William (Bill) Lester, NPOKI
It's an old problem, made worse by the tantalizing potential that technology provides: how do you collect and aggregate quality data when you work in low resource areas?
If you look at the path that information must travel, there's a point where the tools NGOs have used for data collection work well. As information moves up and down the highway, from headquarters to field offices to in-country partner organizations, to consultants, and volunteers, and to the general public or the clients or the project sites, there's a point where the structure breaks down.
That's the point where you're dealing with people and forces outside of your area of comfort – the area that you cannot control.
Fortunately, there are rules you can follow to help mitigate this problem: