| 4. In which ways is the initiative creative and innovative?
The project considered too short a time from inception to implementation; despite these time restrictions, the following stages were conceived for its development and implementation:
All the above in relation to:
• Mobile devices
• Survey Generator Software
• Software for Uploading Focus Groups
• Monitoring Software
The maximum time for completion of the plan was 3 months starting in December 2009 through February 2010.
| 5. Who implemented the initiative and what is the size of the population affected by this initiative?
Mrs. Angélica Castañeda Sánchez, as General Director of Register and Settlement, encouraged the initiative within the National Coordination of the Human Development Program Oportunidades, directing the efforts in project planning, design and implementation.
To such end, she had the support of the Deputy General Director of Information Systems and Technological Development and of the work team of the internal systems development area.
The rental of the mobile devices was arranged through the Autonomous University of Nuevo León.
The applications were developed with open source software, which ensured making the most of the budget allocated to system development.
| 6. How was the strategy implemented and what resources were mobilized?
The project was funded with its own resources, as each agency has a budget annually allocated by the Ministry of Finance and Public Credit of Mexico out of the Federal Treasury to fulfill the commitments taken on every fiscal year.
The project cost amounted to approximately MXN 180 million (USD 14 million), 99% of which corresponds to the rental of Mobile Devices.
| 7. Who were the stakeholders involved in the design of the initiative and in its implementation?
Through this innovation, to date 11,228,556 socioeconomic data surveys have been used in the Oportunidades and PAL programs to identify new beneficiary families and review the socioeconomic data of beneficiary households through recertification, reevaluation and ongoing verification processes.
Impact on Field Processes
o Transition from mass operations to personalized attention.
o Use of electronic maps that aid geographical location.
o Reduced the survey time with families from 2 hours to 50 minutes.
o Reduced the staff required for data acquisition and data acquisition supervision to 0.
Impact on the Family Incorporation Process
o Immediate incorporation of the new beneficiary family (on-line incorporation in 2010), from 180 days to 50 minutes.
o Transparency in the attention of beneficiary families.
o Decrease of processing times and times for responding to the families about their eligibility, from 180 to 60 days (current data).
Impact on Process Monitoring
o On-line monitoring of the Social Worker.
o Productivity by Mobile Device/Social Worker.
o Backup/recovery of sent and synchronized data.
o Reduction of data loss to zero.
o Reconciliation between data sent and received.
o Automated validation process of collected data.
o Identification of duplicated families, family splitting or unions.
o Reduction of paper use. To date, around 1200 tons of paper have been saved.
o Less space required to store paper.
o Reduction of electric supply consumption and global warming by not using PCs for data acquisition.
o A 17.4% saving in the cost of identifying and incorporating a beneficiary family. Cost by printed survey MXN 697.00; cost by electronic survey MXN 575.25.
o Savings of MXN 1,375,732,631.00 for the federal treasury (approximately USD 100 million) to date.
o Savings in the rental of processing equipment for data acquisition (about 2500 data acquisition units) and running expenses (water, lighting, cleaning services, etc.)
Impact on the Federal Government
o Knowledge transfer to the rest of the government programs.
o Use of the same technology for data survey for programs within the sphere of the Social Development Secretariat.
| 8. What were the most successful outputs and why was the initiative effective?
Several applications were developed to ensure the outcome of the project.
• Survey Definition Module (MODAE)
An application for recording the survey design, the generation of a questions database and its behavior within the survey (validations, catalogs of potential values, skips, backspaces, etc.), the database with the survey definition is interpreted by the Mobile Device application during execution for the performance of the surveys.
• Application for DMS
Module that interprets the survey design databases (questions, validations, catalogs of potential values, skips, backspaces, etc.), as well as the required behavior as regards visualization, acquisition and storage of the data from the Mobile Devices.
Additionally, the application’s functionality contemplates the following:
Survey Synchronization: Sends the data of recorded surveys to the Hosting server hired for such purpose.
Focus Groups Inquiry: Allows inquiring about information on focus groups from territorial catalogs and beneficiary families for operating attention.
• Focus Group Generation and Uploading System
System that allows generating the database of geo-referencing data that feeds the Mobile Device Survey Application, where data collection is to be carried out; it generates the databases by geographic operating area.
• Data Mapping
Stored procedure that maps the information synchronized by the Mobile Device Survey Application to a relational database structure.
Operating Execution System that allows printing the incorporation formats (Notices and Records of Attention), the distribution of family attention formats into lots, the acquisition of records of attention and notices of incorporation for the purpose of ensuring that the data of the surveys recorded through the Mobile Device Application has been correctly sent.
System that allows generating monitoring reports on the progress and follow-up for the Operating Execution and allows reconciling the information on the relaying of data from the surveys performed through Mobile Devices.
Information System for the Operation of Oportunidades that allows inquiring the situation of a family, its members and supports, in the field.
| 9. What were the main obstacles encountered and how were they overcome?
One of the main problems encountered by the project was the insufficient telecommunications infrastructure that caused surveys to be partially relayed or not relayed at all. This was solved by using the Wi-Fi connection of the mobile devices so that information could be relayed from any place having an Internet connection.
Another problem was to provide an immediate response to the potential beneficiary families as this brought dissatisfaction among the members of the community, particularly among those that did not become program beneficiaries. This was solved by giving families a response after 2 months.