Case Study

Saving Money, Saving Lives

A case study on the benefits of digitizing payments to Ebola response workers in Sierra Leone

At the height of the Ebola crisis, Sierra Leone turned to mobile wallets to make fast, accurate, and secure payments to Response Workers. Digitization cut payment times from over one month to around one week, putting an end to payment-related strikes. In doing so, digital payments strengthened Sierra Leone’s capacity to contain the Ebola disease, treat those infected, and ultimately save lives. In the process, digitizing payments also delivered cost savings of more than $10 million by eliminating double-payment, reducing fraud, removing the costs of physical cash transportation and security, and cutting travel costs for Response Workers.

This case study sets out key lessons from Sierra Leone’s experience using digital payments to help combat Ebola. Specifically, the case study shows how putting in place critical infrastructure and public education before a crisis hits can have a major impact on saving money, and more importantly, saving lives.

About this Publication

By Joe Abass Bangura