Costing tool to evaluate the financial viability of front-end technologies for microfinance data collection/management
This Excel-based template is designed for microfinance institutions to compare the costs associated with alternate channels of front-end client data collection - primarily between paper-based front-end systems and electronic front-end systems involving the use of a mobile phone, PDA or other handheld device.
The template requires the input of all relevant component costs involved in the manual and electronic front-end systems, and then presents a set of figures on the electronic system's financial viability (through cost savings) vis-a-vis the paper-based system over a six-year timeframe.
Costs that are common across manual and electronic front-end channels (e.g. a back-end PC-based MIS) are not included.
Our hope is that the tool's simplicity and ease of use will allow MFIs to evaluate several alternate systems before choosing the one that is most financially viable for deployment. We also hope that doing this assessment in advance will prevent deployment of systems that cannot beat the cost structures and efficiency of existing manual, paper-based, front-end operations in particular environments at particular points in time.
Have questions/feedback on using the tool? Please email aratan (at) microsoft (dot) com