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Posts Tagged ‘public-private partnership’
GIM Releases New Case Study on Solar Energy in Morocco

About the author

Wafa Elgarah is an Assistant Professor at Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane, Morocco and Academic Coordinator of the Post-experience Graduate Programs. She holds a PhD in Management Information Systems from University of Central Florida, USA and an MBA in Marketing and Management from University of North Texas, USA. Her research has appeared in outlets such as Data Base for Advances in Information Systems, Communications of the AIS as well as numerous international research conference proceedings. Prior to joining academia, Dr. Elgarah worked in several companies where she played key roles in IT based projects and new products and services marketing initiatives. Her research interests include Decision Support Systems, E-government and Design theories.

About the case study

About two million people live without access to electricity in Morocco, mostly in remote rural areas where scattered and unevenly distributed homes make their connection to the national power grid difficult. As a solution, the National Office of Electricity (ONE) opted for a decentralized system of electrification using renewable energies, and initiated several programs, one of them called Maison Energie (ME).

The program was launched in 1997 with the objectives of providing renewable energy access to remote areas, lowering the use of wood and hence protecting the environment, and creating employment and income generating opportunities in rural areas. A ME (Energy House) is a micro-enterprise that commercializes various forms of solar energy including photovoltaic systems, solar water heaters and ovens in rural and peri-urban areas. Owners of the micro-enterprise are local young entrepreneurs, who also provide installation and maintenance services.

The program is supported by UNDP in collaboration with many partners including the Center for Renewable Energy Development (CDER), the Ministry of Energy and Mines (MEM), ONE and several other private and public organizations and associations involved in selecting, training and supporting these entrepreneurs.

300 self-sustainable MEs were fully operational as of 2009, and there is an estimated potential for 2,000 to 4,000 MEs in both rural and urban areas. In addition, the program has generated about 1,000 permanent jobs and between 3,000-4,000 temporary positions. So far, about 43,000 photovoltaic kits have been installed, and it is estimated that 16,000 photovoltaic installations would result in a savings of 32,000 tonnes of CO2 over 10 years compared to traditional energy sources.

To download the Maison Energie case study from the GIM database, please click here.

A Third Way for Official Development Assistance

Savings and Conditional Cash Transfers to the Poor

GIM is pleased to announce its new UNDP publication together with the New America Foundation. ‘A Third Way for Official Development Assistance: Savings and Conditional Cash Transfers to the poor’ was written by Henry JackelenJamie Zimmerman, Jamie Holmes, Suba Sivakumaran and Sahba Sobhani and was launched last week, together with an accompanying op-ed called Money to the Poor in Slate magazine at the Future Tense event at the New America Foundation. (Full webcast here.)

How can aid be reformed to create greater impact on the poor and reduce corruption and inefficiency? What can be done to stimulate the demand by the poor for better schools, health services and financial services and products? How can we create a more accountable and transparent system that is able to track aid, target the poor better and empower them to make their own decisions?

This paper explores the conceptual and practical case for a simple yet radical idea: improve ODA’s efficiency and effectiveness by directing ODA funds toward account-linked cash transfer programs. In effect, this would enable the creation of bank accounts for aid recipients around the world and then leverage those accounts to a) deliver aid or make other transfers and b) create additional opportunities to enhance human capital and asset building. This would address the renewed emphasis on more meaningful, measurable outputs of aid and fulfill a critical need of the poor, with tools that provide a safe and secure place to save, manage resources, and build wealth over the long-term.

Click here to download the full report. A full webcast of the panel discussion in which Henry Jackelen participated along with Jamie Zimmerman, moderated by the editor of Slate, David Plotz can be found here. Please share, discuss and send your thoughts and feedback!

Q&A with Winifred Karugu, author of Ecotact case study in Kenya

Winifred Karugu is currently the Managing Director (MD) of Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) Enterprises (JKUATES), a company that is 100% owned by the University. She is based in the University’s Main Campus at Juja, in Kenya. The Company is the commercial wing of JKUAT and engages in direct linkages with industry through training, consultancy and related activities. She had also served as a director of the JKUATES for three years before her appointment as MD. Prior to this appointment, which took place in February 2008, Winifred was the Director of the School for Human Resources Development, which houses Business and Humanities at the University, a position that she held for four years. Winifred also lectures in economics and marketing courses units at the university. She also engages in research and consultancy. She has published several articles in refereed journals and written several business cases both teaching and analytical. Her research interests include pro-poor business models, SME growth strategies in emerging markets and gender & technology transfer. Winifred is a member of: Academy of Management (AoM), International Association of Agricultural Economists (IAAE), African Association of Agricultural Economists (AAAE), Africa Technology and Policy Studies Network (ATPS) and Kenya Association of Business and Management Professionals (KABMAP). Find below selected publications of her work.

Ecotact is a company that provides low-income people with the most basic of necessities: affordable sanitation in pleasant surroundings within urban areas, with particular emphasis on the most disadvantaged areas such as urban slums.

To download the Ecotact case study from the GIM database, please click here.

What is Ecotact’s basic value proposition and what makes its financial model sustainable?

Ecotact’s main value proposition is the provision of affordable and pleasant sanitation options to the masses that previously had few and often unpleasant options available when they were out and about. Ecotact facilities now routinely provide comfort and dignity to middle and lower income customers but for the lowest end of the market, Ecotact provides even greater value in that they now have access to facilities that were not available to them before. Slum dwellers often lack privacy in matters of sanitation and hygiene and the options available are often substandard and seriously overcrowded. In addition to this security is often an issue. Slum dwellers therefore greatly appreciate access to warm showers and clean toilets in secure and pleasant surroundings. The franchise model creates value for would be entrepreneurs.

What are the main benefits of using a franchise model for the Ikotoilets?

The franchise model is of benefit to society in that there is rapid expansion of the facilities. Entrepreneurs benefit in that their capital input is lower, the standardization inherent in such models gains the trust of the public, ensuring a reliable market.

What are the main challenges facing Ecotact’s scale up and replication?

The main challenges faced by Ecotact in their efforts to scale-up include the fact that land in urban centres is not readily available and is very expensive as well. Municipal land is more available but subject to politicization. So far the real problem currently facing Ecotact is that the demand for their services far outstrips their ability to provide.

What makes this public-private partnership model successful and what more can government do to ensure access to sanitation to improve the lives of people living in informal settlements?

This private-public partnership has been successful due to the fact that it is a win-win situation all round. The municipals gain by cleaner, more environmentally friendly towns, the facilities will end up in their hands eventually and the public is more dignified. Ecotact gains financially and the public is much more comfortable. Government can help this process by encouraging similar entrepreneurial activity especially where the most vulnerable people reside.

What would you say was critical about the actor ecosystem that enabled this business to be successful?

My opinion is that the success of this process was largely driven by the success and sheer determination of the CEO of Ecotact. He is driven more by a desire to do something about squalor than by profits.