When residents of the southern Philippine city of Marawi were finally allowed to return to their homes, the full extent of the destruction became clear. Five months of brutal combat between ISIS-linked fighters and the Philippine military left Marawi in ruins. Their mosques were burned, their modern hospital ransacked and many of their homes were bombed. Those civilians’ whose homes were still standing felt lucky. Marawi's citizens knew, one day, their city would stand tall again.
Nearly two years after ISIS fighters laid siege to the city of Marawi, Philippines, the city is still in recovery mode. While they waited for help from the Philippine military to arrive, thousands of civilians sought refuge in evacuation camps outside the city. Marawi’s men, women and children yearn for their city to rebuild and for their lives to return to normal. Together with Plan International and many other partners, Souktel is helping restore normalcy and hope to the streets of Marawi.
The USAID/Philippines Marawi Response, MRP, works to reduce the threat of violent extremism in the Philippines by providing economic mobility to people forced to flee their homes and improving community relations between refugees and host communities. The Souktel-Plan International partnership, Souktel’s first venture in the Philippines, is a winning one for Marawi’s people.
“We are bringing big data to frontier markets,” said Souktel CEO Dave Harden. “There are more smartphones than people in the Philippines, so there is ample opportunity to use technology to connect entrepreneurs, public and private actors to build strong, prosperous communities.”
Souktel developed a web and mobile app that will help project monitoring and evaluation activities and flexible problem solving. The system will allow the project to collect data and track MRP’s most important indicators, not only performance metrics reported to USAID but also metrics used internally. A robust reporting system will aid project monitoring and reduce the workload of periodic reporting. Souktel’s web and mobile apps will make it easier for Plan international and its partners to share their mission and help Marawi rebuild.
"The Souktel system covers our monitoring and evaluation needs from building the indicators and the forms, data storage, analysis, report-writing/packaging and report sharing,” said Maria Rowena Balino, Monitoring, Evaluation, Research and Learning (MERL) Manager for Plan International – Philippines. “The training provided to us will help us build, manage, and sustain our project's M&E system which will be instrumental to adaptive management."
Now that the gunfire has stopped and calm has returned to the city, Marawi is rising. Souktel and Plan International are making the dream of a rebuilt, resilient Marawi a reality.
Souktel is a leading technology services firm that seeks to build on its experts’ track record of success in the public sector to provide high-impact technology solutions to clients across the public, private and humanitarian sectors.
About Plan International
Plan International is an independent development and humanitarian organization that advances children’s rights and equality for girls.