Title: Open Data Kit 2: Building Mobile Application Frameworks for Disconnected Data Management
Advisors: Richard Anderson and Gaetano Borriello
Supervisory Committee: Richard Anderson (Co-Chair), Gaetano Borriello (Co-Chair), Scott Hauck (GSR, ECE), Magda Balazinska, Kurtis Heimerl, Beth Kolko (HCDE), Eric Brewer (UCB-EECS).
Information technology has transformed the collection, analysis, dissemination, and usage of data. Unfortunately, the variability of available resources, infrastructure, and technical expertise in the world’s diverse communities has prevented the digital revolution from benefiting all populations equally. Despite many technological advances, mobile technologies often fail to meet the needs of global development organizations because of poor design assumptions about the availability of infrastructure and resources. For example, the assumption of constant Internet connectivity to access cloud data makes some mobile technologies ill-suited to the long periods of disconnected operation required by many humanitarian organizations. For mobile technologies to be successful in resource-constrained environments they should be usable by minimally-trained users, deployable by resource-constrained organizations, and robust to intermittent power and networking outages. Designing flexible software tools that are configurable by global development organizations necessitates new abstractions that are usable by non-programmers with limited technical expertise. Our research focuses on developing complementary software frameworks that when used together create a new generation of mobile tools called “Open Data Kit 2”. ODK 2 is a configurable disconnected data management solution that can be adapted to meet the needs of under-served populations in resource-constrained environments. Our research aims to design, build, and evaluate multiple software frameworks that create an ensemble of mobile tools that can be used together or independently to produce mobile information systems that can adapt to challenged network environments.