should be able to connect to a standard headphone output Power considerations to be noted.
Last modified 9 years ago Last modified on 09/22/09 10:24:17