Manchester, Vermont—December 16, 2015—The BOMA Project announced today that it has received a Force for Change grant award from Salesforce.org, the philanthropic arm of Salesforce. The funds from the Force for Change grant will help BOMA enroll 240 ultra-poor women (who support approximately 1,200 children) in a high-impact, innovative poverty graduation program that helps participants to establish a diversified livelihood, earn a sustainable income, accumulate savings and build resiliency in the dry lands of Africa.

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New participants in BOMA’s innovative poverty graduation program attend a financial literacy and business-skills training session in Kargi, Northern Kenya in September 2015. Photo for BOMA by India Bulkeley

Additionally, BOMA is partnering with Vera Solutions to design and test a cloud-based database architecture to increase the data management efficiency of poverty graduation organizations. The grant will enable BOMA and Vera Solutions to develop a simple but transformative solution that better monitors program participants and field staff while also establishing a new standard for digital data collection in remote and resource-poor locations. The new technology provides a systematic means of collecting and analyzing data to support BOMA’s monitoring and evaluation, internal decision making, external reporting, and strategic planning. Ultimately, the findings of this project will inform other NGOs, governments, funders and aid agencies currently considering implementing technology-enabled poverty graduation approaches globally in remote, sparsely populated and resource-limited areas of the world.

The BOMA Project is a leader in the innovative use of digital technology and cloud-based data solutions for cost-effective field data collection, program monitoring and impact analysis. BOMA collects lengthy baseline and endline survey data on all participants in its poverty graduation program. All BOMA mentors use wireless tablets for monthly monitoring activities (including business and savings group performance), while enumerators use laptops with customized Android applications for the collection of extensive baseline and endline survey data. The monthly data that is collected on income, consumption and savings informs program design.

Vera Solutions has helped more than 140 social sector organizations around the world to implement cloud and mobile applications to improve their efficiency and data-driven decision making. Vera Solutions has done the majority of its projects in Africa, and specializes in designing context-appropriate solutions using locally accessible tools that can be easily adopted by social sector teams.

The Force for Change award validates BOMA’s extensive investment in technology in order to improve our ability to collect data in remote locations for our monitoring and evaluation systems and programmatic efforts. BOMA is one of few organizations of its size that is 100% digital in data collection and analysis,” said BOMA’s Founder and CEO Kathleen Colson.

BOMA’s innovative uses of digital technology and mobile networks for efficient and cost-effective field data collection and analysis in extremely remote regions of the world has relevance far beyond poverty graduation programs. The same apps, methods and tools that BOMA is developing and testing—whether it is through our unique customization of the Salesforce App Cloud, use of tablets for data collection or developing new Android apps to be used on laptops for conducting lengthy surveys—could be used by any organization or government agency implementing any data-rich and impact-measurement-driven programs in geographically remote regions of the world,” said Colson.

About The BOMA Project

The BOMA Project implements a high-impact poverty graduation program for ultra-poor women in the drought-threatened arid lands. BOMA helps participants to start small businesses in their rural communities, so they can pay for food, school fees and medical care for their families and accumulate savings for long-term planning. Since 2009, BOMA has reached and helped more than 56,000 women and children living in extreme poverty in the drylands of Africa.

About the Salesforce.org Force for Change Grants Program

Salesforce.org’s Force for Change Grants Program accelerates social impact by funding innovative ideas spearheaded by the nonprofit and higher education sectors. The program is open to nonprofit organizations and nonprofit higher education institutions that are focused on using technology in innovative, forward-thinking ways that will have meaningful social impact.

About Salesforce.org

Salesforce.org is based on a simple idea: leverage Salesforce’s technology, people and resources to improve communities around the world. We call this integrated philanthropic approach the 1-1-1 model. Since 1999, Salesforce technology has powered more than 27,000 nonprofit and education institutions; we’ve provided more than $100 million in grants; and our employees have logged more than 1.1 million volunteer hours throughout the world. For more information on Salesforce.org, please visit www.salesforce.org.

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