March 10, 2015
The Boma Project is an NGO that helps women in Northern Kenyan states gain vital financial security with the help of data collection tools on mobile devices.
The women of Laisamis, Loiyangalani, Marsabit and Samburu live in areas that are vast, arid and unspeakably poor.
In 2011, the last major drought, more than 3.5 million Kenyans were affected in a vast catastrophe that led to tens of thousands of deaths in the region. Malnutrition, disease, rising food prices and a flood of refugees all contributed to one of the worst humanitarian crises of the last twenty years.
The Boma Project wants to help the people of Northern Kenya survive the next climate crisis. They do this by focusing on building the financial resilience of the most vulnerable population in the region – women and children.
They give structured grants and training so women can create micro-businesses and, later, savings groups so they will have some liquidity to fall back on in hard times. We caught up with them late last year to see it for ourselves.
Boma’s headquarters in Nanyuki is between three and eight hours drive from the remote areas much of their work is done in. During the rainy season, sections of that road can be more or less unusable. Clearly, it was key that their field operations not rely on physical access to their beneficiaries.
The answer? Data collection tools on mobile devices.
As an organization, they totally rely on collecting and analyzing data from the small businesses they fund. The financial information, stock, loans and repayments – all areas with potential pitfalls that produce a lot of data. As Boma currently oversees more than 800 micro-businesses, getting access to that data and then getting it back to their headquarters has long been an issue.
Until recently, they have spend months collecting and collating data for analysis, with resources dedicated to the prosaic task of data entry. TaroWorks is changing that with our data collection tools that can be used on mobile devices in remote areas of Northern Kenya.
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