Category B02. Mobile Apps
Idea Creation DEPT Amsterdam, THE NETHERLANDS
Production DEPT Amsterdam, THE NETHERLANDS
Name Company Position
Franklin Schamhart Dept UX Designer Lead
Arthur Stobbelaar Dept Technical Lead
Tim Dekens Dept Visual Designer
Mark Toonen Dept Designer
Koen Schunselaar Dept Program Manager
Lucas Nutbey Dept Digital Strategist
Tristan Dubbeld Dept Front-end Developer
Daphne Smit Dept Front-end Developer
Sjeng Pho Dept Front-end Developer
Aleksandra Gajda Dept Front-end Developer
Mladen Rakonja Infinum Developer
Stijn van der Vegt Freelancer Web Developer
Wessel van Eeden Justdiggit Marketing Director


The climate is one of the major concerns of this generation. Realising this, Justdiggit trains people in areas of drought to dig half-moon circles in which rainwater is collected. This process of 'greening' ensures that the land will be fertile again within a year, something that is vitally important for the local population and which, on a larger scale, the whole world can benefit from. Justdiggit focusses on spreading their knowledge all the while empowering locals to organise and carry out the work themselves under the guidance of fundi's, the local rangers. Justdiggit asked us how technology could help them achieve their goals. As we are committed to making a change, the agency is a breeding ground for social and sustainable initiatives. So within the agency, a team was put together to give a helping hand.

Describe the creative idea

What do you get when you bring digital and tech together with a good cause? A digital marketplace where donors are linked to African farmers, who shovel life back into the barren soil. As an agency, we have a lot of experience with marketplaces. Over the last couple of years services that use tech marketplaces to bring people together, like Deliveroo, Airbnb and Tinder, have changed the world. ‘Cutting out the middleman’ is a proven formula and therefore the team wondered if and how they could apply this concept to the process of Justdiggit.

Describe the strategy

In a strategy and design print, the team designed a platform where farmers who want to dig holes in a qualifying area are linked to people who want to sponsor them. Research showed that many of the farmers in African villages are well connected. They completely skipped landlines and ADSL and take care of a lot of business mobile. For example, over 40% of the population of Tanzania does their banking via M-Pesa, which amounts to 95 million mobile money transactions per month. As a partner of Justdiggit, Rabobank was prepared to finance this idea in exchange for some features which it could use internally, such as a link to a savings account for a charity that the bank has for its employees. In addition, we decided to take care of Justdiggit's participation in the Google Grants Pro program free of charge.

Describe the execution

The marketplace/app works as follows: - People in the West can easily donate money through Ideal. - In the background, a system automatically connects the donations to all the farmers who are allowed to dig in a qualifying area. - Once a hole has been dug, it is captured with a photograph. This photo is approved by a fundi, who acts as a kind of overseer, and then the transaction is made. - The donor receives the photo and the transaction overview. Digging a hole costs €3,64, of which €2,02 goes to the farmer. The rest of the money goes to the purchase of seeds, the salary of the fundi, transaction costs and the protection of project areas against overgrazing by cattle. It is a fair system and a perfect example of cutting out the middleman, where Justdiggit is purely the facilitator. The working prototype is an app that African farmers can log in to with their telephone number – which also serves as their bank account number – with an online platform through which donations can be made. This, however, first had to be tested. A small team from the agency and Justdiggit went to Tanzania, where they experienced that reality is always different from what you can imagine beforehand.

List the results

The project brought some unique challenges, such as limiting fraud as well as maintaining a healthy balance between the supply of donors and the capacity of farmers. In addition, due to the language barrier and failing internet connection, it was sometimes complicated to explain the workings of the app. The insights from the user tests are included in the further development of the app. At this moment, for example, the settlement of payments with local supervisors is being resolved. The app is now being beta tested with farmers, selected donors along with the agency, and will soon be available for everyone to donate. The beta version currently covers 80 hectares. Next year that will be increased to approximately 50% of the Dodoma region, an area the size of the Netherlands.