FINCA International Named Winner of 2022 Amazon Web Services IMAGINE Grant for Nonprofits

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FINCA International will work with Amazon’s cloud computing arm to revolutionize the quality, scale and usability of data collected from the world’s most disadvantaged people.

WASHINGTON, D.C., Tuesday, November 29, 2022 – FINCA International today announced it has been selected as a winner of the 2022 Amazon Web Services (AWS) IMAGINE Grant, a public grant opportunity open to registered 501(c) nonprofit organizations in the United States who are using technology to solve the world’s most pressing challenges. The grant will support FINCA International’s efforts to ensure high-quality data gathered from the world’s most disadvantaged people will drive the design, implementation and impact of programs and services intended to improve their lives.

Now in its fifth year, the AWS IMAGINE Grant program provides vital resources to nonprofit organizations looking to deploy cloud technology as a central tool to achieve mission goals. As part of the program, AWS seeks proposals for big ideas on how to leverage technology in new and innovative ways to accelerate impact in local and global communities.

Scott Graham, FINCA International’s Direct of Research and Data Science, explained that “personal interviews, where insights can be framed around peoples’ perceptions and lived experiences, are the most effective ways to capture the real-world experiences of marginalized people. Unfortunately, these interactions are prone to many kinds of errors, bias and even falsification that can lead to faulty analysis and poor decision-making, which undermine the prospects for meaningful social impact.”

FINCA’s ValiData platform addresses this problem by verifying the quality of survey data so that it can later be aggregated and compared across countries, while allowing for variances in language and context as needed. With its in-built data quality features through AWS support, ValiData enables the use of local, non-specialized staff to collect data anywhere in the world, so surveys can take place at minimum cost and without losing data. In a successful end-state, ValiData will stand as a powerful source-agnostic platform for the aggregation, validation and analysis of data on the needs and circumstances of vulnerable populations.

FINCA International was named a winner in the Momentum to Modernize category which recognizes foundational technology projects. FINCA International will receive up to $30,000 in unrestricted funding, up to $10,000 in AWS Promotional Credits, and project implementation support. Proposals were judged on several factors including the innovative and unique nature of the project, impact on mission-critical goals, and clearly defined outcomes and milestones.

“Bias, inequity and the digital divide virtually guarantee that the day-to-day realities of the world’s most disadvantaged people are simply not reflected in ‘big data.’ This collaboration can change that!”

— Scott Graham, Director of Research and Data Science, FINCA International

Since the launch of the IMAGINE Grant program in 2018, AWS has awarded over $6M in unrestricted funds, AWS Promotional Credits, and AWS training support to 66 nonprofit organizations in support of their technology-driven goals. Previous winners are currently using AWS services to tackle critical challenges such as eliminating barriers to food security, improving maternal health outcomes, helping millions access clean and safe drinking water globally, tackling rare disease research, and more.

“At AWS, we are inspired and encouraged by the nonprofit sector’s commitment to address society’s biggest challenges. Each of our IMAGINE Grant winners is taking innovative approaches to scale their mission impact with technology,” said Allyson Fryhoff, managing director of nonprofit and nonprofit health at AWS. “We’re excited to dive deep with these organizations to help them, leverage cloud technology to advance their transformative work that is benefitting communities worldwide.”

Learn more about the AWS IMAGINE grant announcement here.

About Amazon Web Services

Over 35,000 nonprofit organizations worldwide use AWS to increase their impact and advance mission goals. Through multiple programs tailored specifically to the nonprofit community, AWS can enable nonprofits of all sizes to overcome barriers to technology adoption, while enhancing the scale, performance, and capabilities of mission operations. For more information on the AWS IMAGINE Grant, visit aws.amazon.com/imagine-grant.

About FINCA International

For nearly 40 years, FINCA International has been in the vanguard of the fight to end global poverty. Our approach is rooted in the belief that the most impactful and sustainable solutions are those that unleash the wisdom, talent and work ethic of people with lived experience. Our objective is to give the world’s most vulnerable and disadvantaged people access to the knowledge, resources and opportunity they need to break the cycle of poverty in their lives.