MEDA Blog - Stories from the Field

Delivering Data

Hello again from Tanzania! Time for a quick update on what has been a fast paced last couple of weeks with the MASAVA project. I have been jumping around the county between Babati, Arusha and Dar es Salaam. Dar was an especially interesting time as I was able to meet the MEDA team that has been so helpful in getting me up and running. I spent the rest of the week receiving training on the innovative eVoucher platform that the project is using to track the distribution and sales of Vitamin A fortified sunflower oil. Vitamin A deficiency can cause serious problems such as blindness and birth defects; however, because sunflower oil is used in most cooking, fortified oil adds nutrition to any food!

More about our MASAVA project

While in Dar, it was great to get started on the collection of sales data and begin to grasp the true scope of the project. Our eVoucher platform is able to track sales in real time from each of the recruited retailers across the districts of Manyara and Shinyanga. This platform is also the mechanism whereby retailers are able to communicate with distributors when they need restocking. While it was fun to constantly click refresh and watch the oil get sold in real time, myself and other members of the MASAVA team began to develop an excel dashboard to synthesize the large amounts of data into key indicators which we would be able to communicate to the project leaders. This is very important as it enables us to readily gauge how are products are selling in localized markets and thus identify areas where sales may be lacking and address this accordingly. This may involve following up with certain retailers who have had below average sales or simply seeking to recruit more retailers in a specific area to provide further outlets through which consumers can purchase our oil. Importantly, this has enabled our Field Officers (FOs) to act more efficiently thereby making the project more responsive to the needs of the consumers we hope to benefit with vitamin A fortified oil. I look forward to continuing to develop this dashboard with the feedback from our FOs who will be able to provide more context specific insights that will enhance the projects responsiveness as a whole.

Thus, it is exciting to see the momentum picking up with the internship. It is especially rewarding to get down to business and see some of our new recommendations and insights from the sales data being put into action. In other words, I have been able to share (and take part in) MEDA’s innovative method of using technology to reach rural communities with many of MEDA’s clients and partners.

The Babati Team
Babati Beat

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