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Mobile money enabled cash assistance

User journeys in Burundi

Mobile money-enabled cash and voucher assistance (CVA) has the potential to offer transformational benefits including digital and financial inclusion for marginalised groups.

Mobile money for CVA delivery can have wide-ranging benefits for recipients, humanitarian organisations and private sector organisations alike, but it may not be appropriate in all humanitarian contexts. Furthermore, the transformational benefits of mobile money may not be realised if the programme is not designed with these potential benefits in mind.

Crucially, the benefits of mobile money-enabled CVA will only be equitable for all if interventions are designed to address the needs of the most marginalised recipients.

This report applies a human-centred design approach that empathises with and understands the lived experiences of Concern Burundi’s CVA recipients who are receiving mobile money-enabled humanitarian aid.

Meet the personas

Through in-depth interviews and user journey maps, a series of fictional personas were created to better identify what enhanced user journeys or frustrated users when they received mobile money-enabled CVA.



No one in my family owns a phone and I have never used one. I use the SIM card that Concern gave me to get cash on distribution days, but not for other things. I worry that if I do, the SIM card could be stolen.

Adja (Persona) Download Adja's User Journey

I am 56 years old from Kigoma, Bugabira commune. I live with my son, his wife and their four children. I did not attend school and cannot read or write. We do not own a phone but sometimes a neighbour helps me make calls with her phone.

Divine (Persona) Download Divine's User Journey

My name is Fabrice. I am 44 years old from Gisenyi colline in Busoni commune. I live with my wife and our five children, as well as my nephew. I completed primary school and can read and write. I own a phone that can access the internet, even though I don’t use it. I have a Lumitel SIM card in my personal phone and I keep the Concern SIM for cashing out.

Fabrice (Persona) Download Fabrice's User Journey

User journeys are enhanced when:


– Users have someone they can trust at their side

– Assistance is transparent and accessible, and issues are swiftly dealt with

– Cash assistance is built into longer-term financial support

User journeys are frustrated when:


– Users do not own or have access to a mobile phone

– The process is not adequately explained

– Users must shoulder additional costs to access their assistance

– Users are not encouraged to use the SIM card

– Users wait a long time between initial targeting and receiving the cash assistance

Beyond the findings specific to Burundi, this report also has considerations that stakeholders in other humanitarian contexts will find relevant:


– When considering mobile money-enabled CVA, ensure that levels of mobile phone ownership and digital literacy are taken into account

– When using digital tools for CVA, consider long-term benefits – or multiplier effects – of digital and financial inclusion for recipients

– Humanitarian stakeholders and mobile money providers should consider user feedback more systematically

– Mobile money-enabled CVA programmes should be designed to address the needs of the most marginalised recipients

– Partnerships should think strategically about their collective impact

Download the report

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