Stage 3: Proof of Concept
Adopting key learnings, and having confirmed the technical feasibility and usability of a basic blockchain system, WFP’s ‘Building Blocks’project is building a robust blockchains engine to support multiple facets of CBT, with transaction reconciliation as a first step. The expanded pilot using this system is expected in the spring of 2017.
We are in the planning stages of a 10,000 person Phase 1 pilot which will be rolled out at the end of April 2017.
We tested basic technological assumptions in the field with 97 beneficiaries and proved given the conditions of the field we could write transactions to the blockchain.
Humanitarian AssistanceSEE LESS
Pakistan, Lebanon, Kenya and 1 MoreSEE ALL
Pakistan, Lebanon, Kenya and JordanSEE LESS
Countries Implemented In
Mission and Vision
Reduced transaction fees
Faster beneficiary complaint resolution
Building digital identities for beneficiaries
Blockchain technology offers unique opportunities for humanitarians to enhance our ability to provide effective, efficient assistance to the people we serve – and save millions of dollars.In 2017, WFP took the ambitious step of piloting an early stage blockchain project, named ‘Building Blocks’, at field level. Deep in the heart of Sindh province, Pakistan, WFP tested core assumptions and the ability of blockchains to authenticate, record, and reconcile cash and food assistance transactions.
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In January 2017, WFP took the ambitious step of piloting an early stage blockchain project, named ‘Building Blocks’, at field level. Deep in the heart of Sindh province, Pakistan, WFP tested core assumptions and the ability of blockchains to authenticate, record, and reconcile cash and food assistance transactions.
As beneficiaries received in-kind food assistance, and a WFP-cash transfer in addition, coded transactions were inputted into the system by the vendor and authenticated and recorded on a public blockchain through a smartphone interface while they waited. Transaction reports generated from the system were used to reconcile the disbursements andensure trust between the parties.
Building Blocks offers unique opportunities for humanitarians to enhance our ability to provide effective, efficient assistance to the people we serve – and save millions of dollars.
Reduced financial transaction costs: while the system will not necessary replace Financial Service Providers (FSPs), it can reduce the cost of their services significantly by alleviating unnecessary costs through more efficient use of their unique value propositions in a win-win arrangement.
Rapid and low-cost deployment after crises: In crisis situations where WFP does not have agreements with FSPs, blockchain-supported CBT is a rapid and secure way to ensure assistance reaches beneficiaries in their time of need. As a matter of fact, the project team was able to register vendors and beneficiaries, grant beneficiaries entitlements, an nitiate the distributions within 15 minutes of arriving at the market location where the transactions were to take place.
Interoperability: In situations where other actors would like to transfer entitlements through WFP’s CBT system however want to maintain beneficiary data privacy, the blockchain system provides a way to do that without ever revealing beneficiary data or actors needing to trust each other. Also because everyone can monitor public blockchains (bit only those with the decipher key can make sense of the data recorded on it), governments and other UN agencies that would distribute CBT through WFP would have irrefutable and real-time proof that their assistance reach the intended beneficiaries in the intended locations or categories.
Other use cases: This POC proved that blockchain can work in the field, which means other use cases such as identity management and supply chain tracking are possible as well. Blockchain, which is essentially an underlying way of organizing data, can support multiple applications built on top of it, similar to the multitudes of web pages built on the internet. Other blockchain use cases can be built onto the same blockchain tested in the field.
Planned Goals and Milestones
We will run a large scale pilot in one country in April and then run a second large pilot in August with additional countries and expand from there.
We are currently developing Phase 1 of the system and will be deploying it for a full pilot end of April 2017.
|Projected Cumulative Lives Impacted||10,000,000|