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What is it?

Alidade is an interactive tool that guides you to create a plan for finding technology tools that suit your social change project. See a working version here

What do you mean by "technology tools"?

We mean a wide range of technology including software like content management systems, data collection systems and social media tools, hardware like mobile phones or any other piece of technology that you use to achieve your goals).

Will it choose a tool for me?

No. (There are far too many tools to choose from, and you will know best what tool is right for your context.)

Instead, it supports your own research and planning by asking questions, giving real-life examples and suggesting places to get help.

So, what does it do?

It guides you through a four-step process that helps you think through your tool selection in a methodical way.

Why would I want to use it?

In 2015, we researched how 38 Kenyan and South African organisations choose digital technology tools to use in transparency and accountability initiatives. Despite putting in significant effort, less than a quarter of initiatives were happy with the tools they chose. This guide presents findings from the research, and guidance and resources from others. It is designed to help organisations learn from others' experiences.

The Tool Selection Assistant collects information about users' decisions as they complete each step. You can also print the results as a PDF or Word file, using it:

  • as a planning document to remind you of what to prioritise and clarify
  • to explain to your colleagues what you want the tool to do, using simple language
  • to quickly show people outside your organization what you’re looking for – so they can give advice or technical support
  • to show potential donors or partners that you’ve really thought through your project.

Can I install Alidade on my own server?

Yes! Download the code from the repo and install it by pointing your browser to [your domain]/install.php

Note: you will need to properly configure your enviroment variables, found in the file /config/local.example.php. We suggest you copy the file and rename it to "local.php" and proceed to edit the information in the new file.

Who made this?

Built by The Engine Room. Content prepared by the engine room, Pawa254 and the Network Society initiative at the University of the Witwatersrand. This tool was developed as part of a research project supported by Making All Voices Count in Kenya and South Africa in 2015. We interviewed 38 organisations working on transparency, citizen reporting and increasing government accountability to find out how they chose technology for their projects, and what they would like to have been doing better. Read more about the research>>

Built with:

  • PHP (5.4 min)
  • MySQL
  • Html2PDF (by Laurent Minguet)
  • Bootstrap, Fontawesome, jQuery

Content within the tool is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence.