The Smallholder Farmers Alliance (SFA) is an NGO founded in 2010 that has worked with over 3,000 Haitian smallholder farmers to help increase yields and incomes through sustainable agricultural and agroforestry practices. Although its interventions have provided major economic opportunities to its farmers, SFA has found that incomes remain inconsistent and that there are opportunities to better connect smallholder farmers to stable, high value markets.

In response to these challenges and opportunities, SFA is transitioning its model to a social enterprise so that farmers can generate higher incomes while suppling sought after products to the market. Acting as intermediary between farmers and commercial buyers, SFA is currently reintroducing organic cotton to Haiti through their longtime partnership with Timberland.

A key milestone in SFA’s transition is to develop and deploy a unified data collection and management system to monitor farmer production and impact, manage transactions and build a transparent supply chain. The unified system will be essential as SFA transitions from innovative nonprofit to successful social enterprise.

Over the four-month project, the SIPA Capstone team analyzed SFA’s cotton supply chain and applied the logical framework approach to develop a data collection and management system, performed baseline data collection, piloted a management dashboard and trained SFA on all of the above. To achieve desired long-term goals, the team also recommended SFA to continue to develop and iterate the new data collection system and to hire a new data manager to improve effectiveness of its data management process as the social enterprise scales.

Hugh Locke, Co-founder and President of Smallholder Farmers Alliance reflects on the valubale work SIPA students have conducted: Digital Champions for Haiti.