Using Technology for Beneficiary Registration and Tracking
USING TECHNOLOGY FOR BENEFICIARY REGISTRATION AND TRACKING
Tuesday, 19 November, 2013
Presenters: Laura Buback, Health & Nutrition Monitoring Advisor, Liberia Agriculture Upgrading Nutrition and Child Health (LAUNCH) Program, John Snow, Inc., Liberia; Job Milapo, Commodity Operations Manager, Liberia Agriculture Upgrading Nutrition and Child Health (LAUNCH) Program, ACDI/VOCA, Liberia; Alto Oumarou, Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist, Catholic Relief Services, Niger
The Liberian Agricultural Upgrading Nutrition and Child Health (LAUNCH) program has been implementing a Preventing Malnutrition in Under Twos Approach (PM2A) Multi-Year Assistance Program (MYAP) since 2010 in two counties of Liberia, aiming to improve food security and nutrition with a focus on the first 1,000 days. The Liberian context provided initial challenges for registering beneficiaries and entering them into the LAUNCH commodity database for distribution in a timely matter. By transitioning to a mobile phone based registration process, LAUNCH’s beneficiary tracking system was greatly enhanced and improved overall program management.
Participants learned how this model strengthened the delivery and targeting of supplementary food by streamlining data flow. The LAUNCH model has potential to be adapted by other Food for Peace (FFP) programs in order to ultimately improve nutrition and food security.
Job Milapo and Laura Buback presented how ACDI/VOCA and JSI use mobile phone technology with the LAUNCH program in Liberia to register and track beneficiaries. Their consortium uses an internet-based, mobile phone technology called Magpie for which all of the data is stored online. Once the form is created online, it can be downloaded from the mobile phone using regular cellular technology (GPRS). This mobile beneficiary software reduced the amount of time that it takes to get beneficiaries into the system from about 10 weeks to about 5 weeks. Implementing the technology required several steps, including setting up the technology, training field-staff in how to use the technology, and conducting on-going supervision of field staff in how to use it. Often staff collect the data on their phones without having an internet or mobile-phone connection, then they return to their office to get access to the network and send the data stored on their phones to the cloud. Then ACDI/VOCA downloads this information into a database that they have built on their system to collect and process the data. They are able to use the software to produce documents that list selected beneficiaries with detailed data. They also produce ration card documents for beneficiaries. The data only has to be entered one time to produce all the various documents they use, which speeds up the process and reduces error.
Alto Oumarou presented the way that CRS in Niger uses mobile phone technology to register beneficiaries. CRS uses iPod software with iPhone builder for registration and commodity distribution. They use a unique code for each beneficiary in their mobile technology and individual barcodes for each woman who is registered. The field staff merely scan the barcode and all the information about the individual beneficiary comes up on their device. So, for example, when an existing beneficiary gets involved in a new activity, field staff can scan that beneficiary’s barcode, then update their status in the system.
CRS also uses Data Winner—a cellular phone technology—for some of their data gathering. The Data Winner software allows community volunteers to use their own cellular phones to send information to a central database—such as the number of pregnant women in a village, or when a new baby is born and needs to be registered in the system.