Starting date: November 2nd 2020
Ending date: November 20th 2020
Name of instructor: Hugh Allen, CEO, VSL Associates
E-Mail address: Hugh@vsla.net
Webpages: www.vsla.net VSL Associates main website, containing all tools
www.thesavix.org Provides worldwide, regional, sub-regional dashboards (under construction)
mis.thesavix.org The main MIS portal
When Savings Groups started out, pioneered by CARE in Niger in 1991, very little was done to quantify results, mainly because programmes were experimental, small and informally assessed. After testing in several countries and proving its worth and sustainability, the VSLA Savings Group methodology was adopted by many INGOs, operating at much larger scale. These programmes were concerned to be cost effective and needed to measure results.
Over the following 20 years specialised Excel tools were developed by Chuck Waterfield and VSL Associates to track performance, but as programmes reached very large scale (with many thousands of groups), operating across a wide variety of sectors and sometimes in networks, it became necessary to move to a web-server solution, and in 2013 VSL Associates and Software Group created the SAVIX MIS. The current version (2.01) went live in April of 2018. Taken together, the MIS reports on the activities of nearly 600,000 groups worldwide, covering more than 13 million members, in more than 3,830 projects, in more than 1,300 MIS instances. More than 800 organisations are now using the SAVIX MIS
The benefits of moving to an online system were:
The face-to-face course we previously offered has been run in 5 different countries in Africa for the last several years, and the online course follows much the same curriculum, which is designed with the expectation that, upon completion, a user will be able to set up and manage a national MIS for SGs and will know, when needed, how to create networks of projects that encompass multiple MIS instances.
While a face-to-face course enables more rapid interaction between trainer and students, we have designed the online course to be comprised of classroom seminars, followed up with exercises and as-needed individual instruction scheduled one-on-one to cover MIS setup and data entry.
3. Learning Outcomes
By the completion of this course, individual participants will:
The course is based around the SAVIX MIS Project Administrators’ User Guide 2.01 in English (see the ‘Tools’ section of the main website), and the curriculum tracks the steps in the manual, from Chapters 1-8. Thus, each module will need students to review the section of the manual that will be sent to them as background reading
Each module will start with a Webinar in which the objectives of the module will be set out and will involve a mixture of
The modules have the following content
Module 1: What is an MIS and how do you decide on its architecture?
This will help you to select a system architecture for your MIS that takes into account who will be running the MIS (development agency supporting partners or the partners themselves); how geographically dispersed a project may be; where data is entered and how the need for non-standard data will have an impact on the number of MIS instances that you may need to create,
Module 2: Setting up an MIS and creating projects
This module will take you through the entire setup process of the MIS and its projects. It lists the information needed to complete the setup at different levels (MIS and Project) and the roles of the MIS Administrator, Project Administrator and Data Entry Officers. In this module you will set up your own MIS, based on a standard project profile that we have created. Setup will be shown in a webinar with individual, separately scheduled assistance to ensure correct completion.
Module 3: Data definitions, data collection, review and entry
This module looks at the data that is needed in order to use the MIS. This is divided into:
It demonstrates how the data collection process itself measures profitability in the field, reported to the individual group, before entry into the system. It also covers the creation of User-defined fields, which fall into two categories (fixed, pre-defined by the system and those independently created by the user).
Module 4: Report preparation, analysis and application
This module covers the preparation and interpretation of reports at three levels:
The module covers the preparation of these reports and their application to operational planning, the measurement of programme and project progress and to future project planning
Module 5: Setting up networks of projects and reviewing supplemental utilities
This module covers the establishment of Networks of projects that originate in different MIS instances and which may be from different organisations and in different countries. It also covers miscellaneous utilities that were not covered in the earlier modules.