Like an off-road vehicle, when you build a digital solution, you want to build with the most challenging environments in mind. Why? So the digital solution can scale with fewer hiccups, as it grows outward. Mobile services company Dimagi calls it “designing under the mango tree,” and it requires working in partnership with a variety of end users. It's hard work, Kathryn M. Clifton writes, but worth it.
Financial diary methodology is a powerful tool for studying financial inclusion, especially if digital tools are used. Using a mobile data collection and analysis app (which also worked offline) and a cloud-hosted database, Catholic Relief Services drew household data from rural areas in real time and amassed thousands of data points generated by tracking people’s financial lives each week.
The world is experiencing a data deluge with millions of devices and things talking to each other. According to one estimate, 90% of this data was created in the last few years only. As Eric Schmidt famously said, “There were 5 Exabyte of information created between the dawn of civilization through 2003, but that much information is now created every 2 years”.