Bal Raksha Information System for Knowledge (BRISK)

In India, Save the Children (SC) works in 5 core thematic areas - Child Survival, Education, Child Protection, Humanitarian Response & Disaster Risk Reduction (HUM-DRR) and Child Poverty in collaboration with the Government, civil society organizations, and the community across 19 states in India and has reached nearly 3 million children directly under its different programmes since 2008.

 

Management Information System (MIS) of Save the Children India, termed as BRISK (Bal Raksh) is a comprehensive system covering all project level information across all thematic areas and is meant to gradually replace the individual project-level systems at Save the Children, India.

BRISK is equipped with a project management tool capturing the progress of project-specific activities against targets, delays reported and milestones achieved. BRISK helps project teams to track monitoring indicators and generate quick evidence-based results for effective planning and rational decision-making to improve program implementation.

 

BRISK is also a repository of all Knowledge Management activities- various study reports done by Save the Children, secondary survey data, Results Chains, Project LFAs, definitions of indicators, program guidelines, input tool, etc. 

 

The BRISK was conceptualized and development was started in mid-2014. The design of the entire system, input tools was made in-house and an agency was hired to develop the software. we started rolling it out in mid-2015 and since then BRISK has been implemented in four projects across two thematic areas- Child protection and Health & Nutrition. It is planned to be implemented in four more projects soon.

 

This system works in both offline and online modules.

  1. The data is entered in offline module after capturing the information from the field, which can even work even without internet connection (data connectivity is still an issue in many of the villages in the project areas in India)
  2. Data is uploaded at the point where internet connectivity is available and stored at the online dedicated server (external) which is hosted in India with sufficient storage space and periodic data backup system.  
  3. Customised reports (tables, graphs and dashboard) are generated in online module which requires internet connection.

A dedicated team has been working towards its continuous development and support mechanism to partner NGOs and project teams.

 

For increasing the efficiency of this system, android-based data collection feature is added so data is collected, updated in system in real time i.e. at the same time when events or activities are happening. Field staff captures the information on individual beneficiary/ households and service points (as per the intervention design) through android-based tablets and smart phones and the data is uploaded in the online server. Wherever internet connectivity is an issue, data is stored locally in androids and is uploaded when the field worker returns to a place with better data connectivity (e.g. Partner Office).  

 

Perhaps, the most important shift enabled by this feature is quick generation of reliable information which can be used effectively for evidence-based decision making at all levels, in order that the vision can be turned into reality.

 

Monitoring activities of one of the signature programs of Save the Children, called Subh Aarambh (Mondelez), Stop Diarrhoea Initiative (SDI), are integrated with BRISK. The data on household level survey, beneficiary tracking, other activities for SDI is done by Community Health Volunteers (CHVs) through various input formats (household registration format, pregnant woman tracking format, child tracking format, various group formation formats, meeting formats, meeting minutes formats, training formats, event reporting formats, village information format water/ sanitation points format, etc.) regularly on a real-time basis with the help of android based tablets and smart phones.

 

To summarize, the salient features of this system are as follows:

 

  • Individual beneficiary tracking mechanism is available along with the summary level report at the lowest administrative level (habitation/ slum)
  • Menu-driven, user-friendly interface/ custom forms, simple and scalable
  • Real-time data capturing - the data from the field will be transmitted instantaneously to the BRISK server (accessible from any internet browser) i.e., reduced time lag in report generation helps in taking prompt action
  • It works in remote locations also where no/ limited internet connection is available
  • Data analysis & reporting, including, but not limited to, statistical reports, collated reports, MIS, trends and analytics, both tabular and graphical with export options to excel, pdf, etc.
  • Automated and Interactive Dashboard (customizable) at different levels based on the user access
  • Efficient monitoring - Every information captured through android device has geo tag (GPS coordinates) with a provision to capture photographs of various activities under the intervention, so reports and dashboard can be created along with the geospatial maps with exact location of intervention
  • The due list will be automatically generated in BRISK which will guide the program implementation team to address the issues on priority basis
  • Reach and footfalls (i.e. no. of times a household is contacted by the project staff during the entire project duration or a part thereof) are calculated automatically
  • Minimizes workforce, Increase productivity and hence reduces cost of data collection by cutting out data entry personnel and printing of input tools
  • In-built mechanism ensuring data quality during collection
  • UID generation for data uniqueness
  • Data integrity, in-built logical validations, drop down lists to minimize chance for typographical errors
  • Possible multi lingual interface
  • Rare chance of data loss during transmission
  • Alerting & basic reporting system on email, SMS
  • Audio/Video upload facility which can guide the field staff on how and what standards need to be followed during service delivery
  • Interface for external users/ donors to view performance (pre-defined parameters) of the respective project

System Architecture of BRISK

 

 

Snapshots of the tablet module

 

 

Snapshots of the offline module (desktop version):


Data Entry Report and Dashboard generation:

Information on various Group generation:


Information on Training/Meeting

Information on Household details: