Is the cash model actually different from others?

by | Jan 14, 2020 | Change, ICT4D |

This is part two of the story, part one can be found here

A couple days later, Sally’s mind with still thinking about it.  In fact, it was keeping her up at night as she tried to come up with solutions to overcome the competition. A knock on her door brought her back into the present. “Got a minute?”

“Fatima! What you doing here?”

“I had a meeting with one your colleagues so I thought I’d say hi. Whoa, what are those drawings?”

Sally blushed looking at her white board. “I’ve been trying to work out how we can share data across organisations, but I’m stuck again.”

Fatima took her backpack off and sat down. “Why don’t you talk me through it.”

“Really, you have time?”

“I do for this kind of thing. Let’s go.”

Sally smiled; she’d grown fond of Fatima over the past few weeks. It felt like they’d known each other for years, not the weeks it had been. “Well, in most the areas we work in this response, each agency has its own list of recipients and tracks the interactions with them. In some cases, the local government has a list of people which they give to us, we then verify the list, and see who meets the project criteria. But in essence, each agency works in its own silo. When we have a consortium or partnership with another agency on a project, we split the work based on sector or geography. But even when we split by sector working with the same people, we still keep our silos. The coordination happens by the agency that is the prime recipient of the grant and thereby carrying the most liability.”

“Agreed” Fatima interrupts, “And agencies see their relationships and interactions with the recipients as a critical ‘asset’ – a competitive asset – and therefore are fiercely protective of them. Isn’t it unreasonable to expect them to behave differently? “

“This is exactly what has been keeping me up at night,” says Sally. “The impetus for change will come from cash programming I think.”

“Cash is driving everything at the moment” says Fatima nodding in encouragement. “Go on.”

“Well, in cash programming we don’t organise ourselves by sector or geography. We are being forced to organise by function.”

“Yes, especially when banks or financial organisations are involved.”

“Exactly. So data must be shared across the value chain. We don’t have much choice.”

Fatima leans in. “However, if the data sits in a layer below all the functions, can’t it just be held by the prime agency who coordinates the value chain? It doesn’t feel like it needs to be that different than other models. What am I missing?”

Sally lets out a big sigh. “I don’t know Fatima. I’m not seeing it yet either and yet, I can’t let it go, it’s on my mind all the time.”

“Let’s get a coffee.”

The two friends left the office in search of a caffeine hit and soon began to talk of other things. “I must call Anna” Sally thought, she’ll sort me out.

Photo by Thought Catalog

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