IST Research’s Data Collection Environment to Monitor Teachers’ Pay in Afghanistan

Fredericksburg, VA, May 23, 2013 --( IST Research has been selected by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) to provide monitoring and evaluation services in Afghanistan utilizing the company’s proprietary Data Collection Environment (DCE) technology. As the central Afghan Government and Ministry of Education move toward the adoption of mobile payments for all government employees, this initiative will monitor the roll out to government teachers, especially in rural and peri-urban areas. The program will be linked to activities supported by the Association of Mobile Money Operators of Afghanistan (AMMOA) and major banking and mobile communications companies in Afghanistan who are offering the salary payments of teachers through a mobile money platform due to the scarcity of bank branches.

Mr. Ryan Paterson, President and CEO of IST Research, recently traveled to Afghanistan to kick the project off. During the trip he said, “This new work is the result of a dedication to creating the technical infrastructure and field experience necessary to quickly collect information from populations in developing parts of the world. Whether it is teachers in Afghanistan, nurses in Zambia, or first responders in Haiti, the IST Research team is driven to deliver low cost, reliable tools to the aid and development community in order to assist in their monitoring and evaluation efforts.”

With IST Research’s experience and human infrastructure experience in Afghanistan dating back 4 years, the company has the ability to immediately provide support to USAID monitoring and evaluation efforts by deploying the DCE. Initially, the DCE will launch in the provinces of Kabul and Nangahar to build a database of teachers, their schools and locations. This will help establish an SMS-based mechanism system to periodically query the workforce in order to ensure that timely and complete salary payments are being properly disbursed. The chosen locations, selected in consultation with the Ministry of Education and USAID, include urban, peri-urban and rural schools to afford a diverse sampling environment.

IST Research will build an initial database of schools and teachers in the areas of interest, capture data from about 5,000 teachers regarding their monthly salary payments, and analyze and provide assessments about these findings. The goal for the mobile technology based platform is to verify the efficiency and security of electronic salary payments while also establishing a more effective monitoring and evaluation process for Afghanistan’s education sector. IST Research’s DCE can scale with ease to reach and survey teachers in the remaining locations of Afghanistan to ensure the mobile payment system is working properly for all government paid teachers. In addition, the platform can be used for country-wide engagement with the Afghan population on any variety of topics or issues related to education.

For more information on IST Research and their projects, they can be reached at the contact info provided below.
IST Research
Damon Mitchell