Datalab Project

Participants in the datalab Hackathon. Credit: Emilly Niringiye

DataLab is a new Oxfam innovation program designed to enable more effective usage of existing data and to prototype new data services as minimal viable products (MVP’s) to test the propositions for Oxfam as protector and enabler of digital civic space of citizens in countries worldwide. Oxfam is a knowledge-driven organization and processing data into actual information feeds the evidence base of our theories of change. This project is about adding the power of prediction that is linked to the analyses of large amount of data into our work on knowledge development, but also about storing data effectively and efficiently, broadening the digital civic space of citizens and shaping related policies around that.

Uganda as an entry point

Uganda was chosen as a pilot country due to its data landscape of offline and unstructured data. In our process of innovation, we started with ideation where a number of ideas were fronted and among those, the team chose to work on an idea of developing a household budget tracking tool.

Objectives of the household budget tracking tool

To improve citizen’s financial literacy for better financial decision-making

To improve Oxfam’s advocacy approach through data informed methods. i.e. Income inequality, expenditures on education, health the gender gap etc.

To help citizens know their spending and saving patterns and prioritizing key areas and saving towards their set goal(s)

Citizens to improve their lives through good financial planning.

Ways of working

With the above objectives in mind, we held a hackathon (An IT event where IT professionals come together to solve a given problem) in Kampala where Oxfam tapped into the rich IT community in Uganda to brainstorm on the best idea that could help us achieve the objectives above.

At the end of a three-day rigorous hackathon, the participants voted a winning team (CashTime) that was further supported by Oxfam to come up a Minimal Viable Product (MVP) ready to be tested. This approach strengthens Oxfam’s ways of building local capacity because the tool was developed by Ugandans and for Ugandans.

Output - CASHTIME mobile Application

This is a mobile based budget tracking tool which helps households to build greater financial stability and financial literacy.