World Vision is a global development, humanitarian aid and advocacy organization dedicated to creating supportive environment that ensures well-being and integral protection of children from indigent families. Given its Christian nature and the focus of its activities, the organization needs to assess social, demographic and economic conditions in the communities where the children live, as well as track the dynamics of the mentioned conditions. In addition to fulfilling World Vision’s mission, this assessment is important for informing donors about the results of the organization’s work.
of questionnaire forms
World Vision in Colombia covers six regions and impacts the lives of more than 80,000 children. Due to such broad scale and respect to local peculiarities, World Vision needs to recollect information in a variety of formats depending on the aim of the survey, topic, time and volume of questionnaires (base lines, entry-level and exit-level tests, registration of participants).
To address this need for information, the organization’s employees had to do a lot of manual work, or sometimes third parties were contracted. This led to high costs, extra administrative expenses, and delays in obtaining the results necessary for the reports.
Indexa Soluciones Tecnológicas S.A.S., an ABBYY Partner and data capture technologies provider for World Vision Colombia since 2005, proposed to implement ABBYY FlexiCapture in the organization.
World Vision Colombia was already using forms designed for OCR recognition. Purchasing ABBYY FlexiCapture, which was finalized in 2013, has given to the personnel an opportunity to design their own questionnaire forms customized for different regions according to the information needs, carry out data verification anywhere across the country, and obtain results within the timeframe required by its external and internal clients. ABBYY FlexiCapture implies a greater flexibility for implementing different questionnaires, supervising the process and obtaining information within the scheduled dates — all in a single tool.
Upon the implementation of ABBYY FlexiCapture, the work process is organized as follows. First, questionnaires are designed in the FormDesigner tool used to create machine-readable forms. Then they are printed and filled out in a paper form.
When completed, these forms are scanned and imported into ABBYY FlexiCapture. The system not only performs optical recognition, but also extracts data from the necessary fields with the help of specially designed templates. The intelligent software analyzes the area surrounding a field to determine the type of its contents, retrieves the necessary data and sends it for verification by operators. The resulting information is exported to flat files, which are later used to feed the company’s internal processes.
Currently World Vision in Colombia has 15 different questionnaire forms, which are designed and processed internally using FlexiCapture tools. For each type around 400 booklets of 10 pages were printed. In total, it currently amounts to approximately 60,000 pages, and according to the client, there are plans to scale up the process even further.
ABBYY FlexiСapture has granted autonomy to the Colombian office of World Vision in terms of designing and processing research forms for monitoring and evaluating its activities as well as for social investigation in the field.
The customer notes that the responding time has become much better, and they can now attend to more internal requests than previously. The costs have also reduced considerably in comparison with the costs of outsourcing.
Another important result of the project is transparency of the research, quality and timeliness of the provided data that is used for reports to various bodies within and outside the organization.
World Vision is also planning to design and process larger volumes of questionnaires in the future, managing their projects in shorter times and ensuring the safety of the field staff conducting the interviews. In contrast to using mobile phones for conducting researches, paper questionnaires allow gathering data in areas or communities with low living standards, and security risks for the staff are much lower in this case. But the most important thing of all is the social impact of the project that consists in the improvement of the well-being of many Colombian children enrolled in the