September 7, 2021

Piloting of Sanchay Sathi App in Gaibandha

Posted By Shouhardo III,

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Village Savings and Loan Association (VSLA) is now widely accepted and practiced by the community. To sustain this community based financial association, digitalization can undoubtedly play a vital role. The vision of sustainable VSLA was upheld very effectively by the Sanchay Sathi initiative of SHOUHARDO III program. By 2021, 300 Sanchay Sathi worked successfully in the Char and Haor region of northern Bangladesh. For a sustainable and more convenient VSLA operation, the idea of digitalization and Sanchay Sathi was merged and brought to light by the mobile phone app called “Sanchay Sathi”. SHOUHARDO III program arranged two days long training to pilot the Sanchay Sathi App. The App was developed to ease the calculation and recording keeping for the Village Savings and Loan Association (VSLA). This first training of the App was held at SKS Inn from 31 August to 1 September 2021 in Gaibandha. Each member of any VSLA has different status of savings and loan. Record keeping and calculating these information manually are sometimes difficult. To give the calculation more accuracy for buying shares and shareout process for each members and to minimize the problems faced in a manual record keeping system, the app is expected to be more efficient. It follows the VSLA modules as it is practiced by the community and gives access to the basic VSLA information for anyone.  However, the app is still in the piloting stage with few areas of improvement. Eight top performed Sanchay Sathi from the Char region were selected for the training. The program started with the handover of smartphones for the Sanchay Sathi. After that, they were introduced with the function of the phone. Managing Director of RSA Infotech Limited Mr. Mohammad Hafijullah introduced the app to the trainees. Later, Off-Farm Livelihood and Financial Inclusion Team of SHOUHARDO III program, oriented the app to the trainer. After the day-long training, Sanchay Sathis were able to use the App to form a group, shareout process, sink data, arranging meetings and record-keeping of the meetings digitally. From Off-Farm Livelihood and Financial Inclusion Team, George Nokrek (Senior Team Leader- L&FI), Muhammad Abul Hossain (Team Leader- L&FI), Alamgir Hossain Patwary (MIS & GIS Coordinator), Sharmina Khatun (Senior Technical Manager- L&FI) and Tabassum Hafsa (Senior Project Officer- L&FI) were the facilitators for the training of the app.   Written by: Tabassum Hafsa, Senior Project Officer SHOUHARDO III program