4 December 2014 | Posted By: iDE

Shifting the Focus from Prototyping Techniques to a Prototyping Mindset

By Mariko Takeuchi,
Founding Director of inCompass Human-Centered Innovation Lab at iDE

inCompass_protomindset_SM

The notion of prototyping—mocking up ideas to learn and to adjust for what actually works—has gained credence as an indispensable approach to strategy creation. But I worry that all the buzz around prototyping can lead to a false promise: that using a prescribed set of prototyping techniques will guarantee social innovation as an outcome.

The first step toward mastering prototyping is to embrace it as a creative mindset, not a deep dive into techniques. In fact, no manual prescribes when to use which techniques, as prototyping does not involve a clear-cut set of rules.

At inCompass, a human-centered innovation lab based in Cambodia, we set our minds on designing products and services that serve the poor and can flourish in a market-based system. The starting point and final check for every project is the user. If users do not find a solution to be desirable, affordable, accessible, and usable, it will fail in the market.

Prototyping is a creative exercise in finding the best way to manifest an idea in order to support our learning. It’s a tool for us to get closer to our users, to more deeply understand what they desire, and to test and adjust our ideas with their input. This involves turning ideas into something tangible—like an object, a visualization, a role play, or a script—out of whatever materials or approaches best fit the circumstances.

As we design, we move through three phases of user understanding and commensurate shifts in our prototyping mindset: initially we explore user needs, then we generate ideas to address those needs, and finally we validate the ideas.

 

EXPLORINGUSERNEEDS

Exploring user needs: As we explore user needs, we build prototypes to facilitate deeper engagement with those needs. For example, to stimulate conversations with Vietnamese families about water purification, our team used parts from plastic bottles, mesh strainers, showerheads, and deconstructed correction fluid containers. Similarly, we added wheels and a storage cabinet to an existing water filter product to stimulate discussions at Cambodian schools about transport and storage of water filters. 

 

GENERATINGIDEAS

Generating ideas: As we generate ideas, we build prototypes to communicate them and to advance them as a team. Expressing ideas as prototypes forces the design team to work through misinterpretations and to uncover details that can be fleshed out or iterated. Our team used simple materials—plastic tubs, tubes, and spigots of various shapes—to prototype three ideas for hand-washing stations. We experienced these objects first-hand during a week-long trial, while analyzing and iterating on ideas for improvement. We recognized that refilling the station reservoirs required a lot of physical effort, and that the volume of the container and the flow rate of water significantly impacted this pain-point. The next prototypes incorporated these findings into the revised design.

 

VALIDTEIDEAS

Validating ideas: To validate our ideas, we build prototypes that we can test with users, focusing on aspects most critical to their needs. Then we observe whether the prototypes truly meet user needs, or did we fall off the path somewhere along the way?

 

During a project to design a sustainable drinking water solution for rural Cambodian schools, we observed that schools have snack-vendor entrepreneurs onsite. We saw an opportunity to entice them to include drinking water as part of their offering. Our hypothesis: If we offer the vendors a means to increase sales of complementary products, they would offer clean drinking water in return. Our prototypes focused on a beverage-station attached to a water filter that could be rented or purchased with financing by the vendor. The beverage-station would be central to the business-owner’s sales, while the water filter would provide students with clean drinking water. We prototyped the idea and we learned that the vendors liked the concept of a beverage-station, but that the station itself was too heavy and difficult to refill, store, and keep clean. Armed with this feedback, we could begin adjusting our idea to better align with vendor needs.

No two projects will ever follow exactly the same prototyping process. We adjust our prototyping mindset to assess our users’ needs at every stage of the design process and to translate ideas into a tangible form.

Today, Human-Centered Design is being embraced by people in many sectors and industries, a welcome movement that testifies to the growing interest in sustainable social innovation. Yet, I fear that looking for cookie-cutter approaches to prototyping without first mastering the prototyping mindset will deliver mediocre ideas. That’s because the prototyping mindset is of paramount importance to delivering sustainable social innovations. In effect, the technique is the mindset, a mindset of continuing improvement and iteration by getting closer to user needs.

 

Mariko Takeuchi is the founding director of inCompass Human-Centered Innovation Lab at iDE and based in Cambodia. The lab is a non-profit consultancy that pioneers and advocates to bring the best practices in innovation to serve the poor in developing nations.

Mariko-Takeuchi-Headshot-edited

InCompass contributed this blog post as part of a November-December 2014 series on innovation labs, a joint project between Bridgespan and The Rockefeller Foundation. Please visit the Innovation Lab Insight Center during the coming four weeks as they publish a broad range of insights from innovation lab practitioners, funders, and participants.

inCompass was one of five labs from around the world invited to join the recent “Lab Initiative” led by the Rockefeller Foundation and Bridgespan. The resulting discussions and learnings of this initiative will form the basis for the new Innovation Lab and Insight Center. Other labs contributing on an ongoing basis include Stanford Change Labs, iDEO.org, BRAC SIL, World Bank Innovation, Unicef Innovations, and inCompass Innovation Lab, among others. 

19 November 2014 | Posted By: iDE

Results From Behavior Change Pilot

Make interventions fun and follow up with an easy way to act.

Puzzle_Main

On a Sunday morning, rural villagers gather in the village meetinghouse. A respected member of the local commune committee calls for the group’s attention. She leads them in games and stimulates lively conversations about proper sanitation. People wave fans in the air decorated with colorful photographs and consult one another to solve puzzles. There is laughter, joking and occasionally a little embarrassment. She introduces the village chief, who encourages them to adopt the new ideas they have learned. Inspired and motivated, many wait in line to place their order for a latrine and make a deposit. This is what an innovative behavior change campaign looks like today in rural Cambodia.

 

Behavior Change Pilot

Over the past several years, behavior change interventions have become widely used as a tool to increase the prevalence of health-enhancing behaviors. Many questions remain, however, about the best way to design and implement them for the purpose of promoting sanitation.

What makes behavior change campaigns effective? How can they be measured? Who should facilitate? How does the audience act on what they learned?

These are some of the questions that fueled a recent investigation into the best way to design and implement a behavior change campaign (BCC) for maximum latrine uptake. In a collaborative effort, iDE, with technical support from the Water and Sanitation Program (WSP) of the World Bank, conducted a one-year pilot to uncover the keys of successful behavior change for sanitation. In this document, we outline our approach to this test, and share a few key takeaways.

To narrow the scope of our investigation, we focused on two questions.

1. Will the additional intervention of a behavior change campaign increase latrine uptake?

2. Is the Commune Committee for Women and Children (CCWC) a recommended government partner body for implementing this intervention?

 

Project Background: A User-Centered Approach

Prior to this pilot, iDE conducted program activities in sanitation market development in Cambodia. Among these activities was a deep dive—a 3-4 week immersion into the lives of the people and communities we want to reach. In partnership with our design lab, inCompass, we gathered insights from villagers, concrete ring producers, masons and retailers. During the deep dive, we uncovered the primary drivers that motivate villagers to act. A desire for status, the safety of women, inconvenience, and satisfying the needs of their daughters were among the top drivers. Improved health was a surprisingly weak motivation, just as it is in the developed world for changing health behaviors such as smoking or exercising.

 

Test Design: Grounding Behavior Change in User Insights

We partnered with 17 Triggers, a Cambodia-based firm with expertise in behavior change. Together, we developed innovative behavior change tools that are grounded in the user insights described above. According to behavior change theory, people move toward action through a series of triggers. Therefore, the campaign is comprised of two phases designed to yield multiple touch points. Both phases are hour-long interpersonal communications sessions, in which the audience is led by a facilitator through an engaging experience that triggers progress on the path to behavior change.

 

Education Through Social Games

Many of the games we developed were designed to use community influence as a positive driver of behavior change. Community influences play a large role in shaping individuals’ beliefs. It is important that the experience is fun, social and interactive to support an open and safe space for participants to share and discuss their experiences.

 

BCC Phase I: This phase focuses on messaging about “losing face without a latrine” and correcting misperceptions on affordability.

Puzzle Game: Participants discuss common scenarios in which not owning a latrine can lead to losing face. Examples include hosting a wedding, raising a teenage daughter, and receiving visitors from the city.

Puzzle_Game

The Price is Right Game: Participants match the correct price with the product. The objective of the game is to show that a latrine is not as expensive as they might think and show that it is more affordable than other purchase priorities such as a motorcycle, cell phone or TV.

Price_Game

 

BCC Phase II: This phase focuses on messages about the inconveniences of not having a latrine and overcoming common objections to adopting a latrine.

Gallery Walk: Participants react to posters with provocative imagery depicting moments of inconvenience, embarrassment, and disgust. Examples include open defecation during the rainy season, an elderly parent open defecating at night, and a teenage daughter being spied on by men.

Gallery_Walk

Overcoming Objections: Participants voice their objections about why they do not have a latrine. Then they are brought to the realization that all their objections are equivalent to saying that they are content with a life of inconvenience and embarrassment. The facilitator then encourages participants to make a commitment to change their situation and to start using a latrine.

Objections

 

Implementation Through Local Government 

The CCWC was among several government bodies that could potentially act as facilitators of this campaign. We chose them over others for two reasons. They have an existing mandate to facilitate education on WASH topics. And they have a pre-existing network across the nation that can be leveraged for a broader BCC effort. In partnership with 17 Triggers, we developed a program to train, coach, and monitor the government facilitators throughout the one-year pilot period.

 

The Results

Question 1: Will the additional intervention of a behavior change campaign increase latrine uptake?

The behavior change process moves a person further along their individual decision path, which may not involve taking a specific, measureable action. In the absence of a baseline study on attitudes and beliefs, our test cannot report hard evidence of progress. Using anecdotal observation, however, our study recorded a significant transformation of attitudes and beliefs. Overwhelmingly, participants were engaged in the activities, openly discussed a readiness and desire to change, and inquired about how to obtain a latrine for their family.

Access to a desirable product makes it easier for villagers to adopt the intended behavior change. Villagers were presented with two latrine options: the Easy Latrine, and a dry pit. Almost no participants were interested in the dry pit option. Even the extreme poor preferred to save up for the Easy Latrine, which was designed through an iterative process involving users. We concluded that any promotion of a product should be matched with clear information about how to access supply.

Question 2: Is the CCWC a recommended government partner body for implementing this intervention?

The level of training and monitoring required to engage CCWC successfully is comparable to iDE’s experience with sales agents and latrine businesses in the private sector. Although CCWC has an existing mandate to promote WASH education among rural villagers, very few had previous training in facilitation, good hygiene practice, or the causes of disease transmission. Throughout this pilot, CCWC was supported with training, coaching and continuous monitoring, with iDE staff checking in once every two weeks. This intensive support was key to the success of the CCWC as effective facilitators of the intervention.

 

Takeaways

A behavior change campaign that effectively moves an audience toward latrine uptake requires the following to be successful:

1. Ground the campaign tools in user insights.

2. Make it fun, social and engaging.

3. Follow up with an easy solution that participants find desirable.

4. Ensure that facilitators are adequately trained, coached and monitored.

 

Acknowledgement

The Water and Sanitation Program (WSP) of the World Bank technically supported this project.

 

Links

Video—“Cambodia: Growing Momentum for Sanitation”

iDE’s Global WASH Initiative 

Water and Sanitation Program

17triggers

 

 

17 November 2014 | Posted By: iDE

“Cambodia: Growing Momentum for Sanitation”

Video-Blog-piciDE congratulates the people of Cambodia in a new video:

“Cambodia: Growing Momentum for Sanitation”

The great progress in rural sanitation is something for Cambodia to be proud of.”
—Chreay Pom, Director, Department of Rural Health at Ministry of Rural Development

The rate at which sanitary toilets are being installed in rural Cambodia has increased dramatically since the Government of Cambodia made rural sanitation a priority in 2008. In the past six years, hundreds of thousands of rural families are experiencing the benefits of improved sanitation for the first time. This video celebrates Cambodia’s progress in sanitation and highlights the people who have made it possible—government officials, local business people and rural families.

“In 2008, the government set sanitation as a priority in order to improve people’s standard of living. Since then, we’ve noticed a huge change in rural communities. People have latrines at home and they understand what good sanitation is, and actually practice it within their families.” —Dr. Chea Samnang, WSSCC National Coordinator

Many national and international organizations have also contributed to the sanitation movement happening in Cambodia. One of these organizations is iDE. iDE is dedicated to outsmarting diarrheal disease by making sure that quality toilets are accessible through local markets at an affordable price.

“…We are helping the private sector learn what people want and helping them produce and sell it at an affordable price. The last few years have been a turning point across the country, with annual toilet sales increasing four-fold since 2008.” —iDE

iDE’s three-year Sanitation Marketing Scale-Up (SMSU) project is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Stone Family Foundation, and technically supported by the Water and Sanitation Program (WSP) of the World Bank. The project is supported by the Ministry of Rural Development.

iDE is an international non-profit organization dedicated to creating income and livelihood opportunities for the rural poor. In addition to worldwide programs in agriculture, iDE implements programs in Africa and Asia in the water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) sector. iDE’s WASH programs focus on creating markets around aspirational and effective WASH products and services that reduce diarrheal disease among poor households. iDE has impacted more than 23 million people globally to date through its WASH and agriculture interventions. Watch the video.

www.ideorg.org

15 October 2014 | Posted By: Ilana Martin

Global Harvest Brings Success for Smallholder Farmers

iDE_Postcard_Front_Standard

September 27, 2014

iDE’s annual fundraiser was held on September 27, 2014 with a focus on smallholder farmers. Guests heard from our fabulous emcee from the evening, Anne Trujillo, on what is means to be a mom and the importance of being able to feed her family. Guests also heard from two of iDE’s Country Directors, Carlos Urmenta (Honduras) and Kebede Ayele (Ethiopia). Each told stories of farmers who have benefited from partnering with iDE.

iDE was so thrilled to continue our partnership with Toro Irrigation and recently received a grant from the Toro Foundation to continue our work in Honduras, working with smallholder farmers. See more from Toro.

Finally, iDE would like to thank all of our event vendors, supporters, and donors who made the night possible. Your donations raised over $30,000 to support smallholders farmers throughout the developing world. Because of you, our work is possible.

See photos from iDE’s Global Harvest.

 

8 August 2014 | Posted By: iDE

iDE and American Standard: See big business in toilets at the bottom of the pyramid

By KC Koch

SaTo-1This is the story of a successful partnership between two organizations that share a passion for toilets: an NGO with 30+ years of making markets work for the poor and the largest toilet manufacturer in North America. Eventually, they made more impact together than either organization could make alone.

Combining diverse expertise

The idea of a partnership started back in 2011 at a water and sanitation conference in Delhi. Cordell Jacks, the co-director of iDE’s Global WASH Initiative, and Jim McHale, VP, Research, Development, & Engineering for American Standard, met for coffee. It didn’t take long before Cordell and Jim realized that they had the makings of a perfect partnership.

iDE would bring local expertise of rural supply chains and last-mile distribution in Bangladesh, as well as a host of sanitation market development experience gained from projects in other countries.  American Standard would bring 140 years of state-of-the-art product design, computerized fluid dynamic engineering & modeling, as well as global sourcing, manufacturing and state-of-the-art product testing.

Together they had the right combination of skills and knowledge to make a difference for the 2.5 billion people who live without improved sanitation in developing countries.

Cordell remembers the potential of the partnership: “American Standard and iDE are two organizations with complimentary skill sets. Both are dedicated to increasing and improving sanitation globally. Together, we demonstrated that there is a sustainable and profitable business model in the heart of one of the most challenging market conditions in the world. It is an amazing example of impact that can be had with innovative public private partnerships.”

Accepting the challenge

American Standard saw a whole new market in the 2.5 billion people who are typically overlooked by big business. Too many corporations assume the poor have no purchasing power. But the most forward-thinking brands, like American Standard, are starting to take notice of the enormous potential in the bottom of the pyramid (BoP) customers. With a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, American Standard accepted the challenge to create a new latrine product for poor people in Bangladesh.

A local understanding from iDE

As far back as 1982, Paul Polak, iDE’s founder, walked and talked with small farmers in their one-acre fields. He spoke with them about their challenges and their dreams. iDE is still inspired by Paul’s approach of asking questions first. Today, iDE practices human-centered design (HCD), a methodology that identifies solutions to various challenges by placing users at the center of the design process.

In 2012, iDE led American Standard through the human-centered design process in Bangladesh. iDE was working under a grant from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the Water and Sanitation Program of the World Bank (WSP) to implement the “SanMark Pilot project in Bangladesh.”

Tamara Baker, co-director of iDE’s Global WASH Initiative, recalled, “We opened new doors and ways of thinking for each other.” Together they spoke with small producers, salespeople, customers, and merchants. They field-tested prototypes, gathered customer feedback and ideated on product design. They also understood the potential market dynamics that could be strengthened to form a sustainable business model.

Product expertise from American Standard

American Standard joined iDE in Bangladesh for a deep dive to ensure their solutions would be feasible, desirable and affordable. The designer from American Standard, Daigo Ishiyama, provided the big “a-ha.” He noticed something only a fluid-dynamic engineer would notice. Previous latrine products use too much water. Meanwhile, Bangladeshi are accustomed to carrying a very small amount of water into the latrine. When you have less water, you need a smaller trap. The confined space creates a whirlpool effect and provides the needed flush power.

Then, American Standard created an ingenious counterweight trapdoor solution that effectively sealed off the feces from the open air. And, of equal importance, the trap hid the feces from view of the user. Customer feedback revealed that people didn’t know it was possible to not have to see feces when inside a latrine. They were thrilled! The resulting product was named the SaTo pan (pronounced SAH-toh, derived from “Safe Toilet”).

The American Standard team also provided plastics knowledge, the ability to rapidly prototype in plastic, as well as the financial resources and influence to support iDE’s longer-term engagement with domestic plastics manufacturer RFL Plastics Ltd. “Thanks to our partnership, we suddenly saw plastic as a very interesting material for scalable, sustainable products for improved sanitation,” said Conor Riggs, Technical Director – Programs at iDE Bangladesh. “It was the spark that led to other innovations in our program, particularly the development of a fully upgradeable, mass-producible latrine system that includes the SaTo Pan that will go to market in the fall of 2014.”

The case for the BoP

BoP business models can and do work. iDE staff see it daily. iDE operates programs in 11 countries across Africa, Asia, and Central America, that are laying the groundwork for corporations to enter this new frontier. iDE asks private enterprises to think beyond charity. A sustainable business model benefits both the private corporation and the people they serve. Armed with the right insights, private corporations can make an impact and make a profit. These are some of the foundational principles of iDE, which emanate from its founder, Paul Polak.

Paul recently expressed his approval of the collaboration that led to the SaTo pan: “Since poor sanitation is a key source of illness in developing countries, I am delighted to hear that iDE has collaborated with American Standard, the biggest toilet manufacturer in North America, to produce and start to distribute a radically affordable product to prevent the spread of diarrheal disease.  I am particularly impressed with the price of $1.50, which could make it accessible to millions of people.  It is simple, affordable devices like this that make the biggest impact.”

There is still a lot of convincing to do out there. American Standard is a pioneer. Their next horizon? Zambia—where they know it’s not a question of “if” the markets will be profitable, it’s only a question of “who” and “when.”

 

iDEorg.org

AmericanStandard-US.com

29 July 2014 | Posted By: Ilana Martin

iDE: Improving Nutrition, Expanding Food Security

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As the global community continues to feel the pressure of feeding the 1.2 billion people who do not consume enough to meet their basic nutritional needs, it is important to keep in mind that more than 70% of the world’s poorest people are smallholder farmers who have the ability to feed themselves and others – if they have the right skills and technologies. Treating smallholder farmers as entrepreneurs rather than beneficiaries of aid gives them the opportunity to break the cycle of poverty and better provide for their families.

Paul Polak, who founded iDE over 30 years ago, recognized this fact and realized that the greatest positive impact he could have on global health was to help poor rural households increase their annual incomes. Since iDE’s conception in 1982, the organization has focused heavily on affordable irrigation technologies, sustainable land management and growing practices, crop diversity, market development, and nutrition education. iDE connects low-income farmers to affordable irrigation technologies and agricultural information to help farmers improve soil management and grow more profitable and nutritious crops with higher yields. iDE also works to strengthen low-income farmers’ access to markets, which results in greater profits and higher annual income. With this approach, iDE has helped more than 2.8 million people achieve financial security and significantly improve nutritional intake.

A prime example of iDE’s approach in action is its collaboration with several non-profit organizations under the European Union-funded Agriculture and Nutrition Extension Project (ANEP), to help 60,000 households in Bangladesh improve food security and nutrition. This initiative emphasizes nutrition education, cultivating foods high in vitamins and micronutrients, strengthening connections between rural producers and urban consumers, and educating farmers on nutrient management and pesticide usage. iDE’s comprehensive approach will continue to ensure greater financial stability and nutrient-rich diets for low-income families.

23 June 2014 | Posted By: iDE

iDE Cambodia hits 100,000 Toilet Sales in 2 Years!

Sanitation Marketing pumps up the local economy and delivers health benefits.

DENVER— In rural Cambodia, 4 out of 5 people did not have access to hygienic sanitation as recently as 2010.1 Despite efforts to improve it, increase in sanitation coverage has lagged for decades—until now. iDE Cambodia is proud to announce the sale of 100,000 hygienic latrines in two years through stimulating local private enterprises to sell toilets to customers. This milestone will provide access to sanitation for an estimated 470,000 people.iDE has been at the forefront of the market-based approach for over 30 years.

 

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“The huge achievement of 100,000 latrines sold in Cambodia’s rural areas is due to a tightly run staff who deeply understands the customer’s needs. Our team is dedicated to finding the right sales strategies, inspiring sales agents and working with local authorities.” —Ly Saroeun, Deputy Program Director, iDE Cambodia

This project, called Sanitation Marketing Scale Up (SMSU), takes place in seven Cambodian provinces. iDE launched a pilot project in 2009 to establish feasibility. The official scale up began in September of 2011. The 100,000 milestone was reached during the scale up period and does not include the latrines sold during the pilot phase. Total latrine sales including the pilot is 118,000, and counting.

The three-year Sanitation Marketing Scale-Up (SMSU) project is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Stone Family Foundation, and technically supported by the Water and Sanitation Program (WSP) of the World Bank. The project is supported by the Ministry of Rural Development.

— PROJECT HIGHLIGHTS —

 

Creating Demand. The development of persuasive sales messages, such as “Easy to buy. Easy to build. Easy to use.” is an example of how iDE staff coaches members of the sales force to use the right selling strategy. Product design also plays a critical role in creating demand. During the pilot, iDE developed the award-winning Easy Latrine to be aspirational, accessible and affordable.

 

Ripple Effect. The project has benefited all sanitation businesses in the project area by increasing overall demand for latrines while demonstrating a business model to capture that demand. These new opportunities create a one to one ripple effect. For every latrine sold through a small business trained by iDE, another latrine is sold through a non-connected business that is inspired to join the newly invigorated latrine market.3

 

Economic Impact. The average latrine sells for 41.50 (US dollars). This price equates to $4,500,000 in revenue—a boon for the 199 small businesses that are engaged by the project, thereby feeding the local economy. On an individual level, a latrine saves each household $283 on average over a period of five years.4

 

Moving Toward 100% Coverage. In the seven Cambodian provinces where the project is taking place, there is currently an average of 40% coverage, an increase of 11% over the two years since scale up began.5

 

Reaching the Poor. Coverage for the poor increased 6% overall. In Kandal province alone, 18% of project-linked sales went to poor households, nearly doubling poor coverage in that province from 15% to 29%.6

 

About iDE

iDE is an international non-profit organization dedicated to creating income and livelihood opportunities for the rural poor. For more than 31 years, iDE has created innovative solutions to development problems. iDE currently works in 6 countries in the water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) sector and focuses on creating markets around aspirational and effective WASH products and services that reduce diarrheal disease among poor households. iDE has impacted more than 20 million people globally to date through its agriculture and WASH interventions. www.ideorg.org

 

Learn More:

Infographic: “How do you sell 100,000 latrines in 2 years in rural Cambodia?”

iDE_infographic_100k_Toilet

 

Understanding Willingness to Pay for Sanitary Latrines in Rural Cambodia:

Findings from Four Field Experiments of iDE Cambodia’s Sanitation Marketing Program

IDinsight Policy Brief: Microfinance Loans to Increase Sanitary Latrine Sales. Evidence from a randomized trial in rural Cambodia

Water and Sanitation Program: Field Note. Sanitation Marketing Lessons from Cambodia: A Market-Based Approach to Delivering Sanitation

 

###

 1 WHO/UNICEF, Joint Monitoring Programme for Water Supply and Sanitation, Estimates for the Use of Improved Sanitation Facilities, Cambodia, Updated March 2012.

2 According to the General Population Census of Cambodia the average family size is 4.7 people. http://www.stat.go.jp/english/info/meetings/cambodia/pdf/pre_rep1.pdf

3, 5, 6 As part of our regular M&E activities under SMSU, iDE has conducted annual latrine coverage censuses for all project connected provinces allowing us to estimate district-wide latrine coverage with a precision of ±10%, province-wide coverage ±5%, and program-wide coverage ±1%.

4 Christopher Root, Household Financial and Economic Impacts of Latrine Use in Cambodia, March 2010.

10 June 2014 | Posted By: iDE

Business Fights Poverty Design Expo 2014

3. Design Expo Website, E-Newsletter, Blog Banner 1

 

iDE is excited to announce that we will be taking part in the world’s first online Design Expo – a one-week, online celebration of product, service and business model design that transforms the lives of the world’s poor. The Expo is being hosted by Business Fights Poverty, in partnership with International Development Enterprises from 9 to 13 June 2014.

The week will include a vibrant mix of Google Hangouts with topic pioneers, online discussions with subject experts, blogs on the latest design thinking, a Twitter Jam, and an online exhibition zone showcasing the best product and service designs.

Each day of the week will focus on one of 5 sectors: Energy (9 June), Health (10 June), Communications (11 June), Livelihoods (including enterprise, finance and agriculture) (12 June) and Water & Sanitation (13 June). The online exhibition will also be structured around these 5 sectors.

 

iDE will be presenting on Delivering Water and Sanitation on June 13 (Friday).

 

This is fantastic recognition of the social impact iDEis achieving on a massive scale.

 

We would love for you to join the Design Expo, spread the word and invite your friends!

30 May 2014 | Posted By: Ilana Martin

Ho Thi Da: Smiles Grow with the Rice in Vietnam

La Lay Ha_VietnamShe slides down the muddy hill, constantly pointing things out and saying them in her native Paco language.  At the bottom of the valley she hops the bamboo fence in her black silk skirt, turns, and smiles.  This is her rice field and she is proud that she alone can feed her family.

Ho Thi Da is a 34 year old widow with three children.  They live near the Vietnam border in a hamlet called Ang Cong.  Years ago, she was unable to grow enough rice to feed her family and would buy it to prevent a shortage.  She says that rice is very important and it must be guaranteed for her family.  She cannot focus on anything else until it is secured.

In 2010, she learned about a more effective strategy to fertilize her rice crop called fertilizer deep placement (FDP) and decided to try it because of the training accompanying the product provided by iDE. Nervous at first, she applied the product to a portion of her rice land.  After the first crop was a success she applied FDP to all of her land and doubled her rice yield.  Today, the same land produces enough rice to last an entire year for her family and the excess is given to neighbors.  Since she no longer has to purchase rice, the money is spent on her children to supply them with clothes and books for school.

Ms. Da encourages other families to follow her and use FDP.  She says to buy a product you believe in, and this fertilizer is very easy.  Her advice is “Transplant correctly, use FDP and wait until the end of the crop.  Simple.”  Her neighbor Mr. Ho laughed when he first saw her planting rows and fertilizing.  Now he uses FDP through the iDE program and is also a success.

Spending less time worrying about rice gives Ms. Da time for other things.  She is head of the Women’s Union in the village, teaches family planning, and volunteers for another organization.  “Now many people want to work with me,” she says, and her smile broadens.

28 April 2014 | Posted By: Ilana Martin

Focused on the Human Element

Why does one product work in one country, but an exact replica doesn’t sell in another? What aspects of your toilet do you care about? Is it culturally appropriate? Why or why not?

To answer these questions and many more, iDE uses the Human Centered Design (HCD) methodology to develop products and business models, explore new markets, and solve problems. By placing the users at the core, HCD helps us to create solutions that are truly designed for people, so they have a higher probability of success. Funders and users of HCD find it is the most cost effective methodology to find a working solution that will have the potential for growth and sustainability.

Why does it matter?

Each HCD process is specific to the context in which it is applied so that, regardless of the size or duration of a project, iDE can be sure that the most appropriate solutions are being offered to the rural poor. Dedicating the time to complete HCD research ensures that all actors on the supply and demand side are being heard, their issues addressed, and that only technologically feasible and economically viable solutions are carried forward. This saves iDE and our donors time and money. Being an HCD innovator has allowed iDE to improve the lives of millions of people around the world, offering them desirable and affordable products to address their unmet water and sanitation needs.

How does it work?

IDEO HCD chat

 

Each HCD process is specific to the context in which it is applied so that, regardless of the size or duration of a project, iDE can be sure that the most appropriate solutions are being offered to the rural poor. Dedicating the time to complete HCD research ensures that all actors on the supply and demand side are being heard, their issues addressed, and that only technologically feasible and economically viable solutions are carried forward. This saves iDE and our donors time and money. Being an HCD innovator has allowed iDE to improve the lives of millions of people around the world, offering them desirable and affordable products to address their unmet water and sanitation needs.

 

Hear: Through in-depth interviews with the target market, potential influencers, and decision makers, the hearing phase helps gather stories and conduct field research. Interviewers lead conversations without judgment or predetermined answers to uncover the context in which individuals operate.  This ‘Deep Dive’ produces user insights and design principles that guide the project. Create: The design team works together in a series of interactive idea generation and rapid prototyping rounds to translate what was heard from people into useable solutions. The process moves between concrete data to more abstract thinking for identifying themes and solutions. This fosters efficient designing as the team is able to test all solutions but only feasible solutions are carried beyond the ‘product and business model prototyping’ phase. Deliver: Through feasibility and viability assessments, a model for financial sustainability and an innovation pipeline are developed. These help to develop pilots, measure impact, and create a learning plan. The Deliver phase complements existing implementation processes, but results in a tailored implementation plan. This ‘sales test/pilot’ phase ensures an appropriate solution is created.

 

iDE is both an leader and innovator in applying the HCD methodology to water and sanitation initiatives. With funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in 2009, iDE collaborated with design firm IDEO, the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW), and Heifer International to create the HCD toolkit for individuals and organizations working to find sustainable solutions to community problems. The toolkit won the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) and BusinessWeek Magazine’s 2009 IDEA Gold Award.

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