The World Bank, in collaboration with the e-Agriculture community and FAO, has held a series of two week online forums. These e-forums stem from the launch of the World Bank's ICT in Agriculture e-Sourcebook (2011) and the growing demand for knowledge on how to use ICT to improve agricultural productivity and raise smallholder incomes. The following summary captures the discussion of the third forum in the series.
Data collection and monitoring and evaluation (M&E) efforts take a great deal of time and methodical planning and implementation. In the past, these tasks were performed with paper and pen, which made them prone to error, difficult to conduct on a large scale, and high in transaction costs. Information and communication technology (ICT) tools, including hardware like mobile phones and tablets, applications with the capacity to create digital surveys, and software that allows users to upload data to storage facilities in real-time, have reduced the conventional challenges associated with remote data collection and M&E. This forum explored the digital options for these tasks. The discussion focused largely on applications and experiences using hardware and software components, and the impact of using digital tools for these purposes.