Unveiling the New IDPoor Database to Help Millions of Poor Cambodians
Recently Web Essentials accompanied Mainlevel Consulting AG to the official unveiling of a digital tool that has huge potential impact for Cambodia and we are extremely excited to be involved in. The relaunch of IDPoor.
What is IDPoor?
Since 2005, with support from the German and Australian Government, Cambodia’s Ministry of Planning has developed a national poverty identification mechanism to identify poor and vulnerable households across Cambodia, so that they can get access to social services, healthcare and other targeted support.
Thanks to the “Identification of Poor Households” (IDPoor) department, regularly updated data is available on poor households throughout Cambodia. This data is used by policymakers, governmental and non-governmental institutions to plan social protection programmes and target their support to the poorest areas or households in Cambodia. It is disseminated to users via a web-based online system, developed by Mainlevel AG and partners.
As well as enabling the Ministry of Planning to supply poor households in Cambodia with equity cards that unlock vital services, the IDPoor database is a central resource for anyone seeking reliable information on poverty in Cambodia: the government, international development partners, civil society organizations, NGOs and the public. It collects in-depth demographic data that flows directly into ICT4D solutions and informs development programmes.
For example, the World Food Programme relies on an API to IDPoor to populate their own interactive map of poor households so they can respond to the most vulnerable during natural disasters. Cambodia's Ministry of Health uses the system as a data source as part of their Health Equity Fund, which provides free health care to IDPoor card holders. Save the Children's maternal health programme "Nourish" also uses IDPoor data to identify and help mothers most in need of support.
Since IDPoor's initial launch, millions of Cambodians have been granted access to free health care, reduced government fees, school feeding programmes, shelter, social transfers, running water and other social services.
Find out exactly how IDPoor works here.
Sounds great, but what's new?
The first version of the IDPoor database was established 10 years ago. An update to the technology stack was needed to improve performance, security and scalability, and ensure the system continues to be trusted and adopted long-term.
The new system is a revamped database with an easy to use web interface. It takes advantage of new technologies and uses mobile data collection to increase efficiency.
The relaunch event brought together the multiple partners behind and users of IDPoor and unveiled the new system.
Presentations and panel discussions celebrated the success of the system so far and created space to talk about the challenges facing the most financially vulnerable in Cambodia, and the innovative solutions to help.
Especially powerful during the event was to see the individual case studies of Cambodians whose lives have been made so much easier as a result of the IDPoor programme.
How are Web Essentials involved?
Mainlevel Consulting AG are monitoring & evaluation and digitalization experts who strongly believe in the power of evidence-based decision-making. They were tasked with rebuilding the IDPoor database together with GIZ, who implements the support on behalf of BMZ and DFAT, and the Ministry of Planning.
Mainlevel were responsible for the conceptualization, planning and project management. Web Essentials is proud to be the technical partner of Mainlevel Counsulting, and helped with the development of IDPoor as a cloud-based solution with Microservices architecture to support country-wide accessibility. This included bug fixing and preparing the software ready for the relaunch of the overhauled system.
We could also use our Agile experience to support the partners in project execution, some of whom had only worked with the Agile methodology once before.
As an implementation partner on the ground in Cambodia, we could collaborate directly with the Ministry of Planning and international consultants and agencies involved. Our team has been instrumental in training users and encouraging officials and the general public to adopt the system, including promoting it at the recent USAID Development Innovations Expo.
Why are we so excited?
This project is an example of multiple parties coming together to create a solution for the good of Cambodia: the government, the public and the private sector.
<< Too often ICT4D solutions are built in silos within different agencies. The IDPoor project is a leading example of how organizations can and should leverage each other's resources and systems for the benefit of their programmes and beneficiaries. >>
Because data from IDPoor informs other ICT4D solutions, the impact of this solution beyond the database itself is monumental.
We are excited to actively play a role in ensuring the sustainability of IDPoor, and supporting the government as owners of the system.
Our developer Brandon Heng's impression of the event: "After joining the IDPoor launch ceremony, I feel confident that Cambodians are ready for digitalization. I met and talked with a lot of senior government workers and saw they have a deep interest in the improved system and are willing to learn about the new technology. I strongly believe that with the collaboration of older and younger generations in Cambodia, our country will progress to a brighter digital age"
Check out IDPoor for yourself: https://mop.idpoor.gov.kh/
Looking for a technical partner to develop a sustainable ICT4D solution? Talk to us today!