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Documenting the innovation process

Published on: 10/02/2015

Triple-S (Sustainable Services at Scale) has led a process of learning and innovation to improve rural water service delivery in Ghana and Uganda. Each experiment has documented, results and recommendations shared with stakeholders in the two countries. In addition, the progress on the innovation process been classified. 

Triple-S (Sustainable Services at Scale) has led a process of learning and innovation to improve rural water service delivery in Ghana and Uganda. Each experiment has been classified along the following phases in the innovation process:

  • Phase 0: Understanding and 'socialising' the problemPhase 0 is considered a success if it leads to a clear articulation of a problem, which generates awareness among stakeholders and contributes to a deeper understanding of the problem. New ideas may emerge, which may require further experimentation or study.
  • Phase 1: Proof of conceptAn innovation passes this phase if the concept has been articulated in a consistent manner and if all theoretical considerations point to the innovation being feasible. Key outputs include detailed technical descriptions, a financial analysis and a business model for the innovation. A prototype of the innovation should demonstrate its feasibility.
  • Phase 2: Limited piloting. An innovation succeeds in this phase if robust evidence is obtained on the outcomes, impacts and costs of the innovation and the requirements to make the innovation work.
  • Phase 3: Full scale roll-out. Innovations that are applied (almost) nation-wide and for multiple years can be considered fully scaled-up. In this phase, the users of the innovation (for example local government) take the lead in supporting its roll-out. Costs and impacts of application of the innovation at scale are known.
  • 'More research' ideas, which can be developed into further research into specific parts of the problem. 
  • 'No experiment needed'. Triple-S has also undertaken actions that were deemed not to require an experiment, for example because the cost of conducting an experiment would be higher than simply implementing the innovation.

Scroll down to download a detailed description of the innovation process and the status of each 'experiment' (also the ones which were not done in experimental mode) according to the above-mentioned phases:

For Ghana

  • Creating a new model for rural water service monitoring in Ghana
  • Reducing handpump downtime using SMS technology
  • Adopting a life-cycle costs approach for sustainable service delivery
  • Analysing sector learning and adaptive capacity

For Uganda

  • Analysing performance of service delivery models
  • Facilitating local monitoring of rural water service delivery
  • Using mobile phones to improve functionality of rural water sources
  • Updating the District Implementation Manual to improve harmonisation and coordination

Find out more about these experiments, access policy briefs on the main findings and recommendations on IRC's website.

Downloads