Over the last few months, Global Integrity wrapped up research from two major projects, The State Integrity Investigation (SII) and The Global Integrity Report (GIR). Therefore, we wanted to take some time to reflect, capturing lessons learned and feedback from our field contributors on each project. Specifically, we wanted to capture their thoughts on our methodology (captured in an earlier post GIR11 Contributor Survey Results) and how well our technology platform used in both projects, Indaba, performed. We sent them a brief online survey complete, the results of which are captured in this post.
Indaba is a browser-based software-as-a-service (soon to be open sourced) that allows geographically distributed teams to create, edit, review and publish original content, such as policy scorecards or citizen audits. This content can include text, quantitative data, and uploaded files of any type. It allows for project managers to easily manage workflows of projects and compile research over a variety of data points or units of analysis. Over the last year we have begun working with a much broader range of partners (both internal and external) to conduct research on the platform. We thought this was a good moment to ask what our partners around the world thought about Indaba as a means of conducting research.
Here at Global Integrity, we are constantly using Indaba and training our partners and contributors on its features. We hear both the complements and the “not so pretty” Indaba reactions. So we found the results of these surveys refreshing – even though the projects were different in their scope and nature; the role that Indaba played in supporting their work remained basically the same. Altogether, we received 133 responses from project contributors.
We were pleasantly surprised to learn that 88% of the total respondents thought Indaba worked well, and 94% thought the technical instructions provided by Global Integrity were sufficient in helping them understand how to use the platform. Eight-eight percent of respondents said Indaba was easy to use.
Some of the respondents’ favorite things about Indaba were: “its clean interface,” “being able to scroll down through questions,” “the interaction between different users,” “its flexibility to permit revisions and corrections,” “ability to monitor one’s progress,” “it is a secure platform,” “very straight forward to use/no frustrations or lost work,” “the possibility of saving my work up to the completion of the report and the instant submission of the report upon completion,” “checking progress status to see how far I had to go in any area I was working on,” “the ability to save and come back,” and “it helped me stay organized.”
When asked what was the most challenging thing about using Indaba, our contributors had a variety of responses: “forgetting to save my work and then losing it sometimes,” “finding where I left off,” “navigation could be clearer,” “lack of an overview of all of the [survey] questions – the navigation between questions was a pain and equally frustrating to copy/save information from it,” “it was difficult to jump around for those who don't necessarily think in linear order,” “the progress and completion markers and deadlines were not clear,” “it was sometimes hard to gauge how close the project was to completion,” “having to be online the whole time,” and “accessing with poor Internet connectivity.”
Overall, we think Indaba is a great platform. It was reassuring to learn that while there are some challenges remaining (which we are fully aware of and addressing in a huge Indaba 2012 upgrade), the majority of the contributors on these two projects thought the system suited their needs.
Thank you to the hundreds of our contributors around the world that provided us with critical feedback. The full results from both surveys can be found attached.
This blog is cross posted on our www.GetIndaba.org website here.
— Global Integrity