UNOPS / UNMAS / Somalia - Developing an android application to help the Somalian police and military personnel in collecting information about and reporting IED incidents.
To improve the reporting of improvised explosive device (IED) incidents in Somalia, the UNOPS sought to create an Android application, to help police and military personnel in collecting information about and reporting IED incidents. Many developing countries across the globe with IED threats have limited access to computers. Therefore, creating and submitting reports on IED incidents were also limited. However, many police and military personnel have Android-based smartphones. Hence, there was a need to provide a user-friendly mobile application for police and military personnel use, to collect information and report on IED incidents in Somalia.
Considering this, in 2017, UNOPS contracted Bewsys to design and develop a multi-language support mobile Android application. In scoping the application’s requirements, the Bewsys consulting team in collaboration with the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) programmatic team, considered the best features to implement in the design process. The application was custom-built on the registration, case management, document library, report generation, system administration, and integrated content management modules of the Bewsys Regulatory MIS.
The technical team designed and developed a user-friendly mobile application that was made to function without internet connectivity. Once the device was connected to the internet, reports and/or photographs captured offline, were automatically sent to a designated email address. For the sake of inclusivity, the application was created in English, French, Arabic, Farsi, and Kurdish language versions.
To make it easy for police and military personnel to collect relevant data about IED incidents, the application was designed to include simple drop-down menus, selection options, and text boxes. The Bewsys technical team considered a registration feature in the design of the application to establish unit information (i.e military or police), contact information, and reporting information before a reported incident is submitted. All photographs captured with the app were designed to be reduced in size to enable sending over low-bandwidth data networks, and also capture time, date, and position (geographic location).
Additionally, instructions on how to capture the incidents were designed to be displayed before a picture is taken. Data fields such as who, what, where, when, activity, etc. were added to simplify report generation on incidents. After the development of the application, a pilot test was conducted to ensure functionality and feasibility.
The development of the application is helping to neutralise the threats of IEDs and mitigate its effects. The application is increasing collaboration and information exchange within Government institutions, and the Government’s capacity to effectively bring together several policy strands for comprehensive national action.
This contributes to peace and security highlighting SDG 16.