Powergen is a company whose mission is to increase access to high-quality, affordable renewable energy in East Africa. Powergen does this through their products Powergen Solar and PowerGen Grid. Through Powergen Solar, the company installs commercial scale solar PV, battery backup, and hybrid systems for both on and off-grid applications.
On the other hand the company uses Powergen Grid in off-grid communities by developing AC solar micro-grids that allow customers to pre-pay for electricity using mobile money. Powergen has installed over 20 such grids across Kenya and Tanzania, providing over 500 homes and businesses with affordable and reliable electricity.
Powergen needed to utilize the ubiquitous mobile money as a way of receiving the electricity pre-payments from their clients in remote areas. They also wanted to monitor they payments in real-time in order to address any issues associated with the payments.
They system was supposed to be scalable so as to work in both Tanzania and Kenya without any major changes.
Cardplanet provided a solution that consisted of a web-based billing solution, an online database and interactive dashboards. Powergen’s customers are now able to make the payments and PowerGen can see this happen from a web-based portal from the comfort of their offices in Nairobi. They are also able to see the trends in electricity consumption over time and can make informed decisions on their business.
The portal also enables them to address issues like reversals and managing tariffs for their different users. The system was integrated to Airtel money in Tanzania and M-PESA in Kenya. The solution was made to be scalable such that it could be deployed in a new territory in a matter of hours.
More than 4.1 billion people lack access to hygienic sanitation. In Kenya’s informal settlements, 8 million residents have to pay to use unhygienic and undignified sanitation facilities. Sanergy takes a systems-based approach to building healthy, prosperous communities by making hygienic sanitation affordable and accessible for residents of urban informal settlements – starting in Nairobi, Kenya.
Sanergy’s engineers designed low-cost, high-quality, pre-fabricated toilets with an innovative cartridge-based waste collection system. These units, known as Fresh Life Toilets, are then franchised to local community members who run
them either as businesses, as value-added services in residential plots, or as sanitation facilities in community institutions, such as schools. Sanergy provides a variety of support services to the franchises – known as Fresh Life Operators – including access to interest-free loans through Kiva, marketing and branding support, and regular waste collection. Sanergy removes the waste from the community and converts it into a variety of saleable by-products, including organic fertilizer and insect-based animal feeds.
Sanergy was seeking to understand how to create a toilet-use habit through a combination of economic incentives and marketing intervention that is attentive to psychological cues and rewards. In order to better understand Fresh Life Toilet usage trends, Sanergy was looking for a way to incentivize usage through a loyalty program while also capturing data on which customers were using Fresh Life Toilets at different times of the day.
To do this, Sanergy was looking for an affordable, secure, and easy solution to scan users’ loyalty cards and capture relevant information.
Sanergy also wanted an easy way of recruiting participants into the system while making sure that there was data integrity
from the field officers who were doing a survey on the households before the particpant could be enrolled in their program.
The Fresh Life operators who were the users of the solution were not highly educated and with minimum understanding of technology —the solution was supposed to cater for their ability.
Identity management was also a critical issue — to make sure the right participants were getting the discounts and therefore the solution was supposed to provide for photo identification.
Sanergy also wanted to have real-time data in order to improve the system and offer better services.
CardPlanet proposed and implemented a solution to use Fresh-Life branded NFC cards, FAMCO FX100 NFC card reader and a web-based back-end. Security was implemented for the participants through a four digit passcode that was delivered to their phones via SMS. The application on the reader had two access levels for both the operators and field officers. A card blocking feature was also implemented to stop lost or deactivated cards from transacting.
To make the solution easy to use, interactive user interfaces were created through simple icons. The operators were also trained on how to use the reader application using a very simple graphic manual. Data integrity was ensured through “on-spot" card issuance to ensure the right card was issued to the right user by the field officer. Card activation was done at this time.
This helped avoid a situation where non-issued cards could be used for fraud — every active card was in the hands of a user.
Identity management was implemented on the application through a photo. During enrollment, the field officers who had access to the enrollment features in the mobile application also took a photo of the participant alongside the other details like names and phone number.
In order to provide data to the program administrators, a web-based back-end with very interactive dashboards was built. This provided real-time insight for easy decision making and monitoring or evaluation. The data was hosted on Windows Azure which was managed entirely by Sanergy.
Rural health clinics in Kenya are commonly under-resourced and over-stretched, leading to long waiting times that can greatly inconvenience patients. The problem is exacerbated by the use of inefficient paper-based patient records systems; forms take time to fill out, handwriting can be hard to read, and handling paper takes up valuable clinic staff time. Inability to access patients’ information outside the clinic also hinders
follow-up care and planning, and may affect patient safety. When patients visit different clinics – a common occurrence – the records remain separate, and each provider may lack crucial information about the conditions treated and care given by the others. Patients with chronic conditions are particularly harmed by this situation.
In a pilot project in Siaya County in Kenya, Stockholm Environment Institute in a project funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, wanted to test a potential solution: to build and implement a system that records patient health data electronically and makes it portable and shareable via personal NFC (near field communication) cards and readers in each clinic. Patients “touch in” on each visit, and their data are transmitted to the clinic’s online system via SMS messages. The record is later completed with information from the clinic’s exchange with the patient. The projected targeted
to use over 8,000 mothers as the participant’s in the study. As part of a project, SEI wanted also to explore whether financial incentives – a small payment for each clinic visit – would make pregnant women more likely to seek regular prenatal care. The payment system was difficult to implement with clinics using paper records, as it was time- consuming to track visits that way. With that in mind, we set out to deploy a system that would make it possible to track each participant visit and issue payments for approved visits.
Cardplanet Solutions proposed a solution that consisted of the NFC cards, a mobile application running on NFC enabled android POS and a web-portal. The entire solution was integrated to bulk SMS and M-PESA. One of the constraints was that in the pilot study area, Siaya County, internet penetration is low, but GSM mobile phone connectivity is widely available. The phone app was to verify the ID of the patients and monitor their attendance to clinics during pregnancy.
Upon each visit, the web portal could record the details and initiate a payment to the patient. The portal was able to record an unlimited number of distinct information fields relating to the health of the patient, and could be accessed securely from any internet - connected location. Data packets were transferred from the readers to the portal via encrypted SMS and hence we were able to cover the internet connectivity barrier at the rural clinics.
Medicare Access Limited is a company based in Nairobi- Kenya, promoting healthcare access to the bottom-of-the pyramid. After doing a lot of market research, Medicare found out that low-income households would be willing to save money to cover for their expenses.
In order to leverage mobile money penetration in Kenya, Medicare envisaged a solution that would enable their clients to save money in form of e-vouchers. These e-vouchers could then be used to access subsidised healthcare services.
Medicare wanted to use technology to make it possible for households to save for healthcare using mobile money. The goal was to save money in a family pool that any member of the household could access and use for healthcare at specific approved healthcare service providers. The solution was required to trigger reimbursement to the healthcare service
providers upon provision of the the services to the beneficiaries. The proposed solution had to be easy to use and readily available. Also, members of the family with no access to a mobile phone were supposed to be able to access the solution through alternative electronic devices.
CardPlanet proposed and implemented a solution to use Unstructured Supplementary Data(USSD) — a technology that is extensively applied in mobile money, SMS and NFC cards, and a web-based portal.
Participants could register themselves using the USSD on their mobile phones.
Through integration with M-PESA, the system could get the details of the participant and automatically activate their accounts. Subsequent payments to the M-PESA PAYBILL account owned by Medicare, the amounts would be incremented in their accounts as savings.
In order to pay for healthcare services, the mobile phone users would use USSD on their mobile phones to redeem the e-vouchers from the pool. The redemption triggered an automatic payment to the healthcare facility’s Lipa Na M-PESA Till Number.
The contributing members of the family could activate other beneficiaries cards. These NFC cards, linked to the other holders, enabled the holders to draw form the pool. An NFC reader placed at the healthcare facility would read the card to complete the transaction.
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