Stories from the Field: Digital Change Secret Motorist in Social Reform and Development


By Priya Gajraj, United Nations Citizen Organizer in Senegal.

Some African countries lead the world’s e-money services. Numerous are discovering that leaving notes and coins behind is not just enhancing effectiveness, security and openness, however it is likewise assisting many individuals leave hardship behind..

Ingenious methods towards digital improvement.

In Senegal, where I function as the United Nations Citizen Organizer, the UN group is satisfying an essential function working together with the federal government in its digital improvement. This is an essential part of the nationwide program, to enhance development and result in a sustainable advancement that leaves nobody behind. One aspect of this digital improvement is the so-called “digitization of payments”, or payments done completely online and by means of electronic gadgets, consisting of through cellphones. This makes overall sense thinking about that of the 16,5 million Senegalese, less than 19 percent own checking account however the nation has 16.7 million cellphone memberships.

With this in view, in 2018, the Senegalese federal government released a payment digitization program to promote monetary and social addition through tech. Dealing with the United Nations in Senegal, the federal government signed up with the Better Than Money Alliance (a collaboration of federal governments, business and worldwide companies to enhance development through digital payments), with the assistance of the Mobile Cash for the Poor, a program of the UN Capital Advancement Fund, to accomplish its objectives. The UN assisted produce a research study that discovered digitizing 50 percent of nationwide payments would assist Senegal include more than 104 billion CFA Franc (US$ 177 million) each year to its Gdp. We likewise assisted reveal that payment digitization might present effectiveness gains. For instance, the federal government might conserve about 75 percent in functional expenses when utilizing a digital payment system in contrast to a manual procedure when registering individuals into its universal healthcare protection.

Digital payments for universal health protection.

By the way, Senegal’s digital payment improvement encompassed the healthcare sector. The federal government released an ingenious digital payment system for its Universal Medical Insurance Company, which was developed following the intro of universal health protection in2013 The effort has actually been determined as an essential chauffeur of social reform and development, with considerable prospective towards fast-tracking development in accomplishing the Sustainable Advancement Objectives. In reality, when the Universal Medical Insurance Company was developed, the variety of individuals with medical insurance protection increased from less than 10 percent in 2013 to 49 percent in 2018, with these 7 million brand-new members adding to the socio-economic advancement of the nation.

Senegal intends to reach a medical insurance protection rate of 75 percent of its population, which totals up to an extra 3 million members registered in the Universal Medical Insurance Company. The payment digitization system is assisting the federal government accomplish its universal healthcare protection objective. With the e-payment system in location, members of the neighborhood might spend for their own or somebody else’s healthcare strategies digitally and from another location. Utilizing this technique, loved ones might for instance spend for their liked ones’ healthcare expenses. Likewise, through a system of digital crowdfunding, charitable companies or people from Senegal or abroad might likewise contribute towards grants for expensive medical treatments for the less lucky, consisting of caesarean area, chemotherapy, dialysis, and so on

. This method has a concrete, favorable effect in individuals’s lives since in Senegal and other parts of the world, a health problem can press whole households into hardship. For that reason, a “cushion” is required to avoid individuals from moving into hardship, like a cost savings account, a federal government social security plan, or in this case a crowdsourced grant developed through an electronic payment system. At the very same time, the e-payment platform likewise assisted enhance remittance payments from the Senegalese living abroad to their loved ones back house to support healthcare expenses. This is considerable, as the Ministry of Economy price quotes such remittances to more than US$ 85 million in2017

In addition to the social advantages, the brand-new digital payment platform is prepared for to favorably affect the total economy. Through the effectiveness gains of going from a handbook to an electronic enrolment procedure for healthcare protection, the system is approximated to conserve the federal government more than 6 billion CFA Franc (US$ 10 million) each year. The e-payment platform will likewise add to a higher degree of effectiveness, openness, and responsibility at lots of levels and will for instance assistance in dealing with corruption. To put it simply, the intro of the brand-new platform has actually assisted the federal government to “leave nobody behind” throughout numerous sectors.

The platform is far from reaching its complete capacity and our company believe it will even more add to the improvement of the Sustainable Advancement Objectives and the awareness of the pledges of Program2030 For its part, the United Nations in Senegal stays dedicated as ever to assisting the federal government even more establish its digital improvement, broaden universal health protection and look for extra synergies to advance the 2030 Program for Sustainable Advancement.