TimeTracker is an app to track daily activitiesit was developed in a university research program.

About the Project

In African farming households, men, women and children typically have different workloads. Studies have shown that men spend more time on ploughing while women spend more time on weeding and processing. Household chores such as cooking are also done by women and girls. Development programs which overlook these time use dynamics can fail completely, raise women’s already high labour burden which can be critical for household nutrition or prevent children from going to schools. Yet, surprisingly little is known about time use of households and the effects of new technologies on them. One reason is that time use is extremely difficult to measure. Household surveys are prone to large recall biases. Time use diaries are burdensome and difficult when respondents are illiterate or lack a modern concept of time. And direct observations which are used by sociologist are very expensive and the presence of the researchers may effect behaviors.

The Institute of Agricultural Sciences in the Tropics (Hans-Ruthenberg-Institute) and the University of Media therefore developed a simple, picture-base smartphone app which allows respondents to record daily activities themselves. The team currently uses the app to study time use dynamics of mechanisation in Zambia. 60 households (180 respondents – men, wife and one child each) record their daily activities for three days at five points of the farming season. The respondents also record the food quantity and food types eaten. The team studies mechanisation as this is a labor-saving-technology which is likely to have strong influences on time use. The question is how it influences time use. How does it affect men’s workloads? What happens with potentially “freed” time? Is it spend to cultivate more land? For off-farm work or leisure? And how does it affect women’s and children’s workloads?

The research is part of the Program of Accompanying Research for Agricultural Innovation (PARI), a multi-national and interdisciplinary research consortium. PARI scientifically advises the Agricultural Innovation Centers which were set up in 12 African countries and India by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) und the program “One world, no hunger”.

more about the project
Project Period: 2015 – 2018
Current State: Active Field Research in Zambia
Project Site: http://research4agrinnovation.org/

Impressions from the Survey

The Application Ecosystem

Tracking daily Activities
With an mobile application it is possible to record daily activities on a smartphone. For the recoding the smartphone does not need a internet conennction. Therefore it is possible to do a survey in regions with no internet connection. The application is developed and designd so that it is easy to use. Respondants with no „smartphone“ background can use it very easily after a short training. The researchers need no programming skills to configure the application.

Organizing collected Data
With a PC application it is possible to save all recorded data from the smathphones on a PC. The smartphone has to connect via WiFi with the PC to upload the tracked data from the smartphone to the PC. The developed PC application stores the recieved data in a local folder on the computer and automatically combines all single recieved data into extra file.

Proccessing Data
The data is prepered in two different formats – json and csv. With that formats it is possible to easiliy proccess the data with a tool like Excel, Tablaou or any other data proccessing tool.



The developed applications are were well tested. They were used for a survey for a whole farming season. For more information contact Thomas Daum or Hannes Buchwald

Geo Tracking
This is a smartphone application to track current positions. It can get the geo position from the gps system of the smartphone or from the network provider. The app is sending all tracked data to a cloud datastorage. For a further integration into the Time Tracking application the app is developed in Android.

Weather Station
A weather station from froggit is able to send its data to the cloud. The weather station needs to be connected with a wifi network which is connected to the internet. This weather station is waterproof and runs with batteries. Therfore it is possible to record the weather data of any location in the world with a available internet access.

Weather Station Enabler
This is a server which enables the recording of the weather station. It is possible to configure the recording period. The data from the weatherstation will be stored in the same cloudstorage as the geo Tracker App is storing its data.

Cloud Storage
A hosted storage is set up in the cloud where all the tracked data from the geo app and the weather station are stored.

This is an online dashboard where all the recorded data are be displayed. There is a map in which the geo positions are displayed and a table to see detailed information about every single geo position. The data can be filtered and exported for further processing.

Proccessing Data
The data are prepered in three different formats – pdf, json and csv. With this universal formats it is possible to easiliy proccess the data in a tool like Excel, Tableau or any other data proccessing tool.



This applications are in beta phase. They are tested in zambia but not used for a real survey.

Contact us for more intrest