Interview of Dr Halima Saado Abdillahi, Head of Research and Learning at the International Center for Humanitarian Affairs (ICHA)
My name is Halima Saado Abdillahi, I am Director of Research and Learning at the International Centre for Humanitarian Affairs of the National Red Cross Society in Kenya.
In 2018, in partnership with the International Federation of the Red Cross, the Red Cross in Kenya conducted a pilot project based on “block chain” technology in Isiolo County, where we responded to the drought from 2015 to 2018 in the Horn of Africa.
At that time, we used money transfer starting in 2011, as well as different methods, including mobile money transfer, and this time we wanted to use technology because of the challenges we faced in transferring funds, particularly in terms of time efficiency.
It took us a short time to register beneficiaries and conduct field audits to headquarters and then to Safaricom, which are the mobile money transfer providers in Kenya.
So we piloted this project in Isiolo County and it took us about three days to be able to register, verify and transfer the money to the beneficiaries, which proved to be the fastest way to do this work. This was the first time for us, or for the humanitarian world, that this technology was used in an open loop to carry out this transaction. Until then, WWF and other partners had done this in a closed loop.
So finally, we are able to save time and reach beneficiaries on time, and in a very effective and efficient way. And in case of transparency, it was very fast because we were also using the Red Cross data management system to be able to do this process.