Technology for Development

Driving impact and scale through technology.

Mobile Money

In October 2018, Village Enterprise began making mobile transfers in lieu of cash grants to business owners in Kenya. On the day of disbursement, the money is sent to all the lines of approved businesses. Business owners receive an SMS confirmation of the deposit and sign a hard copy receipt for their records. Groups can withdraw the cash they need to start their business from a mobile money agent present at disbursement.

The new cashless transfer system is safer for business mentors and owners, requires fewer staff, and improves trust within business savings groups. After the success in Kenya, Village Enterprise piloted mobile money cash disbursements in Uganda in May 2019. In the coming year, Village Enterprise will continue to expand its use of mobile cash transfers throughout its areas of operation. Read our blogpost for more information.

Digital Training and Mentoring Tools

Village Enterprise continually evaluates our training curriculum and works to make it more effective for our program participants. Beginning in November 2018, the Innovations team revamped our training and mentoring curriculum and tools using Human-Centered Design. The new, interactive training materials use a more approachable, visual, and concise format and focus more on learning by doing and interaction. Some goal-setting tools have been added to standardize content for each mentoring visit and make sure every business owner receives proper training. Our business mentors can now access the training curriculum and video review modules digitally on their tablets.

Mobile Monitoring and Evaluation

To increase our impact, Village Enterprise continues to improve our adaptive management systems and find better ways to measure the progress of business savings groups and businesses. Through an extensive and collaborative process, we developed dashboards that field staff can use to proactively monitor their businesses and business savings groups and to adapt their mentoring appropriately. Our monitoring and evaluation dashboards won the dashboard contest of the Monitoring, Evaluation, Research, and Learning Tech 2019 conference.

While technology is important, it is not sufficient on its own to create a strong culture of performance. Leaders across Village Enterprise are shaping a culture that adapts and addresses problems based on evidence. Village Enterprise continues to value insight and reflection in all areas of our culture and practices.