Pact is proud to announce that it has won Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s Living Progress Challenge.
From more than 400 ideas and 130 proposals from around the world, 20 submissions were chosen to move on to the challenge’s design phase. Ten were then selected to compete for full development. Pact is among four final winners that were chosen after a day of live pitches in New York City on Aug. 3.
Pact’s proposal was for the digitization of its award-winning WORTH program, which is improving the lives of women, families and communities around the world.
WORTH targets poor and financially excluded women, bringing them together in groups of 20 to 25 to save money, access credit and start small businesses. Groups, which function as their own micro-banks, receive literacy, numeracy and business skills training. For many members, the income, knowledge and confidence they gain are life-changing. For their children, WORTH often means better nutrition, health care and education. WORTH directly contributes to household economic advancement and community resilience.
As a Living Progress Challenge winner, Pact will receive services and support from Hewlett Packard Enterprise to build a new mobile phone app to digitize WORTH’s village bank accounting system.
The app, called MyWORTH, will replace paper-based ledgers and savings records, helping WORTH groups and members to function more effectively and efficiently. MyWORTH will first be piloted in Tanzania, with eventual rollout in countries across Africa and Asia where Pact implements WORTH.
"Currently, using paper ledgers, the banking functions alone can take more than two hours of the women’s limited time. The app will free them up for the necessities of surviving life," said Carrie Keju, Pact's livelihoods director. "With MyWORTH’s incorporation of m-money and real-time loan approvals, this HPE-sponsored app gives previously financially excluded women the power and convenience of an ATM and debit card. Through increased banking efficiencies, it will support a higher loan capital turnover rate, ultimately yielding the women higher returns."
More than 400,000 women in 15 countries have taken part in WORTH. Groups are sustainable, often continuing for years beyond Pact’s start-up support.
The Living Progress Challenge invited the global community to bring forward ideas that address social issues through digitally enabled solutions to improve people’s lives. Winning ideas are being brought to life – designed, built and deployed – with the assistance of Hewlett Packard Enterprise. Submissions were evaluated through a combination of an expert HPE judging panel and popular vote.
Learn more about the Living Progress Challenge here.
Learn more about WORTH here.
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About Pact – Pact is a promise of a better tomorrow for all those who are poor and marginalized. Working in partnership to develop local solutions that enable people to own their own future, Pact helps people and communities build their capacity to generate income, improve access to quality health services, and gain lasting benefit from the sustainable use of the natural resources around them. With more than 3,500 staff at work in more than 30 countries, Pact is building local promise with an integrated, adaptive approach that is shaping the future of international development. Visit us at www.pactworld.org.