Based on inputs from 30 members part of self-reliant groups, a consensus emerged about the data that would be useful to them, their groups, and the movement.

Members want to know about how they, as individuals, progress while being in a self-reliant group. For the moment, they define individual progress in terms of mental health, confidence levels, skills set, how their families are impacted.

Members also want data that helps their groups to become everything they can be. They say knowing about how they get on with each other, the decisions taken, the money saved or made can help them understand how things are going, course correct when they are not going well, and celebrate when they go well.

Connection to the ‘family’ as the movement is typically referred to by the self-reliant members is crucial data. One of the women spoke about the importance of this data,’How connected we are to each other is evidence of personal growth.’

It would have been tempting, once we found out the data the women want, to jump the gun and build the tech. Put all the data onto a digital object and then wait for people to start using it.

Instead of starting with the method, the group decided to start with the question. This means an in-house testing of all the data identified. The purpose was to understand if it was really useful.

Part of testing process involves:

  1. getting the data, which can be:
    1. active data: members being asked relevant questions on WhatsApp, each day
    2. passive data: analysis of WhatsApp data from existing self-reliant groups or financial information
  2. reflection on how the members respond to it and the meaning they attach to it.
  3. decisions on what needs changing.