Through automation, daily life has become faster and more efficient, and World Vision Canada has taken automation to the relief and development industry, with the implementation of Last Mile Mobile Solutions (LMMS).
What is the 'Last Mile'?
The 'Last Mile' is the critical stage of humanitarian aid delivery where essential supplies reach the people most affected by disasters – people whose lives are at risk. This is where we work.
At World Vision Canada (WVC), we are committed to getting life saving materials, such as food and medicine, into the hands of those most vulnerable in disasters and conflicts. We take this one step further however, by challenging aid agencies, including our own, to part with traditional inefficiencies in how aid is administered and instead look for ways to make vital donor dollars go further in supporting children and their families. We strive to demonstrate comprehensive accountability to donors (including reports that provide information specific to each individual that receives humanitarian aid), and we do this in a manner that preserves the dignity of disaster victims, so they are not treated as passive recipients of other's generosity, but rather as partners in the community transformation process.
With these objectives WVC has committed to inspiring the humanitarian industry to adopt new and innovative approaches to delivering aid. We need your support to continue such bold efforts.
What is LMMS?
LMMS is an innovative technology suite designed and developed by World Vision Canada (WVC), and helped in the journey by collaboration with private sector organizations such as Field Worker and Intermec. LMMS aims to strengthen aid effectiveness and increase accountability in aid service delivery. Through testing and implementing, a hand-held device is used to register recipient information electronically and ultimately produce a bar-coded photo card. When swiped on the same hand-held device, this card produces the information needed to determine and distribute food and non-food items. Data was captured quickly, registration took less time and key information was stored securely for potential use in multiple programs, cutting down on paper-based redundancies.
What are its benefits?
Creating reports and distribution plans were once time-consuming efforts, but with LMMS generating reports takes just seconds and the time associated with planning and distribution has been significantly reduced, allowing aid agencies to reach more communities with the same human and financial resources. Delivering aid relief during distributions is quicker as well as fairer because commodity calculations are automated. With the swipe of their card, recipients can pick up their rations in swift fashion.
LMMS increases accountability to both the donor and aid recipient, through the quality of reporting we are able to provide and accuracy of rations calculated and distributed. Take a look at "LMMS in Action" for more on the benefits.
LMMS has become a new 'best practice' for professional standards in humanitarian aid delivery. Studies, like those from Accenture Development Partners, show that LMMS is at least twice as fast compared to manual systems with most significant time efficiencies realized in the reporting and planning stages. Such time-savings are further compounded as registration data is reused over multiple projects, eliminating the need to capture information repeatedly. And the results are not just quantitative. Beneficiaries have also reported feeling a greater sense of empowerment because they own LMMS cards. Additionally, they spend less time waiting in line, which has a positive impact on their physical security.
Where is LMMS?
Since being piloted in food aid distribution programs in Lesotho and Kenya in 2008, LMMS has expanded across the globe in multiple countries within Africa as well as Asia and Latin America. Originally developed for food programming in a rural environment, LMMS has proved adaptable in expanding its suite of applications to various types of projects and in various contexts (urban, emergencies).
What's next for LMMS?
LMMS makes a difference! With further support, we plan to increase the number of deployments of the system across regions facing chronic food disasters. Building on the successful deployments in Haiti, we have scaled up our reserve kit to support more rapid emergency deployments around the globe. Our Research and Development team continues to test and improve the LMMS technology to offer better performance and make use of newly emerging mobile platforms.
Jay Narhan, Program Manager
World Vision International
Phone: +60-12-234-2380 (GMT +8)
, Senior Advisor, Global Collaboration & Innovation (GC&I) Division
World Vision International
Phone: 1 416 716 9522 (GMT-5)
Or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Still have questions about LMMS? These resources will help you learn more:
Support LMMS Today
You can help support the LMMS program through on-going technology development, equipment purchases and training for use in the field.