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Take 3 also means Triple the Impact!

I wanted to give a big thank you to Deanna McCusker and the VMware Foundation for an incredible gift they made this past week. As you know, Deanna, as part of her Take 3 Sabbatical from VMware, has been designing the user experience for our Mifos X platform the past several months. She wrote about her experiences with her community for VMware Foundation’s recent #iServe challenge.  She was selected the winner of a $1000 grant for our project for her exemplary community service. Out of the kindness of her own heart, Deanna also chose to personally donate a $1000 which was also matched by VMware Foundation which means a total of $3000 has been raised for Mifos and The Community for Open Source Microfinance.

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Recapping Random Hacks of Kindness

Two days. Three continents. Twenty volunteers. One mission – 3 Billion Maries.

rhok_logo_CS4-300x95Earlier this month, volunteers from HP and the broader geekspace  came together to “hack for humanity” as part of the global Random Hacks of Kindness. With support from Social Coding 4 Good we united in various worldwide locations to take on three different challenges we had presented to strengthen the Mifos X platform.  In Bangalore, Dublin, San Francisco, and via a remote bonus team in Chennai, we set out  to build solutions to our three problem definitions along with volunteers from  HP Social Innovation – 1) Mobile App for Mifos X, 2) Integration of SMS communications, and 3) Creation of a WYSIWYG document generator. Across all three sites our volunteers gravitated towards working on the mobile app for Mifos X, tackling it from all different angles of smartphone solutions including native apps for Android and iOS as well as cross-platform apps via Titanium and PhoneGap. We made some solid progress on the actual apps that is nicely summarized on our HackPad which tracked the weekend’s activity. We now have a working iPhone app that supports logging in, retrieving a list of clients and displaying a summary of their loan accounts (watch the demo!). On top of that we have a native Android app that supports on and offline authentication and syncing down office data.  All these apps serve as great starting points as full-fledged mobile applications on top of Mifos X.

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Hacking for a Cause – Mifos at Random Hacks of Kindness

I am totally psyched to be headed to San Francisco this weekend to experience Random Hacks of Kindness for the first time. We are ready to RHoK out with Mifos as one of the featured problems for December 2012.  The sheer enormity of this global collaboration puts me in awe – i really don’t know what to expect but am excited to lead our project and am sure great things are on the way.

Random Hacks

We have been wanting to do RHoK for a while now and luckily all things have quickly come together thanks to Celine Takatsuno from Benetech and Social Coding 4 Good. We are privileged and grateful to be partnering with Social Coding 4 Good who have given us this opportunity to be a featured problem and work with HP Social Innovation teams across three global locations.

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Remixing Microfinance – Reflecting on our Vision

This past week there was a virtual conference led by CGAP and Microsave on Client Insights as well as blog post from Ignacio Mas on remixing microfinance. Both these topics on focusin on client data and looking at way to create hybrid models of delivering financial services were a good follow-on to our vision session at the Mifos Summit.  It got me reflecting on our product vision that was beginning to emerge at the summit. Technology often constrains what an MFI should do rather than enable it. We aim to make Mifos X a flexible platform that puts no limits on how an MFI can design and deliver their financial services.

To learn more about product vision, read the full blog post.