Updated on March 27, 2024


Created on November 2, 2015

Akvo Flow

Akvo FLOW is a cloud hosted application designed as a field surveying tool for collecting, evaluating and displaying any quantity of geographically referenced data via an online dashboard.

Developed By
  1. Akvo Flow
Tested By
  • Connect4Change (C4C)
  • The Government of Ethiopia
  • WWF-Indonesia
Content Partners


Product Description

Flow is available as an Android application and a web based platform. Enables users to map situations on the ground to improve monitoring and evaluation of infrastructure and services, and make informed investment decisions based on accurate, current data.

Target SDGs

SDG 6: Clean Water and Sanitation

SDG 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure

Market Suggested Retail Price


Target Users (Target Impact Group)

Public Sector Agencies, NGOs

Distributors / Implementing Organizations


Competitive Landscape

Direct competitors include Epicollect5, Magpi, and Open Data Kit.

Manufacturing/Building Method

FLOW is a cloud hosted application, but the entire code base is published on GitHub.

Intellectural Property Type

Select Type

User Provision Model

Organizations interested in FLOW should use the Akvo contact page

Distributions to Date Status

More than 250 organizations, with over 4 million forms submitted, including national governments, multi-lateral aid agencies and NGOs are using FLOW to monitor water and sanitation points, health and education services, agricultural practices, food security within communities, wildlife populations and more.

Design Specifications

The Akvo FLOW survey app enables users to conduct field surveys in any language using Android smartphones. It works in remote locations without cell phone coverage and the data uploads automatically to databases hosted in the cloud whenever network coverage resumes. As data is gathered via the FLOW app, it becomes instantly visible on the FLOW dashboard and survey maps. The online FLOW dashboard is multi-lingual and can be used to create and publish surveys and manage how they're distributed to smartphone users, generate and publish reports. Survey fields can prompt enumerators to gather different types of data including photos, videos, barcodes or audio clips. Survey maps allow data visualizations to view, explore and share survey data. Akvo FLOW runs on smart phones running Android 2.3 or higher. Additionally: - Screen size should be 3.7 inch or larger. With smaller screens, it becomes difficult to use the app - The device should have GPS, preferably including GLONASS support - Storage size: the device should have at least 4Gb of free space available, either as internal storage, or as an external SD card - Battery life should be at least 8-10 hours. External backup power is recommended, for example by using additional batteries or a solar charger - A computer; a modern web browser; an internet connection and a spreadsheet application that supports .xls and .txt, such as Microsoft Excel 2007 or LibreOffice 4.0+.

Product Schematics

Technical Support

Support for FLOW is included in the service and can be accessed online

Replacement Components



Akvo has had major dot releases every 1-2 years. Full release history

Manufacturer Specified Performance Parameters

- - Easy to publish, share and analyze information - - Allows addition of new or updated information to each data point. So an asset can be tracked, new surveys added, and more. - - Designed to work in remote areas lacking basic infrastructure. Phones can store hundreds of surveys and data can be collected in areas where there is no mobile connection – Akvo FLOW automatically transmits the data once a connection is detected

Vetted Performance Status

From the Akvo see it happen page as of September 2017:

  • - 258 organizations using FLOW
  • - Over 29,000 devices used for data collection
  • - Over 15,000 surveys created
  • - Over 4.6 million data points collected



Complementary Technical Systems

- - Statistical analysis tools (R, STATA, etc.) - - External backup power is recommended for the mobile phone used for surveying, for example by using additional batteries or a solar charger

Academic Research and References

  1. Fisher M, Mann B, Cronk R, Shields K, Klug T, Ramaswamy R. Evaluating Mobile Survey Tools (MSTs) for Field-Level Monitoring and Data Collection: Development of a Novel Evaluation Framework, and Application to MSTs for Rural Water and Sanitation Monitoring. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2016;13(9):840.
  2. Dickinson N, Bostoen K. Using ICT for monitoring rural water services : from data to action. IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre. 2013;4.
  3. Chemisto M, Rivett U. A Review of Sector Coordination and ICTs in Multi-Stakeholder Environs of Uganda’s Rural Water Sector. Proceedings of the 9th IDIA conference, IDIA2015. 2015 Nov.
  4. Schouten T, Smits S, Butterworth J. From infrastructure to services: trends in monitoring sustainable water, sanitation and hygiene services. Rugby: Practical Action Publishing; 2015.
  5. Adank M, Kumasi TC, Chimbar TL, Atengdem J, Agbemor BD, Dickinson N, Abbey E. The state of handpump water services in Ghana: findings from three districts. 37th WEDC International Conference. 2014.
  6. Adank M, Butterworth J, Godfrey S, Abera M. Looking beyond headline indicators: water and sanitation services in small towns in Ethiopia. Journal of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene for Development. 2016;6(3):435–446.

Compliance with regulations

AKVO is compliant with open data publishing licensing, privacy and sensitive data standards according to their General Terms and Conditions.

Evaluation methods

Field trials

Other Information

IRC report

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