CASE STUDY: Driving Digital Transformation in the Farm Worker Community

Written by:

Elizabeth Melton

5 minutes

Entidad helped the UFW Foundation lay the foundation for digital transformation by modernizing its emergency relief aid process, enabling them to verify farm worker contact data and provide top-notch services to the people who need it most.

The Challenge

One of the UFW Foundation’s core services is its emergency relief program. Typically, these events take place in person. Farm workers show their proof of identity, sign in on sheets of paper, and pick up their food or grocery debit cards. After each event, a UFW Foundation team member would manually enter collected information into the contact database. As you might imagine, many of these contacts were duplicates or inaccurate.

Normally, these mistakes wouldn’t be that much of an issue, but when the pandemic hit, they became a huge problem. The UFW Foundation couldn’t confidently contact farm workers who desperately needed emergency relief. Even if people showed up, it was difficult to determine whether they qualified for aid一a metric that’s audited regularly.

The UFW Foundation considered taking steps towards digital transformation in the past, but the COVID-19 pandemic forced them to take the leap. They were struggling to scale, and couldn’t waste any more time. They contacted Entidad to see if technology could help them address their dilemma.

The Client

The UFW Foundation has supported and empowered farm workers and their families for over fifteen years, providing critical emergency relief services and advocating for equitable policies. More specifically, the UFW Foundation fights for pesticide protections, heat standards, and hazard pay, and is the largest federally accredited immigration legal service provider in California. To offer the best services to its constituents, the UFW Foundation makes an effort to actively pursue new ideas and embrace innovation, something that’s become abundantly clear in its work with Entidad.

The Solution

Just like they do at the start of any major project, Entidad worked with the UFW Foundation to establish clear goals and requirements. As a result of these planning sessions, the main goals for the project were to:

  • Increase the number of farm workers engaging with the Foundation
  • Safely host more emergency relief events
  • Streamline the event check-in process
  • Validate farm worker contact information

To meet these goals, Entidad proposed building a phone application. This app could notify farm workers of new events, check them in once they arrived, and monitor distribution KPIs in real-time. What’s more, the app could help the Foundation rebuild its contact database by cross-checking the information it already had with the new information farm workers were inputting during app setup.

Once the app was approved, the Entidad team got to work. In just two months, they built and launched TeleConsulta.

The TeleConsulta UI is extremely user-friendly, even for farm workers who don’t consider themselves tech-savvy. Users choose whether to operate in Spanish or English, add their contact information, and then search and register for events. They can even opt to receive push notifications about events in the future.

When a registered attendee shows up at an event, they log into TeleConsulta and are prompted to present a QR code. The Foundation employee scans that code, which sends new data to the UFW Foundation database. In this way, TeleConsulta tracks who came to the event, what services they received, and their most up-to-date name, phone number, and address.

The Results

TeleConsulta had an incredible debut. Let’s take a look at the numbers: 

48,356 farm workers interacted with the UFW Foundation through TeleConsulta

439 events were marketed via TeleConsulta

25,567 phone numbers were verified on the TeleConsulta platform

Achieving those astonishing results took several rounds of training in the field. Entidad organized implementation sessions at 159 locations across southern California. At each of these events, the Entidad team ensured that both the farm workers and the UFW Foundation employees made the most of the TeleConsulta tool.

TeleConsulta is just the first of many future successes in the UFW Foundation’s digital transformation future.

The farm worker community is in dire need of attention, and the potential applications of TeleConsulta-like projects are endless. Lessons learned regarding farm worker behavioral patterns, technology enablement, app development, and data analytics can be applied to myriad use cases, including, but not limited to: vaccine distribution, healthcare services, or immigration applications. Entidad is excited to continue enabling digital transformation among farm worker organizations一one project at a time. Visit our website to learn more.

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Julette Martinez

CEO, Farm Worker Organization