The MOTECH Learning Curve

The MOTECH project is a heavyweight in the global health arena, focusing on enterprise implementations. The system administrator is the primary user for the MOTECH Platform. We have one implementation where end users directly interface with the MOTECH Platform. We recognize that the MOTECH Platform requires deep technical understanding to implement and manage. Our team is working to improve the usability of the system for non-technical subject matter experts. However, at this time, we recommend that implementers ensure that they have a technical person, or team, available who can manage the entire MOTECH technology stack.

Installation is the first step to learning about the MOTECH Platform. Once complete, the implementer is left with a number of options. This can be a pretty daunting task. First, recognize that the MOTECH Platform is built to be as generic as possible so it can be easily modified. It is built with plug-and-play modules that allow you to add functionality. Each module acts as a connector to external services including IVR and SMS providers, CommCareHQ, OpenMRS, DHIS2, etc. Our core architecture relies on events as the backbone. Everything in the MOTECH Platform utilizes these events including other core activities like tasks, data services and the scheduler.

To make this real, here’s a brief description of each of the core modules. A full description of the add-on modules is available in the modules page.


The admin module allows users to administer MOTECH Platform through the user interface. This includes the ability to manage modules, setup server messages, security permissions, roles and user accounts. Additionally, you can view logs, adjust system settings and auto notify administrators of critical errors with this module. It’s accessed through the admin and security menus in the user interface.

Data Services

Data Services is the user-configurable information system that allows administrators to create and manage the data that they need for their implementation. This is where the magic happens in MOTECH Platform. You use the data services module to create your data schema through the user interface and MOTECH Platform takes care of the back end database for you. Administrators create entities within the data services module. Each of these entities have fields associated with them. For example, a person entity would have given name, middle name, family name, etc. fields associated with it. Once created, you can use these fields to store information, generate reports, perform actions and create tasks. You can even connect these entities to third party systems through add-on modules.

REST Services

The REST Services menu item is managed through the data services module. This menu shows the API documentation created by data services so administrators can quickly identify API endpoints exposed by MOTECH Platform for other systems to consume.


The tasks module allows administrators to create system routes that identify a trigger, perform some logical filtering and execute an action within MOTECH. Think of it like this… if this ‘thing’ happens then do ‘that’ action. Tasks are used throughout the system to get stuff done. For example, an incoming form from CommCare can kick off a task that sends an SMS or pushes the data to DHIS2. All of this is configurable through the user interface with the tasks module.

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