The Broccoli projects holds within it the promise of a 2 sided value exchange:

Donors get technology substantiated transparency of who the beneficiary was and how much was received by that beneficiary.

Beneficiaries receive incentives in the form of food, shelter & clothing in exchange for taking actions aimed to lift them out of poverty.

donorfeedTM - Providing transparency from Donor to Distributor

Using cloud based computing, including in some processes, Amazon EC2 servers for cost effective scalability, The Broccoli Project platform allows resources to be donated, tracked and managed in real time to the point of distribution.  At best this cuts out, and at worst it brings into sharp focus poor performance, inefficiencies, bad administration and corruption.

Each donation captured onto the system is assigned a unique tracking number. This “donation identifier” is retained as the donation flows through the process, to the point of distribution to recipients. In addition, where aid is donated through one of our “unitized intervention” projects (see projects page) in which a retail voucher is issued as a reward to a recipient - e.g. for incentivised aids tests - the donation identifier will also be included on the voucher. This allows even the time and place of the eventual redemption of the voucher to be captured into the system.

Using the donorfeedTM interface page on this site, donors can open a fully transparent window into the progress of their own donated funds through the system - and ultimately, satisfy themselves that their resources are being optimally utilised.

On the aid administrators’ side, The Broccoli Project system allows Aid agencies and governments to manage their own processes better and provide demonstrably optimal “social returns” on donor investment – and ultimately use their “Broccoli Accreditation” to strengthen their case to potential funders.

Conditional Aid - Rewarding positive social behaviour

Those without access to the means to earn or buy the basic goods and services upon which their lives depend, are typically the targets of nobly intended “handouts” – a process which often perpetuates dependency rather than liberating recipients from the shackles of poverty.  TBP counters this with a “Rewards Program for the Poor” module which registers recipients into an easily managed, fully trackable process which allows the incentivisation of positive social behaviour with relevant rewards.

By fulfilling conditional requirements such as attending educational courses, undergoing beneficial medical procedures or practicing environmentally beneficial activities, participants qualify for aid.  This conditional exchange assigns value to participants’ actions – and with it, a sense of self-worth – as well as provides an opportunity for them to actively “learn and earn” their way to a better life.

Conditional Aid is a powerful instrument increasingly used and funded by the World Bank in their efforts to fight poverty. Sometimes known as Conditional Cash Transfer - in cases where money is the reward - it is growing in popularity and has been repeatedly been featured in The Economist [1],[2],[3] as a powerful economic upliftment tool.

The Broccoli Project is a powerful yet easy to implement platform that allows donors and aid agencies to:

1. Submit and accurately monitor the deployment of donations online in real time
2. Invest in measurable, viable long term social change through the funding and deployment of “Conditional Aid” based Broccoli projects

The heart of Broccoli

At the heart of The Broccoli Project is a rapidly scalable and deployable hardware/software system and process designed to not only ensure that aid is deployed optimally and transparently, but that it is delivered in a way which truly uplifts the recipients and breaks dependency on “handouts”. Tested in South Africa as part of the Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation program, this system has delivered exceptional results in one of the world’s harshest physical and social environments.

How the Rewards Program works

1. A ruggedized portable Broccoli hardware system - incorporating a touch screen operated computer, a biometric fingerprint scanner, a mini thermal printer and mobile connectivity - is used to register and track participating recipients’ actions in the field. Data is stored/accessed in real time to and from the cloud based BroccoliSoft management system.
2. Logging the completion of a positive social action against a participant record triggers the printing of a secure, bar coded voucher for the participant.
3. The participant redeems the voucher at a participating retailer for pre-specified basic goods (food, groceries, clothing, building materials) which are paid for with donor funds. Vouchers are not redeemable for alcohol, tobacco or narcotic substances.
4. Aid agencies can remotely track, manage and report on the process in real time using the BroccoliSoft management system via a web browser (http://analytics.broccoliproject.org).

Biometrics, Ethics and Measuring the impact of aid

In a recent Economist article, Sonal Shah, head of the OSICP, is quoted as saying “…the social sector lacks a simple yardstick. Often the things that are easiest to measure - say the number of people coming through the door of a community centre - tell you nothing about an activity's effects…”

It is in the measurement of long term impact that biometrics is most valuable, since it allows traceability of participants anywhere and over any time without any need for formal identification documents – something commonly lacking in most communities requiring aid. 

Once a participant has given The Broccoli Project the consent to store fingerprint and related information, he or she can be guided through a series of uplifting activities.  At each step, the participant can be identified and the true success of a given project can be measured.

While biometric identification and tracking might sound a bit "Big-Brother", it can actually preserve the anonymity and privacy of participants since it does not require names or other identity based information in order to function as an accurate means of tracking individuals’ actions and outcomes.

Good for the individual.  Good for the world.

The TBP rewards process enables recipients to take ownership of their situation, ascribe real value to their actions and themselves, and ultimately contribute in a small but powerful way towards uplifting the world for all.
In this way, TBP can be used to encourage a virtually unlimited range of positive activities such as:

1. Education and life skills development
2. Beneficial health and lifestyle practises
3. Disease testing and treatment compliance (AIDS, TB)
4. Eco-friendly activity, sustainable resource development
5. Community work

By encouraging and rewarding positive behaviour, anti-social behaviour can be vastly reduced, along with the immense costs currently required to police it. 

An award-winning hybrid social enterprise

In June 2009, at the inaugural World Innovation Summit in Barcelona, The Broccoli Project walked off with two awards - Second Place overall out of 24 countries and Best Social Value.  The Broccoli Project is a hybrid social enterprise. It uses market based principles to generate revenues to further develop its technology and processes - but more importantly, this market based approach ensures the sustainability of the enterprise in an industry that is often focused only on donor funding rather than self sustainability.