OnlinePalika – A forerunning Census Data Dissemination Platform in Nepal

Redefining Modern Census Taking


Census(/ˈsɛnsəs/) historically, has been one of Man’s greatest achievement – the ability to know what kind of people reside in his populous is a feat that is interesting all by itself. We at Gurkha Technology believe in conquering ideas, and to be fair, being able to undertake something as big as the task of census is nothing short of a monumental task all on it’s own.

 

Learn about OnlinePalika, our attempt at simplifying and breaking down the complex to be able to tackle it albeit better. Currently used by 10+ Municipalities and Gaupalikas, Online Palika is nothing short of arguably the best product Gurkha Technology has had the pleasure of making. With promises to expand to new Gaupalikas and municipal regions, Online Palika has today garnered enough attention to be able to hailed as the census software to implement by Gaupalikas across Nepal.

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So what exactly is OnlinePalika?


OnlinePalika, quite simply put, is a census and data management toolkit used currently by numerous Gaupalikas and municipal communities in Nepal. It’s primary function is to help serve in making better decisions – perhaps deciding on dispensing of privilege cards to the disabled, perhaps learning what the trends to deaths and their causes are; to be better equipped to help the governing bodies to make impactful changes to policies and such. With 50+ report collection mechanisms and  formatting, it trivializes the attempts at trying to understand the data, and form critical opinions. It is hoped that this humble endeavor will help today’s leaders to better help the public.

 

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So what does OnlinePalika feature?


OnlinePalika is a scalable, secure and simple implementation of a large scale Census Application. It helps facilitating Big Data for Census information, mainly fed through numerous enumerators, and CBRFs(Community-Based Residential Facilities) working concurrently feeding the system data, as well as processing spreadsheets with hundreds of megabytes of data per second. Allowing for bulk import thanks to Excel Spreadsheet, it allows for flexible data entry and pre-processing.

Having a modern security approach with mobile based offline data collection, mainly facilitated behind a robust Android front-end, or perhaps the high end performance sensitive SSL-powered website, data protection is well implemented by OnlinePalika. How exactly, you may ask? We implement CWE compliant development practices to protect data.

We have tried to compile a loosely based features OnlinePalika boasts down below:

  • SAAS(Software As A Service) multi-tenant approach with decentralized data aggregation
  • Error tolerance via multiple Data Redundancy approaches, leading to little to no downtime on the service
  • Extensive implementation of Data Fields: Compliant to Government of Nepal’s rigorous standards
  • Facilitation of data collection via multi client concurrency, and eliminating data clashes and duplication.
  • Self-Auditing principles – OnlinePalika is all about feeding data, then leaving rest to the system.
  • 250+ fields of data for meticulous and detailed census data on every possible attributes.
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Overcoming geographical limitations : How OnlinePalika can even operate offline


OnlinePalika faced a considerable drawback, that is, internet connectivity may not always be available – which could lead to complications for officers while trying to take census data in remote locations where cell receptivity may not always be ideal. At Gurkha Technology, we welcomed this limitation: which is why OnlinePalika can function completely offline. The concept of offline web application platform is still very new, but with the help of Service Workers and IndexedDB API, Online palika can function quite effortlessly when working offline, then synchronizing the collected data when the cellular network is available again.

 

Helping Visualizing Big Data easier


OnlinePalika does boast taking in a lot of data and processing it to better understand the statistics in palatable, accessible reports, but what about trying to get the bigger picture. Consider this : Numbers don’t always tell the whole story. They differ by the geography, and are always disparaging the complete truth of the reality. A death in a remote village is different from one in the urban area, and OnlinePalika is about breaking down those complexities into easier forms of comprehension.

Visualizing Census data via Geographic Information System

What OnlinePalika does better, is compute hundreds and thousands of data for each geography, then generate GIS based Map visualization to better help understanding the data and it’s implications. Allowing for complex data filter as well as reports entirely adapted for visual purposes, which help augment administrative tasks better.

Moving Forward


OnlinePalika is a continual endeavor. Us folks at Gurkha Technology think OnlinePalika is a powerful tool, and it like any tool, needs continual polishing. Looking into the future, below are the features we envision to bolster OnlinePalika with:

  • AI processing for Markov Analysis and ML powered analysis on the given data to draw conclusions faster.
  • Complex AI-supported Data filters and visualization.
  • Custom data and fields.
  • Automated Weekly Report generation.
  • Version tracking
  • Comparison graphs between wards.

 

Wrapping up


Gurkha Technology believes in never resting with OnlinePalika. Notwithstanding the weekly updates, we always believe in working on a product, as there is no such thing as perfection. We believeOnlinePalika is not just a tool to feed data into, it is purposed and developed in a period over 6 months, to be able to help today’s leaders decide the best course of action for planning, development and policy making. We believe that by our humble endeavors, we’re inching each day towards helping Nepal build into the nation of tomorrow.

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OnlinePalika – A forerunning Census Data Dissemination Platform in Nepal

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