The project staff conducted a training on Open Data Kit or ODK-based distribution, installation, and verification in preparation for the upcoming next phase of the project with the arrival of the solar home system (SHS) units for MAKIMA in April. The purpose of the training is to replace the use of paper in conducting SHS unit distribution, installation, and verification, and for the participants to have general knowledge and information on ODK-based forms.

15 verifiers, 13 installers, and 5 distributors completed the 2-day training on March 23-24, 2021 at the Greenleaf Hotel, General Santos City. Engr. Mohammad Alver Amanoddin and Engr. Jose Jerry Tayactac, project officers of SOLARES, facilitated the training. For Day 1, the project staff shared project updates regarding with the status of activities based on the project timeline, and formally conducted an ODK training. The team shared the general information on ODK and why it is important in project implementation. The prepared ODK-based forms were presented to the participants for their review and any questions and clarifications.

On Day 2, the team conducted a quick recap of Day 1 and a mock distribution, installation, and verification. SOCOTECO II SBUs brought 10 units of SHS and solar panels for the mock-up activity, and each installer to simulate installing and scanning the 10 units with corresponding correct bar codes of the battery and charge controller per system box. The group completed the mock-up within 4 hours (mock distribution to mock verification). Participants encountered minor problems: (1) mobile phones which took too long to recognize the bar code, (2) wrong recording of the numbers of the bar code, and (3) difficulty/errors when proceeding to the next page of the form.

For ease of bar code scanning, the bar codes must have a good light source. The team noticed if there is less light, the scan will record a different value. When provided with adequate light, the scan will be short and accurate. If the form will not proceed even with a correct bar code, the solution is to fill-up a new blank form.

After the mock-up activity, the team conducted an open forum for concerns, recommendations, and questions of the participants. Concerns included regarding the number of photos for the distribution form. With these, Engr. Amanoddin and Engr. Tayactac will be improving the form accordingly.

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