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This is a really simple yet super impactful idea! I could easily see this scaling to other diverse urban areas around the US and becoming a socially empowering commercial chain.

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Connie commented on Safe-ings Groups

Anne Marie, I think this is a really solid idea and am thrilled with your team's level of cultural and contextual understanding. I particularly like that a traditionally contentious activity like group savings can now be mediated by a third party.

Meena brings up a good point about the trust factor with mobile technologies even with the younger demographic. I'm curious about your field testing in Cartagena--I think a lot can be learned from observing how participants engaged with the technology and their general mobile phone habits and behaviors. In looking at ways that the women already trust the phone, you may be able to adjust the interface and software to address this behavior. For example, how are the women typically using their mobile phones for calls versus for texting? Perhaps the older women are more comfortable with using their phones for just calls--in which case a voice-based notification/response system could improve the ease of use. This might be complemented by an SMS-based service for the younger women who may already be used to getting texts from service providers.

And if you haven't already done so already, it might be a good idea to engage with your test group to see what ideas they might have in addressing the trust issue. I've found that allowing the community to propose their own ideas helps give them a sense of ownership over the service and process, which in turn feeds into the trust factor for the final prototype/outcome. This may also help to determine the appropriate savings methodology .

Anne Marie, thanks for reviewing our project! It certainly sounds like there is opportunity for collaboration here. We'll take a look at e-kulki and see how we might work together!