For the past decade, Synergy has worked to implement Social Protection Information Systems (SPIS) to assist governments in their implementation of Conditional and Unconditional Cash Transfer (CCT/UCT) programs. Extensive developmental economics experiments have proven these programs are highly effective in sustainably reducing poverty. In this paper, we present our lessons learned from the specific domain of software development, which informs a broader discussion of how social protection programs could be implemented more effectively.
We present our implementation work developing information system solutions in Timor Leste, The Bahamas, and Indonesia from 2013-2019. Ultimately, we find that several lessons can be learned from information system delivery that may profitably be applied to overall program implementation. Specifically, we find that one of the primary factors determining success or failure in both information systems and new social protection program execution is the extent to which an agile approach is used.