Intuitive Task Management

Sentinel Digital Technologies

Local Partner

All CHT users would likely benefit from this feature

Painpoint - First line users of the CHT (CHWs / VHTs) are seriously constrained when planning routes for their task completion duties. Task lists are usually long and tasks are arranged only by due dates. Tasks due remain scattered across distances which means there is no linear approach to planning routes. This is very challenging considering the limited amount of time VHTs dedicate to this work. In turn, this situation causes the accumulation of overdue tasks as they’re completed on the basis of the user’s preference.**

Recommendation - One possible way to resolve this is by linking GIS functionality with task management functionality. As a result, in addition to the due date, tasks due would be arranged according to their proximity to the user. In practice, this would mean that those tasks attached to households that are located closer to the user would shuffle to the top of the tasks list depending on where the VHT is located. And those tasks attached to households furthest would automatically shuffle to the bottom of the tasks list, depending on where the VHT is located. This functionality could potentially still be sustained on offline mode.

Outcome - Users can approach their routes better if the app would support geographical task management. This aspect would add a new level of prioritisation to schedule management for the users and they would approach task competition in a linear way in their communities

Challenge - As things stand, it appears that this adjustment can be best approached at the level of the core. @mrjones :face_with_peeking_eye:Your thoughts on this would be highly valued.


@Kevin_Korir Just tagging you here since this is very timely given our conversations yesterday about improving the task list. Could you or someone from your team perhaps respond here with any thoughts on what @David_01 has proposed and/or add additional use-cases or proposals here? Thanks!

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Thanks @David_01 for the suggestion! As well, thanks @jkuester for getting extra eyes on this forum post.

Speaking of extra eyes, @michael has done a lot of work on both optimizing configurations and workflows within the CHT as well as adding features around the task list. Adding him to this thread so he can weigh in as needed.

Thanks @David_01 for your post! This is something we’ve explored a bit already, but I’d love to learn more about what you are thinking.

Just to be clear, are you imagining that…

…a CHW would be out in the community somewhere already and wanting to see if there happen to be any tasks available “near me” / in the area they are already in (regardless of the due date)


…they would still plan to visit households based on due dates but this would help them plan the route for all the tasks due today?

Other considerations

It’s important to recognize the potential impact of proximity based prioritization whereby households that are furtherest away get visited even less frequently. UHC mode has been shown to improve equity in this regards and is an important feature in efforts to attain Universal Health Coverage. This isn’t to say that proximity based can’t be useful, but I wanted to make sure you were also aware of the UHC mode feature.

Likewise, there is another feature that helps group tasks for the same household together. Are you already using the Household Tasks feature?

Thank you for pulling me into this conversation. I am in agreement with @David_01 that the task list needs a bit of improvement to increase efficiency for the CHWs. He has outlined very clearly the same thoughts we were discussing and are hoping to see on CHT.

In addition to this, the task list can get very messy especially when there are a lot of overdue tasks, and CHWs have to scroll through a number of them to get to the ones that are actionable at a particular time. Most of the time, important tasks fall through the cracks.

Proposed functionality here would be to

  • introduce configurable color coding of tasks to help users quickly identify the most important tasks, which may not necessarily be the overdue ones.

  • introduce custom sorting of tasks and not just sorting by date. For instance, a task may be 10 days overdue but is not a priority, while another is 1 day overdue and is of utmost priority.


Thanks @Kevin_Korir !

The CHT has the ability to include a “priority” label (colored red) on each task to help quickly identify high priority tasks, (unrelated to the due date). Is this something that would be helpful for you?

Task ordering is something we are very interested in learning more about… check out this forum post and this github ticket for a few examples.

We’d like to do some more exploration into this and speak with healthworkers to better understand the possibilities. @Kevin_Korir / @David_01 would you be able to help arrange for this? Several of us will be in Kenya and Uganda in mid October and would be interested in connecting to learn more. Can you help set up some conversations for us? (cc: @leah @Nicole_Orlowski )


@michael - All households are subject to the UHC mode. The UHC mode ensures that all households are visited and given the same treatment regardless of their location. It is on this basis, UHC mode, that tasks are generated and that all households in a single VHT’s catchment are visited.

Tasks are generated from routine visits as a factor of UHC mode, and these are created indiscriminately. Thereafter, VHTs would complete tasks based on their due dates. Proximity based prioritisation would simply compliment the due date by identifying those tasks closest to a VHT at any given time as long as they are due.

Scenario - If a VHT has 6 tasks due today, he would complete them as they are arranged in his tasks bar. But while these tasks are all due, geographically, there is no linear order to this list. The challenge here is that the when there are multiple tasks due for the same day, the tasks list is random. As a VHT begins to complete the tasks list (among those that are due) he may move far for one task and leave behind a task that may have been situated in a household close to him before he embarked on a journey to complete a far flung task. And upon completing it, he may realise that at the time he went to complete the first task he missed an opportunity to complete a task that was close by. There’s currently no way for a VHT to know this except by his own familiarity with his clients and their names.

This is because the tasks bar is static. With a non-static tasks bar, in this scenario, the tasks would have shuffled to bring to the top of the list those tasks which were in his vicinity in that moment. Even without knowing the clients names off the top of his head, it would be clear that the tasks at the top are closest. On each task, there can be a small indication of the distance in metres from him.

In the end, if there is no task due in his immediate vicinity, the task bar would shuffle to the top, those tasks due even if geographically they are some distance away. In this way, the VHT would not go back and forth inconveniently across distances. Completing all tasks due would simply mean returning home.

Very interesting discussion here.
We have tried to explore the geospatial data and how we could use this within CHT and glad that others are also thinking through the same.
Some questions have come up as we have been doing our explorations especially related to the use of location to make the tasks more intuitive.

  • How do we deal with the initial step of ensuring that you have all the households data and that it is accurate/reliable and how do you deal with a scenario that some households may not have their location.
  • How do we calculate the distance from the VHTs location, are we going to use straight line distance and how do we deal with the issue of barriers, and how will this function offline?
  • How do we deal with the case of the VHTs not having their GPS turned on? How do we know their locality?
  • There is a study that found that with the GPS on, the battery drains faster by between 13-40%, so we also need a solution that would have this in mind. Do we want to actively be collecting the GPS as the VHT is using the app and how will this add on to the battery drain.

Attaching a screenshot of a slide deck with some options which we were looking at proposing for both tasks and contact sorting.

We hadn’t made much progress on this but getting more insight from others would be great