Tools and methods to evaluate new projects arising in the context of COVID-19
Since in Ecuador, as a consequence of the COVID-19, many initiatives and projects have emerged about collecting, buying, and selling food items and health supplies. So, we want to implement a pilot project with those characteristics and evaluate its real impact, not only in production chains but also in social and economic indicators like “the use of technologies” or the new one we have called “the previous income gap.”
Our first challenge emerges when we want to build de baseline of our pilot project. The challenge is that we have restrictions on collecting traditional survey information. Furthermore, people in developing countries do not have access to computers or smartphones nor the Internet. And, because of that, online surveys are not an option for us. Then, we need to think of alternative ways to collect information. In addition to how, we must think about when and to whom.
Due to the current crisis and given that the usual conditions will take time (around 8-12 months) to return, we are aware of the need to look for new ways to reactivate most economic activities. And, because of that, many initiatives and projects have emerged about collecting, buying, and selling food items and health supplies. Also, the grade and speed of recovery would depend on the level of country development with particular attention to the access and use of technologies. In this sense, many experts agree that this is not only a transition period but also a transformation era. In this context, we propose to evaluate a pilot project in which we combine economy and tech in something we called “Community Clusters with Technology.” Our objectives for the pilot project are (1) to collect necessary information on the situation of local producers and (2) to train the local producers on the management and use of new technologies, including the computational tools that will be developed.
A methodological question is how to design and implement an information tool to build a baseline and after that to evaluate new projects in the context of the pandemic?
A broad objective from our pilot project will be to improve a new economic system that connects the needs and requirements of both medical supplies and food with local producers of small or family-scale, within the context of Ecuador. All this considering the use of technologies.