The 'last mile' is the critical stage of humanitarian aid delivery where essential supplies reach the people most affected by disasters.
World Vision developed LMMS as a stand-alone digital system with functionalities including beneficiary registration, verification, distribution planning and management, monitoring and reporting. It improves remote data collection, helps manage aid recipients, enables faster and fairer aid distributions and delivers rapid reporting to aid workers. Early collaboration with private-sector partners such as Field Worker and Intermec helped bring our vision to life, and pilot projects and feedback from early-adopters have helped us refine it.
As of May 2015, LMMS has registered over 3 million beneficiaries and has been deployed in 26 countries by over a dozen different humanitarian agencies. The list of organisations who have used or are using LMMS include: Oxfam GB, Medair, Save the Children, International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), CARE, Mercy Corps, Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), Food for the Hungry, UNICEF, TEARFUND, Danish Refugee Council, (DRC) UNDP and World Vision (WV).
How does LMMS work?
A typical LMMS deployment includes the following:
1. Project setup. This step defines the type of project( e.g. General Distribution, Aid for Work), duration, ration size, donor etc.
2. Registration. Household members are digitally registered once. Individuals receive their own unique bar-coded identification card with a photo. LMMS creates a single beneficiary master list for all sectors and projects.
3. Enrolment. Households or individuals are enrolled into projects defined in the project setup. Households can be enrolled in multiple projects without repeat registration.
4. Work Tracking. LMMS captures number of days worked (for aid for work projects) in order to calculate wages due.
5. Distribution and Inventory Management. Material entitlements are automatically calculated for distribution planning. During distribution, cards are scanned to determine eligibility and individuals are visually matched using photos stored in the database. Physical inventory is tracked in real-time as commodities are distributed, or if doing cash, payment agents can be instructed on who to disburse payments to.
Distribution reports are generated in near real-time including total households and individuals reached, disaggregated by age, gender and vulnerability as well as total commodities distributed and loss reports.
Benefits of using LMMS
Users of LMMS have reported efficiency gains, cost benefits and improvements in accountability, including:
- At least a 50% time reduction for registration, distribution & reporting activities 
- 47% reduction in registration time 
- 30% reduction in project related budgetary costs for LMMS versus manual activities 
- 40% reduction in distribution staff and a corresponding reduction in related office and travel costs 
- Multiple agencies report a reduction in fraud and double dipping - zero losses in inventory post LMMS
- Improved beneficiary targeting and savings through reuse of data 
- Electronic audit trail of user activity and reports on which family member collected rations.
- Comprehensive reports by LMMS eliminate the need to capture thumbprints or signatures on paper - a development welcomed by both donors and beneficiaries alike
- Read the ALNAP Innovations Case Study, Last Mile Mobile Solutions (LMMS): Technology and Partnering for Social Innovation (PDF), on the development of LMMS
- Learn how LMMS facilitated interagency coordinated in CAR, via the Humanitarian Practice Network
- Learn how LMMS sped up registration of 3,000 displaced families in Iraq
- Contact us: email Keith Chibafa, Business Development Manager - LMMS at keith_chibafa [at] wvi [dot] org