Today we had the opportunity to drive out Isan-Ekiti, which is considered one of the rural areas of Ekiti state. The drive took us about 45 minutes from our office and even the ride itself was a mixture of paved roads and roadworks under construction. The purpose of the visit was connected to our Citizen Information Management System (CIMS) project. The felt that it was be a good idea to talk to the people who would be impacted by the project that we want to implement – elderly citizens. We were specifically interested in understanding their experiences with the process today and what they thought about some of our proposals to introduce some technology-related solutions into the payment process. We also wanted to get a sense of the different types of towns where our solutions would be implemented in terms of infrastructure and communities.
We were scheduled to meet with 5 of Isan-Ekiti elderly residents, but we ended up meeting with about a dozen. Thanks to our local host team (Yemi and Ayo) we were able to speak to them (the residents spoke Yoruban so we needed translation support), I think we were able to have a great conversation and learn a lot about the process from the End-User perspective including what issues were important to them (trust, convenience, security, ease of use, amongst other criteria) as we work on the alternatives. What I can say here now is that the use of biometrics was a clearly preferred option! That was fantastic to know because it shows that technology can be adapted to the environment, instead of the other way around.
I think the team and I left with new energy. We have faces now to the work we are doing. I am committed to make this important part of their lives more convenient, more secure, and the more efficient. One of the residents we had the privilege of speaking with prayed for our success. I have no intention of letting her down.
And of course the pictures