April 24, 2018
Catholic Relief Services’ (CRS) popular ICT4D Conference turns 10 this year and TaroWorks will be among the more than 600 participants learning and sharing insights about technology in development from May 8th through May 11th in Lusaka, Zambia. If you’d like to meet up during the conference, send an email to one of our two attendees – Elaine Chang, Director Market Development and Customer Success or Sebastian Csaszar, Business Development Lead.
CRS sees the ICT4D conference as a way “… to explore how people around the world are using ICT4D to enhance program quality, improve decision-making, increase impact and accelerate progress toward the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.”
Source: Catholic Relief Services
Topics for planned ICT4D conference presentations, panels and training sessions will include agriculture and environment, health and nutrition, education, humanitarian response, livelihoods and digital financial inclusion. The last topic is one for which CRS used TaroWorks to power a two-year financial diary research project that helped gauge the results of the organization’s Savings and Internal Lending (SILC) methodology in seven villages around the town of Kasama, in Zambia’s Northern Province.
“Financial diaries methodology proved to be a powerful tool for studying financial inclusion in Zambia, but practitioners of this highly detailed and time-consuming monitoring and evaluation technique would not have reached their desired research breadth and depth had they not completely switched from paper-based to digital tools about 40 weeks into the more than two-year data collection and analysis effort.
Using a mobile data collection and analysis app (which also worked offline) and a cloud-hosted database, CRS drew household data from rural areas in real time – even when connectivity was spotty – and accurately amassed thousands of data points generated by tracking people’s financial lives each week. At the same time, a CRM tool built into the app increased the productivity of field teams collecting this data by allowing CRS to set goals for each survey agent and track progress against those goals.” (Read More)
CRS Financial Diaries Interview. Source: Henry Tenenbaum, 2016/Catholic Relief Services
The 2018 ICT4D Conference has a comprehensive digital financial inclusion track and last year CRS published the financial diaries project final findings and conclusions as part of its Expanding Financial Inclusion in Africa project.
“These findings are unequivocally positive. Poor households that had limited access to financial tools were provided a service, that service worked to build large sums of cash, and households were able to use that cash to improve their quality of life and resiliency to cash flow fluctuations.
That does not mean there are not areas where CRS could improve its offering. Some groups were more successful than others, greater investments in businesses did not appear to yield additional returns, and the fact that households used all the cash so quickly, even for productive reasons, underscores their need for products and services that provide or help them generate more cash.” (Read More)
If you’d like more details on how TaroWorks can be used for similar financial diary or related financial inclusion research, let’s get together at the ICT4D Conference next month or contact us at our website.
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