Mobile Services that Empower Vulnerable Communities ICT4D and Cash Transfers to IDPs in Bamako CRS Mali Cash, Cell Phones, iPads, & Debit Cards Ousmane MAIGA Head of Program March 20, 2013 ICT4D Conference Accra, Ghana Emergency Cash Transfers to IDPs Bamako (Communes 3, 4, 6) Goal: 4,000 displaced persons (599 households) in Bamako can respond to their top 2 priority needs without resorting to negative coping strategies. Partners: Office of Civil Protection, National Agriculture Development Bank (BNDA), IOM Budget : $ 501,811 USD Length of project: 6 months (July-December 2012) Why ICT4D? Facilitates communication, beneficiary registration, payment verification, M&E, beneficiary dignity ICT4D Solution: iPads for Beneficiary Registration 1. Verification Table 2. iPad Registration Table 3. Accountant Table 4. Payment in secure location Software/Vendor: iPad & license for cloud-based iFormbuilder (iformbuilder.com) Tech Support Required: None Staff Support: Train staff to use iPads & iFormbuilder; Followup during implementation to problem-solve & brainstorm Pros & Cons: iPads PROs • • • Information saved on iPads can be uploaded rapidly to the online database, eliminating data entry errors. Thanks to iPads, the payment/distribution list can be verified the same day with M&E. The ability to take beneficiary photos with iPads serves as a deterrant for non-beneficiaries to cheat the system. CONs • Capturing open-ended responses inpostdistribution surveys can be challenging if the surveyor is not very accustomed to typing on a touch-screen tool. ICT4D Solution: Debit Cards 1. Sign contract with bank (BNDA) 2. Bank supplies debit cards & secret PINs 3. Distribute debit cards & PINs to beneficiaries • • Confirm identity, distribute card & PIN Hostesses assist beneficiaries to use ATMs Software/Vendor: Bank Tech Support: None Staff Support: None Djélika Haidara, IDP from Timbuktu, holds her debit card PROs: Cash vs. Debit Cards CASH • • • • Establishes a face-to-face connection between beneficiaries, authorities, and CRS. On-site resolution of problems or questions. Beneficiaries gather in 1 place, making it easier to conduct post-distribution and satisfaction surveys. Same-day verification of the number of beneficiaries that registered and the number that received cash. DEBIT CARD • • • • • Withdrawals can be made when & where beneficiaries choose, at their convenience. 35 ATM locations across Mali (15 in Bamako). The bank provides all necessary personnel. Eliminates the risk of insecurity or fraud associated with direct cash distributions. Engages beneficiaries with formal banking systems. Training at ATMs CONs: Cash vs. Debit Cards CASH • • CRS provided all personnel and organized all distributions, including calls to beneficiaries to assign days/times and staff for verification. Potential chaos on distribution days, i.e. beneficiaries may show up on days or times that were not assigned to them, resulting in long wait times. DEBIT CARD • A BNDA hostess demonstrates how to use the ATM. • • • • Illiteracy makes remembering PINs and using ATMs more challenging. ATMs lacked small bills. ATMs go down when the internet does. Establishing bank contracts can be timeconsuming. Beneficiary liberty makes M&E collection more difficult. Lessons Learned using ICT4D CELL PHONES 1. Designate a phone line for feedback, FAQs, advice, etc. 2. Plan for the staff (and staff time) to call beneficiaries to give them distribution times/dates. iPADs 1. GPS on iPads can make it easier to locate beneficiary lodgings in order to conduct M&E. 2. Camara on the iPads makes it easy to identify beneficiaries and resolve any confusion between 2 IDPs. DEBIT CARDS 1. Debit cards uphold beneficiary dignity—after the initial distribution, debit cards can be used at the beneficiary’s discretion. NEXT TIME… 1. Add bar codes to beneficiary participation cards to further accelerate registration and verification. This 3-year old, who fled Gao with her mother and 6 siblings, holds her family’s participant card, Nov. 2012 (Helen Blakesley/CRS) ICT4D Costs Unit BNDA Prepaid debit card Cost to charge/recharge Card Recharge Orange Money Web SMS service access fee Monthly SMS fees (600 SMS) fee fee Cash Distribution service fees transaction Staff presence at initial distribution (5 locations*3 days) person/day Purchase of cell phones cell phone Purchase of SIM cards (donated by Orange) card iPads iPad + Griffin cover iFormbuilder license iPad license Unit Cost Quantity Frequency TOTAL 500 500 $12 $2 1 1 $6,000 $1,000 $7,000 1 1 $51 $71 1 1 $51 $71 500 $4 1 $2,000 15 500 $45 $22 1 1 $675 $11,000 500 $0 1 $0 $13,797 2 2 $549 $4 1 1 $1098 $8 $1106 *higher costs may be necessary in areas where bank networks/ATMs do not exist Cash-Use (September 2012) Results Achieved 85% food 3,777 IDPs received cash distributions (573 HH, of which 274 were female-headed HH) 43% health 28% lodgings Total Amount Distributed (*Nov 2012) $ 285,538.70 (cash) $73,078.64 (debit card) 24% clothes 9% communication/transport 5% to other IDPs Coping Strategies Before & After Before Cash After Cash Change in Household as a Result of CRS Intervention (September 2012) 56.4 85% able to meet family obligations 31% access to basic health services 23% restored dignity 12% access to material goods 4% education 4% other 38.8 27.3 17.6 14.1 11.5 6.2 0.9 2.2 0 1.30.9 1.31.3 Key Messages •There is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach in a dynamic, diverse emergency context, even within the same country. Multiple systems (direct cash, debit cards, mobile money) should be considered at the same time in order to serve all those in need. •Cash transfers must combine speed, efficiency, and innovation, and the approach must be flexible enough to adapt to changing circumstances. •You CAN teach an old dog new tricks. Have confidence that people can learn to use new systems, like debit cards and mobile money. QUESTIONS?