Project Scope and Requirements

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Joseph Koshy > Projects > The CIEE Web Database Project > Project Scope and Requirements

Project Scope and Requirements

Here I will briefly describe the scope of the CIEE Web Database project.

The Background: CIEE's School Survey

The CIEE is conducting a survey of government schools in the state of Karnataka, India. This survey is fairly comprehensive. It goes in-depth into the functioning of each school being surveyed, and also attempts to capture the socio-economic milieu in which the school is working.

For example, in addition to recording the number of students attending the school, it also records the economic condition of the surrounding villages, whether the children attending the school have access to transportation, whether drinking water is accessible, what the distribution of castes and communities in the neighborhood are and so on.

A soft-copy version of the survey form in PDF format is available (20 pages,917KB). This document is a bilingual document, in English and Kannada.

The actual collection of all this data is being done by interviewing:

This information is verified with people in the community through a specially conducted meeting (a Shikshana Gram Sabha). In the process of discussing issues raised by information collected, people begin to see possibilities for initiating change at the local level. More information on the impact of the CIEE survey is available from CIEE.

Please see the section on contributing if you would like to volunteer to survey a school.

Managing and presenting the data

The kind of demographic data being collected by the CIEE project would be of use to many people. The primary user of the information collected is, of course, the local community. In addition:

For all this to happen however, the data collected must first be made widely available, and that is where this project comes into the picture.

CIEE Survey Data to be made accessible over the WWW

The WWW and the Internet seem like the ideal medium to make the collected survey data widely available to the general public. A database backed website seems like a near ideal solution. Such a web site would allow:

The aim here is to build a community of people interested in elementary education.


The project has thus to satisfy the following major requirements:

Availability over the WWW

The data made available from the CIEE survey is to be made available to the general public for perusal over the web. This can be in the form of "standard" views (e.g. lists of schools with less than a given percentage of pass rates), or, later, we may want to allow users to run custom queries on the database.


The collected data in the database should be searchable.


Users should be able to annotate web pages pertaining to a school with their comments. These comments, after approval by a moderator, would be made visible to the general viewing public. The comments themselves should be searchable.

Adding Data

A stand-alone front end tool to assist in entering data into the database may need to be developed. In addition, we may need to allow entry of school survey data, securely, over the web. The rationale here is that in the near future, web access is likely to be available from most large towns in the state. The ability to go an Internet kiosk, login onto the CIEE website and enter/update school data could be a boon for the surveyors.


The project needs to be sustainable. This means that the whole system needs to be maintainable by people at MAYA since hiring a database or Web software professional to do the necessary maintenance is not an economical alternative for grass-roots organizations.

If at all any maintenance has to be done, it should be possible to be done using volunteers. (Gee, isn't this a tall order?)

From this requirement we can infer the following:


A major goal in implementing this project is to make the work available for other grass-roots level organizations interested in setting up similar web based communities.

This means that:

Last Modified: Sat Apr 21 22:53:24 2007
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