Togo: MobileAid Novissi receives Innovation Awards in Texas

By : Adoni Conrad Quenum

Date : mercredi, 30 mars 2022 16:34

Novissi, the social assistance program developed by NGO GiveDirectly, was implemented by the Togolese government to support poor communities during the coronavirus pandemic. US$22.5 million was distributed to 817,154 people in its framework.

Cash transfer program Novissi received the Special Recognition Award of the South by Southwest (SXSW) Innovation Show, held March 11-20 in Austin, Texas, USA. The program, termed MobileAid, set itself apart during the Covid-19 crisis. Indeed, in 2020, when the coronavirus was raging, Togo implemented Novissi to assist the less privileged.  

Four conditions were required to access government assistance. First, the applicant must be a Togolese residing in the country. Secondly, he/she must be an employee whose job was affected by the coronavirus response measures issued by the government. The third and the fourth conditions were respectively being aged over 18 and having a voters card.

Applicants meeting all those four conditions can self-enroll by dialing the USSD code *855# and following the enrollment procedure.

Male beneficiaries used to receive monthly stipends of XOF10,500 (US$17.76), against XOF 12,250 for women. Beneficiaries were advised to use the stipends to buy food and water, pay for water and electricity bills, or purchase airtime.

Developed by the non-governmental organization GiveDirectly, Novissi was born out of the Togolese government's desire to guarantee a minimum income for the poor amid the coronavirus pandemic that forced travel restrictions.

Overall, 1,631,101 people self-enrolled on Novissi but only 817,154 were approved. They included 516,847 women and 300,307 men. According to the Togolese government, The beneficiaries received a total of XOF13.308 billion.

Adoni Conrad Quenum


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