Last Mile Mobile Solutions (LMMS)

LMMS® is a suite of innovative technology applications – a mobile ICT platform for humanitarian service delivery developed by World Vision in collaboration with other humanitarian agencies and the private sector. With field-to-office utilization of digital beneficiary information, LMMS is able to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of humanitarian interventions, through digitized household registration, automation of distribution processes, and reporting enabling greater accountability. 

At a Glance

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About This Innovation

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Last Mile Mobile Solutions (LMMS®) is a suite of innovative technology applications – a mobile Information Management platform for humanitarian service delivery - developed by World Vision in collaboration with other humanitarian agencies and the private sector.  It is a set of mission critical capabilities for organisations delivering humanitarian services in the ‘last mile’ that is the final point of transaction between humanitarian organisations and beneficiaries.
 
At its heart, LMMS is driven by humanitarians who understand and are passionate about creating technology which makes the lives of frontline humanitarians easier and the lives of beneficiaries simpler.  As humanitarians, we understand the NGO world, its business processes, its challenges and opportunities.  As technologists, we understand data security, data models, architecture, etc.  Our leadership team has over 50 years of combined IT systems development and Humanitarian field operations experience.  Together, we are driven by the following values:

  • We believe choice is an inherent foundation of human dignity
  • We believe all people should have control over who sees and has access to their data
  • We believe people are more important than technology
  • We believe data should be turned into knowledge which can lead to better decisions
  • We believe that people (NGO management, donors, etc.) should be able to ’see’ project progress
  • We believe data should be secure
  • We believe in interoperability and not having to build everything ourselves
  • We believe in the need to delight our clients and their customers / beneficiaries 

LMMS has evolved with new technologies, as well as services, since it was first used in the humanitarian industry in 2008.  During the past 9 years, LMMS has been deployed in over 30 countries, by over 20 different agencies.  Annually, over 10 million beneficiaries are served by it.

How does your innovation work?

The generic business process LMMS uses is as follows:

  1. Household members are digitally registered once and individuals receive a barcoded photo Ration ID card.
  2. Eligible households are enrolled into projects. Multiple projects can be enrolled without repeat registration. Registration is only a one-time exercise but household data may require updates for use in future projects as household data also changes overtime
  3. Commodity rations (in-kind and cash) are set once per project to automatically calculate distribution entitlements needed for distribution planning. Credit/Payment Instruction files are also downloaded and can be used to instruct third party Financial Service Provices to pay beneficiaries in cash projects. Payment Advise Slips can also be prodoced and shared with beneficiaries for accountability.
  4. During distribution, ration cards are scanned to determine eligibility and individuals are visually matched using photos on ration cards and in database
  5. Inventory can be tracked in real-time as commodities are distributed
  6. Distribution reports are generated in near real-time including total households and individuals reached and total commodities distributed

The LMMS system has three different modes of operation:

  1. Traditional roaming server (laptop) - never needs to connect to the internet – everything stays local on server.
  2. Cloud architecture – Android devices (smartphones or tablets) connect directly to cloud server (needs constant internet – 3G network or mobile satellite device). Cloud server could either be in-country or offshore.
  3. Offline capture – for registration only. Allows teams to go to field with only Android devices and register beneficiaries, including allowing staff to go door to door to do registration rather than requiring all beneficiaries to meet in one location. Ideal in dispersed contexts post disaster. After registration is done the team syncs the data to either a roaming server or cloud. 

What Evidence do you have that your Innovation works?

There are numerous pieces of evidence showing LMMS works including:

  • Accenture has completed an evaluation on LMMS concluding it saves time and reduces risks for organisations that use it.
  • World Vision, NRC, and MasterCard have all created case studies on their experience of using LMMS.

Do you have current users or testers?

Since 2008, LMMS has been deployed in over 30 countries, by over 20 different agencies including: World Vision, Oxfam, Save the Children, ICRC, MedAir, MercyCorps, UNICEF, UNHCR, etc.  

Annually, over 10 million beneficiaries are served by LMMS.

What is your strategy for expanding use of your innovation?

Our strategy for expansion includes moving the usage of LMMS beyond food aid and into all sectors and also into long-term development projects, not just humanitarian.

Next Steps

Our current focus is ongoing product development and substantially improving our customer support.

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