Groundbreaking Pilot Works To Strengthen Indigenous Communities to Address Climate Crisis in the Amazon

AidKit’s Innovative Offline Payment Solution Plays Vital Role In International Direct Cash Transfers, facilitating flexible resources directly into the hands of Indigenous People.

May 1, 2024

AidKit, in partnership with Cool Earth, an international NGO, supported two female-led indigenous organizations, National Organization of Indigenous Women of the Andes and the Amazon of Peru (ONAMIAP), and Organization of Indigenous Women of Asháninka People of the Central Jungle (OMIAASEC), in launching their first Universal Basic Income Pilot, a pioneering initiative that today reaches three communities in the Peruvian Amazon.

The Pilot was designed by, and for, the communities in order to contribute with flexible income generation and resources. In this way, it seeks to strengthen their capacity to respond to the impacts of the climate crisis and the increase of unlawful economies in the region that endanger invaluable natural resources and ancestral territories.

By providing an income for two years to each member of these Indigenous communities, they can now have tools to decide their futures and access to basic human rights such as food, health, and livelihoods.

“Indigenous Peoples are the most affected by the climate crisis,” says Ketty Marcelo, president of ONAMIAP. “This context is having a strong impact on our human rights. Therefore, it is important to develop initiatives that provide a priority response, and that starts from the recognition of the needs and reality of each community. This small retribution is very important for them, and we trust that it will be well used to build resilience in the face of the climate crisis, to keep water, rainforests, and communal life alive.”

Acknowledging the unique challenges in collecting personal identification and payment information from intended recipients in places without internet access, AidKit developed and launched new functionality in their technical platform. This offline mode enables program administrators and community workers to be fully mobile, leveraging a tablet or iPad to collect information from potential program participants in real time. Using best-in-class asymmetric encryption, sensitive information - including banking details - is able to be recorded to a physical device, uploaded, and processed once the device is brought back to an internet connection.

“The collaboration with AidKit has been vital,” says Patricia Quiñones, Manager of Unconditional Cash Transfers at Cool Earth. “Both organizations agree on the necessity to put at the forefront the needs of community members where the Pilot is being carried out and the specific requirements of the local team in this very challenging context. In that sense, collaboration has been key for various points, among them: the secure management of sensitive information and reducing operational errors to schedule monetary transfers. In addition, as it is an accessible and simple platform, it has made it possible for indigenous leaders to apply surveys in the community. In this way, we contribute to reducing the gap in access, and return of information to indigenous organizations.”
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Jennifer Page
Former Auditor with the State of Colorado Department of Local Affairs