mumbai local trains
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Mumbai Local Trains: Is the Western or Central Line Busier During Rush Hour?

Mumbai’s local train system is perhaps the most complex, densely loaded, and intensely utilized rail system in the world. At least, that’s what the Mumbai Railway Vikas Corporation Ltd. suggested in its latest passenger survey. The Mumbai Railway Vikas Corporation (MRVC) is a subsidiary of the Ministry of Railways. Created in 1956, the…
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wifi coffee maker
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The Internet of Coffee: Our Experience Building a Wifi Coffee Maker

Here at SocialCops, we’ve begun using Internet-of-Things technology to research solutions for some of the world’s most pressing problems: monitoring pollution, conserving energy, protecting against identity fraud, and…making coffee. “[If we could] turn on the coffee machine via slack, we’d be set,” Christine wistfully wrote one afternoon on our #coffee…
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Real Numbers: How Many Drivers’ Licenses Are Issued to Women in Delhi?

As we build SocialCops’ data repository, we keep creating data points and visualizations that demand to be shared. Our data newsletter, Real Numbers aims to bring this important data to you in simple bite-sized pieces. Over time, we’ll dive deep into our archives to cover everything from agriculture and education to…
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indian railways
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The 270,836 Women Missing From the Indian Railways

Less than 6.7% of the Indian Railways’ employees are female. These missing women pose a major challenge to the company’s message of progress. The Indian Railways is bounding forward with modern advancements. It plans to use Twitter to issue customer complaints, an app for booking paperless tickets, handheld terminals for ticket examiners, a Google…
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The Data Behind the Indian Constitution

Happy Republic Day! Republic Day honors the date that the Constitution of India was ratified, replacing the Government of India Act (1935) as India’s governing document. To celebrate Republic Day in true SocialCops style, we combed through data sources and the Constitution itself to investigate what the data shows about the Indian constitution. Here’s…
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cross tabulation
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Cross Tabulation: How It Works and Why You Should Use It

Cross tabulation is a method to quantitatively analyze the relationship between multiple variables. Also known as contingency tables or cross tabs, cross tabulation groups variables to understand the correlation between different variables. It also shows how correlations change from one variable grouping to another. It is usually used in statistical analysis…
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districts in india
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Why You Should Care About New Boundaries for Districts in India

India is currently divided into 36 administrative states and union territories, which are further divided into districts and more granular units. Districts in India are the third geographic layer for data dissemination after national and state-level setups. Many agencies — such as the Census of India, Reserve Bank of India,…
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Realm
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Why Realm?

Realm is a mobile database framework for iOS and Android. It is designed as a replacement for SQLITE and Core Data. I stumbled upon the Realm database while looking for a better database for Collect, our mobile-based data collection tool. It has a complex database structure for saving and retrieving of…
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2011 census
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A Step-by-Step Guide to the 2011 Census: Its Successes, Failures and Questions

This post is the third post in our Decoding Open Data series. The foundation of this series is our slideshare, which examines the open dataset and provides key insights and analytics about the 2011 Census.  Decoding Open Data: 2011 Indian Census from SocialCops These blog posts provide context around the Census…
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grant proposal
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5 Best Practices for NGOs to Ace Funding Grant Proposals

When thinking about data in the development space, images of field workers talking to their stakeholders — farmers, nursing mothers, and community meetings — and collecting authentic data through tablets, smart phones, or pen and paper come to mind. However, for many NGOs, data collection is often quite different. Many…
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culture
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How We’re Building a Culture Around Purpose, Learning, and Fun

We’ve built an incredibly diverse team over the last 2 years. Engineers, designers, economists, data scientists, marketers, entrepreneurs and even travelers (as part of our coveted Himsagar Fellowship) – all in one room. Not to mention a few different nationalities and an amazing mix of personalities. The youngest full-time member of our team…
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design
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Why Design Matters: Designing a Data Platform to Solve Problems That Matter

At SocialCops, we’re building a data platform to solve the biggest problems facing humanity. In the short three years of our existence, our data platform has been used to drive healthcare policy, optimize disaster relief operations, and solve urban planning issues. We were founded to solve developing world problems. This means our…
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How to Conduct a Successful Focus Group Discussion
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How to Conduct a Successful Focus Group Discussion

What is a Focus Group Discussion? A Focus Group Discussion (or FGD) is a qualitative research method in the social sciences, with a particular emphasis and application in the developmental program evaluation sphere. FGDs are a predetermined semi-structured interview led by a skilled moderator. The moderator asks broad questions to elicit…
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accountability, data, education, paisa
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How PAISA Is Establishing Data Driven Accountability in the Education Sector

“Do Schools Get Their Money?” is one of the key questions which drives the PAISA (Planning, Allocations and Expenditures, Institutions: Studies in Accountability) project at Accountability Initiative (AI). Tracking financial flows in the Indian social sector for research and advocacy can be a challenging. To understand the role of data…
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health care policy, healthcare
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How This Government Project Is Driving Health Care Policy Using Data from the Field

The Indian Healthcare System The healthcare system in India is structurally a complex hierarchy of different government and private agencies at centre, state, district and village levels.  Given India’s poor global standing in public healthcare and the nature of bureaucratic information flows, data-driven decision making is being pitched as a…
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data collection, collect, socialcops
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Collect ChangeBlog: Launching Reporting, a Way to View Your Data as It’s Collected

Welcome to the Collect changeblog. Here’s where we try and keep you – our users – updated with all the product changes, and explain to you how they’d affect your data collection processes. Update 1: Reporting Module Reporting is the next big step in our bid to to make Collect a one-stop solution…
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data, akshay patra, education, children, socialcops
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Akshaya Patra: How the World’s Largest School Lunch Program is Managing Data

With the advent of contemporary data affordances, i.e. new actionable possibilities, we have seen an unprecedented rise in efforts to harness data-driven decision support systems in organisations across the world. However, in the social sector organisations, especially in the developing world, these possibilities are yet to emerge. Akshaya Patra –…
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data, cleanliness, swachh bharat
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Boosting Public Worker Morale and Performance Using Cleanliness Data

The Problem In India, “Safai Karamcharis” refer to the group of public workers responsible for street sweeping and garbage picking. The public worker system in India lacks an incredibly important component – incentives for good performance. People tend to perform better when recognized for their good performance.  While this is…
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earthquake, nepal, technology
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To Nepal With Love: The Role We Can (and Want to) Play in the Earthquake Relief

While the world was grappling with the massive earthquake that ravaged Nepal on 25th April, the recent cascade of aftershocks & tremors have made the situation inconsolable. With more than 8000 dead and thousands more injured after the 7.8 magnitude earthquake, it is definitely Nepal’s worst natural disaster in decades. The new…
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youth ki awaaz
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Youth Ki Awaaz: Want To Know The Status Of Education In Your District? Here’s A Cool Map To Help

“In the map, every district has been scored out of an average score of 10. As one navigates across the map, information regarding the infrastructure, the learning conditions, and the Member of Parliament to be held accountable is also available for every district. This information is provided in the form…
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