RESOURCES & POTENTIAL PROJECTS

 

Possible Projects:

 Some potential project areas are suggested for participants to consider further as follows: 

Pay as you go water kiosk

Concept: The millenium development goals focused on halving the percentage of population without access to an improved, safe drinking water supply. The “pay as you go” concept, using smart cards or scratch cards was started by mobile phone companies but is now widely used in many businesses, from rechargeable cards for public transport to electricity meters. Pay as you go water meters would be used for both individual households connections and public water kiosks/ tapstands, reducing the need for manual water meter reading or the presence of a cashier at a tapstand. The meter would be self-powered but due to the location in the ground PV power would not be an option. Meters would allow the operator to allocate a certain amount to free water per person to ensure basic hygiene.

This project would focus on improved management of water distribution systems and incorporate a self financing mechanism to help communities manage and fund their own water systems. The kiosk would be a robust low cost design capable of being installed at public tapstands. The design needs to be modular to enable parts to be easily replaced when maintenance / repair is needed. A water meter would be built in to monitor water useage and allow operators to allocate daily water amounts to families and ensure equitable distribution of water based on seasonal variability. Users would access water via either a smart card or form of prepaid card (punched each time used, purchase new card when useage expires).  Methods of financing could include pre/post paid, or free/subsidized useage. The kiosk can be designed as a robust stand alone system, or if available, can be connected to a cellular or wireless network.

 

3D Printers in Development

The original appropriate technology movement focused on helping communities gain the skills to fabricate technology such as water pumps and farming tools. With the advances in 3D printing technology this concept can now be advanced.  This technology coupled with open source initiatives which make designs freely available, there is an opportunity to enable people to innovate, change, modify, copy designs for use in everything from water analysis to farming. This project area would explore how this technology can be harnessed for a specific application.

Reference: http://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2014/feb/21/3d-printing-offer-developing-savings-replica-kit

 

Ergonomics

Adapt physiological monitoring techniques developed for sports (and similar manual activities) to measure the workload and stresses involved in various agricultural and domestic activities (like water collection) to determine how much energy is actually saved by “labour saving” techniques, particularly those intended to improve the lives of women. 

 

Climate Smart Agriculture

The real impacts of climate change on the agricultural sector are likely going to be hardest felt in many of those countries whose people rely on agriculture most for their livelihoods. Climate-smart' methods of agriculture, such as conservation agriculture, agroforestry and others already exist. The challenge is that not all farmers know about them, there is no single prescription, and traditional practices can often die hard, particularly when you are working with small margins and taking risks could spell utter ruin for your family. This project would focus on either technology and/or methods of communication to rural farmers on improved techniques / weather forecasts / adaptation practices / crop planting schedules /  etc etc.

Reference: http://www.theguardian.com/global-development-professionals-network/2013/may/09/climate-change-carbon-emissions-greenhouse-gases

 

Soil Nutrient Management Planning

There has been a revolution in the development of rapid testing solutions for a wide range of medical and food safety problems but soil fertility testing is still largely laboratory-based, using traditional “wet” chemistry or expensive spectroscopy equipment.

This challenge would focus on exploring innovative “rapid test” methods to design and analysis field samples for soil fertility, nutrient content, ph,  etc. A simple to use kit would be designed together with either mobile based analysis tools or in situ testing to enable the farmer to determine his / her own nutrient management plan for their plots. This could increase crop yield and make a significant improvement in a range of development related factors from health to education to livelihood etc

 

 Water Treatment

Background research from the region has identified water quality as presenting a significant health risk to users.  Possible areas of focus could be innovations in water treatment at source and water treatment at household level.  Projects could explore differences in scale and technology utilized.  Prototypes could be developed and tested. Solar Water Disinfection (SODIS) innovations could be assessed.

Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS)

CLTS involves the community themselves in identifying  existing sanitation habits within their village / households. The next stage involves a recognition of the importance of sanitation and possible links to health.  This requires identification of previous community actions and approaches to wastewater and water supply. It involves identification of variations in water and wastewater supply.  It also involves the identification of the potential for reuse and identification of sources of contamination and disease. Possible projects in this topic could focus on developing a promotion and education toolkit which could be adapted by local communities for use within the project region.  

 

Public Private Partnership (PPP) for Water Supply

For water infrastructure to be expanded and adequately maintained proactive management is required. Given the level of investment required, a partnership approach between the private for profit sector and communities / local authorities is required. This project could focus on researching existing methods of PPP which have been used within developing world countries and summarizing the advantages and disadvantages of this approach.  

 

GIS Water Point Resource Mapping

A number of water sources have been mapped and tested for quality. This data is available and participants can explore how to develope a low cost system which can benefit both management organisations and communities within the region.

 

 

 

Useful Web Resources


‌‌C‌lick on the link below to download a powerpoint file containing a selection of useful resources, including links to both technical and media links involved in international development.

resource toolkit

 

Concern Worldwide Background Data on Region and People

 

 

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