LMMS E-Voucher Restores Dignity to 180,000 Beneficiaries
In an Ebola-affected and Food Insecure Population in the Democratic Republic of Congo, our customers opted to use LMMS E-Voucher in their 12-month project where the focus was to alleviate suffering and maintain human dignity among vulnerable, displaced IDPs and host communities. More specifically, the project aimed to reduce the vulnerability of crisis for affected IDPs and host communities, especially youth, women, and children through food vouchers distribution for feeder roads rehabilitation and social cohesion activities.
The Decision to use E-Voucher comes at a time when delivering cash/ voucher programs to beneficiaries through the transfer of electronic vouchers as a means of restoring dignity to the beneficiaries giving them the option to select local product brands that they prefer and trust to serve in the homes, and make the purchase themselves.
Humanitarian actors are increasingly recognising the effectiveness and efficiency of the tools – particularly in the face of challenges – linked to security and logistics, food systems are more integrated, the pace of urbanization is accelerating and basic financial services are increasingly diffused, including in rural areas.
Furthermore, the recognition that local markets may be able to respond to increases in demand for a variety of commodities and services within Cash Based Programming.
The redemption of these cash vouchers through resource transfer is positively impacting the markets and local economies in the region.
Registrations for the project began early and when LMMS was trained the data was shared from one platform to the easy to use intuitive LMMS Registration used via an application on an Android phone allowed staff to be trained and quickly have the program up and running, versus starting registrations, therefore avoiding repetition of work.
Each household that was selected was to work in the road rehabilitation project whose works were tracked through the LMMS Aid For Work (AFW) solution.
Ration quantities are prorated based on the amount of work accomplished which is measured either in days, hours, or length of completion, for the household to earn their full ration of USD 70.00. Standard ration sizes are the same for each household regardless of the size of the household.
Once works are completed, beneficiaries are now able to redeem their Unrestricted Value Voucher: a voucher holds the value in it where the beneficiary is free to purchase any or all contracted commodities, the project allowed up to 15 items of a type of commodity that they can purchase from the local vendor shops.
Beneficiaries are redeeming their vouchers and purchasing commodities at any point during the cycle month. Beneficiaries can securely use their cards without fear of loss because a transaction can only be fully completed with a secure pin code entry that they are assigned to ensure that no fraud is done at their expense.
“Using E-Voucher is bringing a new awareness and encouraging the use of technology even in remote locations.“
Vendors were trained on how to use the MPOS Android-based app LMMS E-voucher platform for a seamless system based end to end transaction loop payment platform, its availability to be used offline has allowed the opportunity for even the small local store owners in the community to be able to use an easy UI application to serve customers.
This has completely changed the outlook of Aid as vendors are also allowed to control how their sales occur in the field, bringing a new awareness and encouraging the use of technology even in remote locations.
The ability of the project to track full end-to-end digitized tracking of transactions. Protects both the Vendor and the customer as a partner to ensure that all transactions are managed through the EVS platform. The support of the local community businesses community has fostered an environment of growth for the local businesses.
Through LMMS E-Voucher the organization benefited from restoring dignity to beneficiaries, all the while benefitting from full reporting on purchases and accountability for the humanitarian organization. This data allowed them to continue to plan future rounds of the program, and even modify products as needed if affected by availability and demand.
The LMMS E-Voucher Enhancement has upgraded E-Voucher with new features which have further helped the communities. It now supports multiple wallets, allowing beneficiaries to be part of multiple projects with the same card. The beneficiaries can use the same card at multiple merchant shops and be able to purchase project-specific items or receive the items themselves as commodity vouchers.
If the merchant devices damages, then it can be exchanged easily by simply un-assigning and reassigning a new device for them. This has helped in situations where some devices have been lost in the field and transactions are not lost. Furthermore, in cases of loss of cards, it has become even easier for the staff to block the lost card and re-assign a new card to the beneficiary.
The system upgrade has made the work at the field easier but additionally easier for the finance team with multiple reports that can be generated. Finance can simply download the reports on a click of a button, overall contributing to the reduced merchant payment time.
Also, the receipt printer addition allowed the merchant to print and provide receipts to the beneficiary with the items purchased, amount with the remaining balance to the merchant. This helps the beneficiary track their spending habit overall.
LMMS is making a difference in cash-based programming in DRC and is distributing electronic value to beneficiaries through e-voucher. It is expediting distributions and restoring dignity to beneficiaries through direct purchase access at assigned merchants and simultaneously strengthening the communities.
New Features and Enhancements
- SMS Vouchers
- Merchant Receipt Printers
- Product Returns & Refunds
by Tafadzwa Mugwagwa, Technical Support