Throughout every step of the bridge building process, from assessment of need to inauguration to inspection, we collect and use data to drive decision-making and operational efficiency.
This directly affects our activities - the bridges we build.
We conducted a comprehensive needs assessment in Rwanda, including social, economic, and technical information, to identify and prioritize the need for 321 footbridges.
In addition, we have started a new spatial mapping project to complement on-the-ground work to assess rural isolation and identify need for footbridges.
We gather user feedback on the experience of building and using a bridge. This helps us understand our outputs and outcomes--things like bridge utilization and ability to reach essential services and opportunities.
Through this program, we seek to understand the barriers that communities face in accessing essential services and opportunities, and how lives change following the construction of new footbridges.
We conduct surveys via SMS (text message) or community enumerators, at high volume and frequency, for fast feedback loops that allow us to be nimble and adaptive according to community response.
We work with subject-matter experts on deep-dive research projects related to rural isolation and poverty in the developing world, helping us understand our impact--how footbridges alleviate rural poverty.
From 2014 - 2016, we partnered with economists at the University of Notre Dame to evaluate the effect of footbridges in rural Nicaragua. The data demonstrate the powerful economic impact of a footbridge. Compared to a control group of communities without a bridge, fertilizer investment increased by 45%, farm profits increased by 75%, and labor market income increased by 30%.