Proforest - In a DFID funded project for the design, development, maintenance and hosting of a secure, user-friendly Field Audit App for Proforest and other stakeholders to provide the ability to accurately collect data on the field in an offline and online mode to enable further analysis and identify trends.
Proforest is a non-profit group that conducts audits such as mill verification and RSPO audits which is aimed at helping primary agricultural producers and processors to adopt best management practices to enhance sustainability.
To support companies, governments, and other organizations to implement their commitments to the responsible production and sourcing of agricultural commodities and forest products, Proforest identified the need for a customized Proforest Field Audit App to allow field auditors to access and process audit information faster and easier.
In performing the audits, field auditors relied on manual (paper) checklists, documentation, and reporting processes which made the process cumbersome and resulted in inefficient data collection and information loss in some scenarios. To facilitate easy referencing and efficient data collection and processing, without relying on large volumes of paper documents, Proforest Ghana set out to develop a customized Proforest Field Audit App.
The design and development of Proforest’s Field Audit App were contracted to Bewsys by Proforest. The Bewsys Technical team scoped through the requirements of the App to understand the key features needed and the user interface preferred, in providing a functional and easy-to-use application for their field management and auditing processes.
The app was tailored based on the yield monitoring, field monitoring, integrated content management, reporting, and system administration modules of the Bewsys Agriculture MIS. The app was built to feature web-based components for audit preparation and reporting to provide all the relevant information such as guidance and legislation to anyone using the Field Audit App in the field.
Recording of observations on the field in multiple formats (text, audio, image, and video) was considered in the development of the App. Since the users of the app usually work in remote areas where there may be poor or no access to internet connectivity, the application was built to function offline and allow data to be synced onto the server later when internet connectivity is established. The compatibility of the application on mobile and desktop was considered in the design and development process.
The application was built to be accessible on multiple platforms and have a content management system to enable Proforest staff to upload and update content. A cloud storage system was considered for the development of data storage and analysis which enabled easy export/upload of all the collected data and with the option to delete data stored on the app once it has been uploaded.
In collaboration with the Proforest App Development Team, the development and configuration of an Alpha version of the App were reviewed and a pilot was conducted to guarantee the functionality and feasibility of the application.
The app has provided practitioners with a free, easy-to-use mobile platform to collect audit findings on the field, collaborate with their team on field projects, and consult supporting guidance both online and offline. The application has also been used for project management functions. Baseline assessment and field audits have been made easier and faster with the application. This has improved the operations of the field practitioners and the auditing process. The application contributes to progress in sustainability through encouraging responsible consumption and production and decent work.