World Vision, a global Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, their families and communities to overcome poverty and injustice throughout the world, administers aid distributions to approximately 12-15 million people each year through relief assistance.
Providing aid for such a large number of people requires extreme efficiency. For World Vision's Otto Farkas, Senior Advisor of Innovation & Partnering at World Vision International, it was a simple trip to the airport that led to improving technology operations for World Vision's global relief efforts.
"During one of my trips, I noticed how airlines organize passengers using mobile technology and barcodes," said Farkas. "I suddenly had this 'light bulb' moment and thought 'what if we used this same sort of technology for processing our beneficiaries.'"
Farkas' simple thought led to the start of a project titled "Last Mile Mobile Solutions," or LMMS.
"Each time we hand out aid to a beneficiary, we needed to keep a record of it," said Farkas. "LMMS is an integration of software that has been specially developed to pair with hardware we use in the field."
Paula Quinlan, LMMS Program Support Officer for World Vision Canada, explains. "Through LMMS, we are now able to scan beneficiary ID cards with the Intermec CN50 mobile computers. This creates the verification that they've received their relief supplies," said Quinlan. "From this, we're able to develop a master beneficiary list. This happens in mere seconds, as opposed to the hours or days it would take to go out into the field, collect it manually, and go back to the office to enter the information into our system."