The Technology for Impact partnership is a 5-year collaboration between Mercy Corps and Cisco. Cisco has given the Mercy Corps Technology for Development team (T4D) $8.5 million in funding and $1.5 million in product to support seven specific initiatives to unlock new possibilities and reach more people through the power of technology. Our combined vision is to work toward a world of digital inclusion and opportunity where the ethical use of technology empowers secure, productive and just communities.
Mercy Corps program beneficiaries.
Featuring stories from the Mercy Corps’ global team, the third Annual Impact Report focuses on Technology for Impact’s engagement with program participants, Mercy Corps staff, and the humanitarian community across four themes: IMPACT, INNOVATION, INFLUENCE, and IMPLEMENTATION.
Technology for Impact: Global Reach
Technology for Impact’s global reach from Year 1 to 3, where dark teal indicates Technology for Impact programs; light teal indicates Cisco Meraki Office Networks; and dark gray indicates both.
Key impacts to date:
- We implemented digital cash and voucher programming that reached 12,293 households (64,170 individuals) with over $2 million USD of assistance.
- We helped reach 38,200 people in Haiti with COVID-19 information. 50% accessed
information relevant to children’s health, and 18% completed myth-busting modules.
- 5 children received 3D-printed prosthetics or other assistive devices to improve motor ability and performance in school.
Amplifying Our Impact: Digital Access, Global Impact
Mercy Corps has installed 67 WiFi hubs in 6 countries around the world, reaching over 670,000 people since 2017.
Mercy Corps helps build resilient communities that are equipped to respond swiftly and effectively to natural disasters and conflict events.
In Year Three of the Technology for Impact partnership, we helped communities around the world stay connected and strengthen systems for the future by establishing and reinforcing accessible public WiFi networks and exploring ways to counter the sometimes destructive aspects of social media.
Fueling Innovation: Learning and Evolving
Mercy Corps piloted the use of 3D printing for assistive devices, including the prosthetic
hand pictured here.
“Today is a happy day for me because I have another hand now. When I received this hand, I felt an indescribable feeling.” – Mohammed
In collaboration with Mercy Corps’ technical experts and local country teams, and with support from the Technology for Impact partnership, T4D has created a pipeline to pilot new solutions, replicate successes and build platforms for ongoing iteration.
From establishing 3D-printing projects in refugee camps to facilitating community dialogue around dangerous speech, the T4D team has learned from the successes and challenges of every engagement. When it comes to trying new things, it’s clear that managing expectations, designing in collaboration with users and being willing to pivot are key to innovation.
Growing our Influence: A Model for Flexible Humanitarian Aid
Digital cash and voucher support delivers over $2m in aid
Cash and voucher assistance (CVA) has quickly become a preferred modality for humanitarian response, because it ensures program participants have flexibility to buy the goods and services they choose to best meet their needs.
Digitizing and automating CVA programming can help humanitarian organizations reach more people more efficiently and effectively by streamlining targeting and enrollment, delivering transfers at scale, securely sharing data with peers and ensuring program continuity amid operational adjustments required by COVID-19 safety measures. In Year Three, six Mercy Corps CVA programs transitioned to digitized and automated ecosystems to improve transparency and accountability to communities being served, working alongside technology partners to ensure the safe delivery.
Improving Systems and Processes: New Ways to Enhance Transparency and Accountability
Automating steps of the Community Accountability and Reporting Mechanism (CARM) saves field teams hours and improves reporting accuracy.
Community Accountability and Reporting Mechanisms (CARM) give members of local communities and Mercy Corps team members a safe, confidential and accessible way to provide feedback on humanitarian programming through locked suggestion boxes, toll-free hotlines and WhatsApp messages. Mercy Corps program teams adjust their response based on the nature of the feedback, making any necessary programmatic or safeguarding adaptations.
While Mercy Corps has had CARM policies in place for years, they have been led primarily by individual country teams and were in need of better global oversight. Over the past year, T4D has supported this important agency priority by automating emails with coded scripts, building a digital database, and streamlining data collection and storage with digital apps.
Read the Full Report
Download the full report on the third year of our Technology for Impact partnership.
All images provided by and courtesy of Mercy Corps.