Marie sits with a group of other women outside a small vendor in Saint Marc, Voilá mobile phone in hand. They are waiting to spend the 1600 gourdes (US$40) that Mercy Corps just sent to their T-Cash accounts. As heads of households with IDPs (internally displaced persons) from the earthquake, they are among 5,000 recipients in Saint Marc who will receive money on their phones to buy rice, oil, beans, and cornflour from fifty small, local merchants. Our host for the day, Andrew Lucas, explains to us that this is a much more dignified way of distributing aid than MINUSTAH-guarded blind giveaways, and we wholeheartedly agree. Mercy Corps in Saint Marc are doing their best to make sure that their donations go to people who are most in need, and that their program is conducted with as much benefit to small businesses as possible.
Thursday, March 24, 2011
Monday, March 14, 2011
The uptake and success of mobile money in Haiti will be affected by user experience at mobile money agents. While users should have similar experiences wherever they choose to use mobile money, we have found that their experiences vary depending upon what kind of agent they use. The centrality of the agent to the success of mobile money means that we cannot take the word “agent” for granted.