Using Magpi to Distribute Cash in Emergencies


The International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC) and the Nepal Red Cross Society are together using Magpi for beneficiary registration in Nepal earthquake relief, to help manage cash distributions to people in the earthquake-ravaged region – money which is being used to buy everything from food to blankets to building supplies.

The Nepal Red Cross Society aims to distribute 10,000 Nepali rupees (94 US dollars or 94 Swiss francs) cash to 50,000 households before the end of 2015.

At a help desk during the distribution, Red Cross staff and volunteers – in coordination with local public authorities – solve problems such as cash being in the name of a person who is now working abroad.

Volunteers carry out an exit survey, relayed instantly by a data collection app called Magpi, that asks how well the distribution has met people’s needs and what they intend to spend the money on. A separate market survey monitors how much the cash affects the supply and price of goods including clothes, blankets, cooking gas and food.

The IFRC is a long-time Magpi user and supporter, for activities ranging from earthquake relief to anti-malarial bednet distribution to Ebola response – and has funded many important Magpi features, includes photos and the umbrella account feature.  Because of this long history of use, and because Magpi is cloud-based and simple to use, IFRC can have new Magpi-based Rapid Mobile Phone (RAMP) Data Collection systems up and running in minutes, rather than days or weeks.  With no need for outside consultants or programmers – which means that more donated funds go to earthquake victims.

You can read more, and donate online to IFRC, here.

Magpi iSMS

Magpi’s interactive SMS (iSMS) provides low-cost, high-quality SMS-based data collection from any phone. No app required! iSMS lets you crowdsource data, solicit feedback, or provide guided information.

Test Drive iSMS