Croix Rouge Malagasy is paying per diems to volunteers through mobile transfers
DRC is working in Antananarivo, the capital of Madagascar, with the project A Dignified Life for Children in Antananarivo. The project involves 128 volunteers who are supporting the project team in a wide range of activities within health, education, economic recovery and violence protection.
Each month the volunteers receive a symbolic amount of money, per diems, to cover their transport and food while having assisted Croix Rouge Malagasy (CRM). The per diems have until 2018 been paid in cash and volunteers have been asked to show up at the CRM office to receive the money. The process has been very time consuming for both staff at CRM and volunteers.
“Before we used to have a long line of people taking up the space of the whole court yard and street, queuing to receive their money”, says Razafimahatratra Nohariantsoa, the Accounting at CRM. And he continues: “My work started the day before when I had to call every 128 volunteer to inform them that they should come to the office. Also I had to go to the bank to withdraw the money. The day for them to receive the cash could take me 5-6 hours. “
In early 2018, CRM signed a contact with one of the largest telephone companies in Madagascar, Airtel. Shortly after, all volunteers were invited for an introduction day where CRM and Airtel staff were distributing sim cards and explaining the procedure.
Country Coordinator in Madagascar, Isabella Hjorth-Falsted, notes that the idea came from a previous cash distribution project where beneficiaries received cash distributions through their phones. It is time efficient and much more transparent. We can easily track per diems back and forth and I´m happy to see that CRM has taken a big step in an innovative direction towards a digitalized solution. “
Miarivola Ravaoarisoa is a 19 years old volunteer at CRM. She is studying mathematics and computer science at Univertisity of Ankatso and she spents up to 18 hours per week working as a volunteer for CRM. “It is much better for me to receive the per diems on my mobile phone because it´s faster and safer. Before it took me a whole day to travel back and forth by bus to receive my per diems in cash” explains Miarivola, who spent the money that she earns on books for her studies. “ Now it takes me 5 min. to go to the closest Airtel cash point. I don´t have to pay the buss fees and it is more safe since I can take out small amounts of money anytime during day time. “
All volunteers receive a text message once the money has arrived in their account. It is free of charge for the volunteers to withdraw the money. “We are in a modern world and we should all know about this technology and the possibilities around”, finishes Miarivola, before she leaves the interview.
By Isabella Hjorth-Falsted, Antananarivo 9th of April 2018