After nearly two years of hard work which involved both teams in Denmark and Nepal, WAWCAS’ new Data System is now in place and up and running. It has not been an easy task, but team effort and persistence has send the system off to a solid start.
By Sirish Shrestha, Program Manager, Nepal
WAWCAS in Nepal has included almost 2,000 women now. Being a part of the mission of changing lives of that many women is something that we are all proud of. We work very hard indeed and in a very efficient way. However, we always look for improvement. We knew that our data system could be worked upon. Hence, the WAWCAS Data System was initiated.
The process has been long and tough. The team from Denmark flew to Nepal to start up the process and agree on the frames for the datasystem, but the conditions were not easy. One of the aircrafts of Turkish Airlines was stuck in the runway of Nepal’s airport, and it stayed there for 4 days. That meant there were no flights for 4 days, and our Danish team was stuck in Istanbul. During the waiting time we managed to work together via scype from Istanbul airport. Even under such condition they arrived patiently and motivated to Kathmandu. Hats off to them.
We all sat together to develop the Data System design and had intense meetings with the company, Midas which should make the Data System. This was back in March 2015. Unfortunately, the devastating earthquake struck us on April 2015 which literally closed everything for more than a month. It was then followed by the blockade making the situation worse. It was obvious that the Data System would be halted for 6 months.
We have come across many challenges to reach the goal. It is a very complex process to make a total new dataystem. Getting all of our trainers to sync in with the system has not been easy. I can understand their concern of spending long time with the system, but I had to make sure that they would do it. So everything else became my secondary priority. My only focus was to make the trainers familiar with the system as quick as possible. For that, I had to sit with them for lengthy hours and make sure that they spend enough time with the system. The effort has paid off well. When I see them using the system, I can see that they are comfortable with it. I feel really good about it.
At the very beginning of the process, we sat with the programmer and explained him about the program and its processes. We all decided on how the system should be functioning. Unfortunately, the programmer worked on the system for only about a month. Adding more to it, I realized while sitting with the second programmer that the task had not been properly handed over. So the same process of talking with the programmer and explaining the WAWCAS Data System had to be done all over again. Hence, it was quite a challenge. I have lost the count on how many times I have been sitting with him explaining the system and process of WAWCAS. But the understanding we developed working together helped me a lot. I could feel the process becoming easier day by day. We two would sit together for hours and discuss on how the system could be made better and more efficient.
In the process of entering data in the system, we came across many instances where the system had to be revised. For some time, the only work that I did was to collect such instances from all the trainers and then go to the programmer and revise the system. As a result we now have a functioning system where we can see the data and the results of WAWCAS in real time. Today the situation is good. We now have a Data System where all of our team can enter data on the women. The best thing about the system is, that I can see the status of one particular woman from Lamjung sitting in my office in Kathmandu. I have a better overview of the program now.
Me and Sangeeta didi (the Program director) sit together regularly and go through the system. We have regular conversation with Nina, Christine, Jorgen and Bodil on the development of the system and what next is to be done and how it has to be done. The good work continues.