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A Partnership by Youth, for Youth

DDD digitizes financial records for Cambodian Children’s Fund.

Posted on 13.01.16 at 9:58 PM by Digital Divide Data

Any good client-provider relationship is founded on reliability and trust. But when core values and missions align, the connection becomes that much richer. Such a connection exists between DDD and its client-partner Cambodian Children’s Fund (CCF).

In 2004 CCF founder Scott Neeson (then the president of 20th Century Fox International) saw the state of poverty Cambodian children were living in, and was moved to start an organization to provide education, nourishment, and healing to vulnerable children from Cambodia’s most destitute communities. Over the past near decade, CCF has grown to support 1,500 children in its four residential facilities, a community center, three healthcare clinics, four satellite schools, and a nursery. “We have educational, vocational training and gender programs designed to provide concrete skills and employment opportunities to vulnerable and disadvantaged Cambodian youth,” Neeson shares.  Like DDD, CCF believes that working with the local community achieves the best impact. All of CCF’s 300 staff and more than 95% of the DDD Cambodia staff are Khmer. CCF’s Development Officer Lani Smith Phillips complemented, “When Paul [Saunders, CCF Board Director] suggested we partner with DDD, it was easy to see the fit. There was so much convergence between our mission and theirs.”

Each DMO (data management operator) had to keep a keen eye to ensure that data from receipts and journals were correctly captured.

CCF came to DDD with a data documentation and management challenge. As a US-registered nonprofit, CCF is required to submit annual internal audits. But since CCF operates in Cambodia, a cash-based economy where almost all transactions are on paper, CCF’s financial data was on handwritten records. “We literally had an enormous amount of financial documentation: every transaction we complete had a journal entry and paper receipt, sometimes multiple paper receipts,” recounted Lani Smith-Phillips, CCF’s Development Officer. Initially CCF assigned the task of organizing and compiling the records to volunteers. However, the sensitivity of the information prompted CCF to seek a trusted third-party provider to complete the project.

DDD started on the project in April 2012. The work had 3 major components: (1) sorting and verifying content, (2) scanning and renaming records, and (3) verifying that all records were processed. The data is stored in an SFTP server that CCF teams in Cambodia and the US can securely access. Efficiency and accuracy was critical to digitizing and organizing thousands of paper receipts and records. “It was definitely a challenge but knowing that we were accomplishing this for CCF made it feel like we were also helping the children (CCF supports),” project manager Sorphea Leng said.

CCF was delighted to have the burden of paper files off their list of concerns. “The (digitizing) task was diverting the staff from their key roles which affected our operations. By working with an organization that we trust, we could refocus our energies back to our projects and priorities. DDD has been amazing, easy to work with, and helpful. They have become such a reliable partner that we look forward to continuing to work with them.” Smith-Phillips confirmed.

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