September 27th, 2016

Building local capacity in the use of mobile devices

- Blog post by Martha Vanegas -

The Sustainable Amazonian Landscapes team, within the research area of Decision and Policy Analysis in CIAT, returned to conduct field visits in the departments of Caqueta, Colombia and Lereto, Peru. The objective of the visit was strengthening of local capacities in the execution of socioeconomic surveys (using mobile devices with the app CSEntry) and in the recording of geospatial information.

Some of the advantages of using these mobile devices include avoiding the loss of information, having a centralized storage location for the information, reducing bias in data entry, minimizing processing time (since you do not need to later digitally transcribe the survey information), and creating a backup of the data.

The participants of this capacity training were members of the two communities and recent graduates of local institutions. Additionally, professionals qualified for the training from the Centro para la Investigación en Sistemas Sostenibles de Producción Agropecuaria (CIPAV), the Instituto Amazónico de Investigación Científica (SINCHI), the Universidad de la Amazonia, the Instituto de Investigaciones de la Amazonia Peruana (IIAP), and the Universidad Nacional Agraria La Molina.

In total there were 24 people trained who, since April 2016 for Colombia and June 2016 for Peru, have been carrying out the socioeconomic surveys. Thanks to their effort and dedication, there are 224 surveys from Colombia and an expected 416 from Peru. Starting with the collected data from this effort, it will be possible to obtain a socioeconomic baseline of the currently deforested landscapes, which will be an important contribution to constructing soil use and management alternatives for the study area.

The team also had carried out previous local capacity strengthening in participatory methodologies, in 2015. Some of the participants of these earlier workshops also took part in this new stage of the project.

SAL social statistics:

  57 People trained 
  91 Focal groups total across both countries 
  224 Surveys carried out in Colombia, as of currently 
  416 Surveys to be carried out in Peru 

For more information on the Sustainable Amazonian Landscapes project, please visit:

See the image gallery

Written originally in Spanish by Martha Vanegas
Translated by Natalie Orentlicher

This work has been carried out as part of the project “Sustainable Amazonian Landscapes”, lead by CIAT and in part by the International Climate Initiative (IKI). Financed by the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB) of the Government of Germany.