CIF Cambodia’s Open Source Case Management System

Supported by a Development Innovations (DI) grant which helped fund the initial pilot development phase, Children in Families (CIF) is currently developing an open source case management solution that they aim to roll out in early 2017.

The idea to make the platform open source was one that was triggered by an observation they made – many Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) were having trouble improving their case management system as the solutions available on the market are typically prohibitively expensive or have high per-user fees.

Speaking about the project, Kate Heuisler, Chief of Party at Development Innovations said, “As a funder, we valued the fact that CIF wanted to build a tool and share it with others organizations in Cambodia working to help and protect children and families. Increasingly, we believe donors will be asking for open source solutions as they look for better value for money and opportunities to scale and fund more sustainable tools. We were glad to fund a practical tool in Cambodia that started with this objective.”

For us at Geeks in Cambodia, we too find it really encouraging that people are using innovative technology solutions to improve their internal systems and are also willing to make it available for sharing so everyone can benefit!

Through DI’s grant, CIF have worked with Cambodian software development company Rotati, to develop a solution that will accomplish three main objectives:

  1. Streamline CIF’s case management process by bringing together case notation, assessments and general record keeping onto one platform to foster better staff collaboration
  2. Give CIF’s management team an ease of access to information gathered by staff to facilitate a smoother flow in assessing current CIF processes as well as report writing for donors and stakeholders
  3. Deliver the app both in Khmer and English so that CIF staff can use it in their mother tongue

As it stands, the platform has achieved these core objectives and is currently being used in CIF. Moving forward, CIF is looking to make the platform available to other NGOs.

In an effort to do this, they have engaged closely with the Family Care First Initiative(FCFC) which aims to help Cambodia use family based care as the primary mode to care for vulnerable children instead of Residential Care Institutions.

Key members from CIF presenting the platform to representatives from various NGOs

Key members from CIF presenting the platform to representatives from various NGOs

Working with FCFC has allowed CIF to receive yet more significant funding which has helped them to start work on a nation-wide case management system as an extension of its current technology.

Furthermore, the CIF is also consulting with NGOs who are interested in adopting the platform to better understand their needs so as to provide a customised version of the platform to the various NGOs.

Speaking about the platform, Chris Ellinger from Children in Families said, “We’ve seen so many organisations unable to access good case management and data management solutions because of the ongoing costs. So we thought, open source is one way we can break that cycle a bit. And especially now, when so many organisations are cooperating in ways that maybe they haven’t so much in the past, it seems like the right thing at the right time. If we can play a part in keeping kids safe across the country, if we can help other organisations with the great work they already do everyday, that’s the thing. ”

This platform is yet another platform for social good that is being supported by a grant from DI.

In recent weeks, we’ve been writing about similar startups including the Transmit app, where citizens can report issues in their local communities, as well as the Citizen News Wire platform where citizen journalists in the province can upload stories related to the provinces’ happenings for mainstream media outlets to pick up on.

It’s really encouraging to see technology being applied for social good and for us at GIC, we believe that tech can play a big role in transforming Cambodia’s society for the better!