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SeeSaw: Payment by Results

Let's take a look at an incentive scheme created to increase the number of poor households connected to a rural water network...

Sometimes all we need is a bit of an incentive to get the job done. You've probably heard of the phrases "payment by results" or "output-based aid" as new ways to sustain behavioural change or guarantee the success of a certain action...

The introduction of this approach to any development program however, adds a list of new stakeholders to the process.

Take this example: giving $50 USD to a water entrepreneur each time he connects a poor household to the water network.

There are a lot of moving parts here!

Before water entrepreneurs can start linking poor households to the network, the households must be mapped. Then, a selection of these are checked by an external party to prevent entrepreneurs from manipulating the system to receive payments they don't deserve. Once verified, the water entrepreneurs need to know where these households are located in order to connect them. After connection there must be, once again, a second verification by an external party to ensure that the poor household was actually (and successfully) connected to the water network. Only after all of this, can payment be given to the water entrepreneur.

Of course, we also need to keep in mind the donor agency that needs to be able to quickly and easily track the progress of the poor household connections.

How do you easily manage this process, and ensure that all involved stakeholders can quickly access the (selected) information they need?

This is where SeeSaw comes in...

Our system is an excellent way to "map" and "check" poor households, allow water entrepreneurs to know which households should be connected, "verify" that connection, and ultimately "dispense" payment.

All while making the process transparent to donors and other involved stakeholders.

A record for each poor household is created, and as steps in the process are completed, new information is added, and can be retrieved by anyone, in a variety of different ways, at any time of the day.

So what sort of information is needed? And how can it be collected?

SeeSaw: Mapping Poor Households

Before any household can be connected, information on each (specifically whether or not the household qualifies as "poor"), must be collected. Fortunately for the water entrepreneur, employees can use SeeSaw's Android application to map each household they visit.

Meet Tim...

Tim works for the water entrepreneur and is tasked with using the SeeSaw app to determine which households qualify as 'poor'. Of course, simply checking a box indicating a household is 'poor' isn't enough. That's why the SeeSaw app allows users to take photos (of an ID poor card or the house) and capture GPS co-ordinates (which can later be used to verify the location of the household). The SeeSaw app can also integrate with other external systems (heard of What3Words?) to put in place other verification mechanisms.

So what happens next?

SeeSaw: Checking

After Tim "maps" the household, an external party needs to check the same household (using a similar app to the one used by Tim) to ensure no mistakes were made, or malpractice occurred.

Using the SeeSaw app, the 'checker' is able to pull up information from the mapping stage, even when in the field using a different phone, and without any internet connection. The app is also able to direct the 'checker' to the household he needs to check.

So the poor household has been mapped and checked. What's next?

As soon as the household is checked, water entrepreneurs can connect the household to the water network.

Meet Zach...

Zach is a water entrepreneur responsible for connecting households to the water network. Zach receives an SMS notifying him that a new household is ready to be connected to the water network, and uses his own version of the SeeSaw app to source information on the household (its location, household details, and notes on where the household can be found), as well as view the pictures taken by Tim (who mapped the household earlier).

Rather than fill out information using pen and paper, Zach makes use of the SeeSaw app, recording things like any unforeseen issues that arise during connection, as well as taking pictures indicating that the household has been successfully connected.

But the SeeSaw app doesn't stop there...

Remember the $50 USD incentive?

After the household has been connected, the connection must be validated before the incentive can be dispersed. SeeSaw can also help there...

SeeSaw can put all the households in a map, helping you track the completion of connections, or spot anomalies and inconsistencies in household connections.

Or, it can place them in Airtable or Trello to help organise and track the status of household connections.

Of course, you can also receive this information via SMS or email, or other methods and mechanisms that you already use.

Finally, and depending on the context, SeeSaw can even integrate with mobile money or financial payment systems in order to transfer subsidies directly!

In short, the SeeSaw app can help you with the collection and management of actionable information - to improve oversight, increase accountability, and streamline your project's processes and systems

As it is highly customisable, the SeeSaw app can be tailored to a wide variety of situations, to gather and bring together different kinds of information, from a range of different sources...

For more information about SeeSaw tools, and their potential applications in your projects, email us at info@greenseesaw.com.

Credits:

Created with images by LeoNeoBoy - "puzzle mosaic secret" • Damian Gadal - "Right Here" • davis.steve32 - "Information" • garryknight - "Paper Plane" • Wokandapix - "thanks word letters"

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