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More Phones, More Transfers? A case study from Save the Children’s Emergency Food Security Program using Mobile Money in Bari, Nugaal, & Hiran Regions of Somalia

November 2017 — By Holly Welcome Radice, Mohamed Jama Hussein

In 2016-2017, with funding from USAID/FFP, Save the Children implemented a project targeting over 10,000HH the Bari, Nugaal, and Hiran regions of Somalia with monthly cash transfers using Mobile Money a partnership with Golis and Hormuud. The project sought to improve the food security situation in the targeted households. Save the Children wanted to understand to what extent the project influenced the use of Mobile Money among the cash recipients, key barriers and enabling factors in influencing uptake and use of Mobile Money services, and the potential for Save the Children take to leverage current projects to expand the use of the E-Wallet and other financial services. The study purposively looked at some of the most remote and rural areas of the project to take an intention look at the access and attitudes of these populations about Mobile Money.

Within the objectives, the study looked closely at beneficiaries’ and local service providers’ practices, perceptions, and challenges with mobile money and e-wallet use in their villages and linking these points to demographic information. It also explored the potential influences of mobile money on traditional solidarity and sharing mechanisms and took into consideration local ecosystems in support of mobile money, including the inputs of financial services providers in Puntland and Hiran.