Discover how Optimy equipped the Grameen Foundation with an efficient tool that helps to captures data effectively but also fosters a deeper understanding of project impact.
About Grameen Foundation
Grameen Foundation USA (Grameen) is a global nonprofit, headquartered in the United States, that uses technology and innovation to transform ecosystems so that women and girls can realize their full potential, thereby breaking the cycle of hunger and poverty.
Digital Literacy is a challenge that Grameen constantly faces in their programs, especially with rural and underserved communities and women groups. At the same time, Grameen is also committed to addressing the digital divide that is persistently growing as technology advances at a more accelerated pace.
For its Innovation Grants in the Pacific Islands (Republic of Marshall Islands, Tuvalu, Nauru and Palau), Grameen is awarding grants to community service organizations and nonprofits that are predominantly women-led or are in the service of women and youth. Grameen understood the challenges that the applicants were facing in terms of filling out forms and complying with the application requirements. Moreover, quarterly reporting needs to be in place so impact reporting can be done easily and data quality is not compromised.
“What we really want is something that is usable for the grantees, will provide them some experience in using online platforms, but at the same time, help us with the data quality and impact reporting.”, Gatti adds. Our quarterly reports are using the same form so consistency in the user experience will hopefully help with ease of use.
Every project in Grameen is driven by a Monitoring & Evaluation framework and a Learning Agenda. Therefore, data quality is very important. All of this data is rolled up into Grameen’s organization-wide performance and impact metrics that is tracked for every single project.
Using Optimy allowed Grameen to use simpler, shorter forms for every stage of the application process and eventually, quarterly progress reporting. Designing these forms also forced the team to think through what data they really needed and not ask for “too much”.
Grameen’s grantees are mostly (but sometimes not) familiar with only Excel and it would be unwieldy and difficult to include validation controls to the inputs as well as collate all this information into an impact report for Grameen’s donors. By designing the Optimy forms to have the built-in validation required, ensuring that mandatory fields are filled out, and setting word count limits, Grameen makes the application and reporting process more efficient.
On the judging, Grameen can easily deploy applications to various judges and use Optimy to collate the scores easily, again saving time and providing consistency in this process.
When Grameen evaluated different grant management systems, two criteria stood out - a simple user interface and simplicity in the setup process. It was all about usability for both Grameen and the applicants/grantees.
Grameen’s Innovation Grantees will be starting to implement their projects and are excited to use Optimy for the reporting processes. Their grantees were already trained on their Monitoring & Evaluation framework. This is key to how the grantees will input their performance indicators using Optimy. Key financial indicators are also designed into the Optimy form, allowing Grameen to quickly look at project expenditure. As a bonus - Grameen also asks grantees to share a story or two about their projects in the Optimy form!
Grameen is going the extra mile to assist grantees in filling out applications. They have created a video on how to use Optimy for grant reporting and share it with grantees to ensure that they can use it. And the process of designing the reports for Grameen’s internal and external reporting is now underway.
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