A shared digital and data strategy

Solidaridad’s digital and data strategy comprises two key elements. Firstly, a gradual shift from traditional interventions and farmer assistance towards digitally supported programmes. And secondly, enhanced data collection for evaluation and reporting purposes. The uptake of digital devices and the coverage of mobile data networks is growing rapidly among our beneficiaries. This has enabled us to implement a growing number of mobile applications and tools in our projects in recent years.

Our management information system: developing the user journey with the key users

Solidaridad envisions a digital landscape, supported by sophisticated IT infrastructure, with applications and tools to:

  • interact with farmers and provide services supporting the intervention strategies and deliverables by the means of tools and (mobile) applications (see also ‘digital solutions’ in our innovation chapter)

  • collect data in a continuous flow, through interactive applications and standardized tools and methodologies

  • store, retrieve, and exchange data through standardized and open procedures and protocols as the basis for data analysis

  • develop and implement analysis tools and capacity to provide expertise, and to support programme improvement, contribute to policy enhancement and fulfil reporting requirements.

With increasing volumes of data flowing in, the need for structured sharing, analysis, and visualisation increases. Exchange of data for cross-commodity, cross-regional and cross-thematic analysis requires solid IT infrastructure. 

We evaluated the Solidaridad data framework and management information system in the second half of 2019. This resulted in a programme to standardize data exchange across the network, and to improve the functionality and user-friendliness of our management information system. 

The current finance and accounting system will be connected to the management information system. This progress towards one shared financial, project management and reporting system is of great value to Solidaridad Network, as it will enable equal and consistent management information. Actuals versus budget will be available real-time and on a continuous basis. Information about operational costs and overheads will be available and can be compared between countries. High standards of data governance, and the implementation of procedures to comply with national and international privacy standards, are integrated into the programme.

Implementation of the systems will start in the second half of 2020 and is to be finished by the end of the year. As Solidaridad has grown rapidly in recent years, the systems are a fundamental part of our critical organizational infrastructure. 

Capacity enhancement and implementation of standardized processes for user support, maintenance, and additional development of IT infrastructure will be organized in line with our needs.