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Assisting a Micro loan Organization in Haiti

Fonkoze, a US based non profit organization, requested the assistance of a GISCorps volunteer in implementing a complete GPS data collection and web mapping of all of their “credit centers”; the 2000 locations that their clients meet at to repay loans, receive health and education services. Fonkoze is the largest micro-finance institution in Haiti offering a full range of financial services to the rural-based poor in Haiti. Following a search, Joe Dickinson, a GISCorps volunteer from Seattle, WA was recruited for this project and worked on the first phase of the project with Fonkoze representatives.

Fonkoze project representative, James Kurz recently informed us that the first phase has been concluded and they may request further assistance after the collected GPS data is associated with their business database.

The following is a summary of the first phase of the project:

1.  Purchased the GPS devices, batteries and chargers:  95 GPS receivers were purchased along with battery charger and extra batteries. Joe’s research helped in acquiring the equipment well under budget.

2. Prepared GPS devices for deployment: Each GPS device shipped in English. Interns at Fonkoze USA opened all devices, switched them into French and affixed unique serial numbers to the devices. Batteries were fully charged and inserted into the GPS.

3. Developed the training and record-keeping materials for the project: A custom training program has been developed for branch directors and credit agents to ensure accurate and timely data collection. The training is designed to meet the two tasks necessary to collect the data: collect data using the GPS and records and transmit data.

4. Assigned an experienced staff person to perform trainings and deployments of devices

5. Prepared the MIS system to include center identification numbers

6. Cleaned the system-wide records of centers


The revised timeline calls for 100% completion of training by the end of May 1, 2011 with 100% collection of data no later than June 1. As data is collected the GIS database will be constructed, meaning that data will be usable as soon as it is entered. By the end of the first semester of 2011 the entire first phase of the GIS project will be complete which includes the following deliverables:

  • A full, accurate database of the location of every center
  • An interactive map detailing the location of all centers and mapped with basic client data such as number and loan portfolio (Joe will assist in implementing this task)
  • An online map observable by external parties showing the exact places we work
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