NEWS

Information of some of SeeSaw’s activities…
For other news, follow our twitter account (@OnTheSeeSaw) or visit our blog (liquidit.blogspot.com)

October 2013 – Event
IWA congress in Nairobi, Kenya
David Schaub-Jones, SeeSaw co-founder, has been asked to chair a session on Small-Scale Sustainable Water Supply Systems at IWA’s 3rd development congress in Nairobi in October.  There will be interesting sessions on reducing non-revenue water, water operator’s partnerships and decentralised sanitation, whilst elsewhere in the programme SeeSaw will be discussing “How stronger monitoring, when combined with a good understanding of local incentives, can strengthen water services in small towns”.  Get in touch if you’re going (or just happen to be in Kenya anyway!).

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September 2013 – Event
Conference on M4D “Mobiles! What have we learned? Where are we going ?” in Washington DC, USA
Jossekin Beilharz, SeeSaw’s co-founder, will join DAI, Development Gateway, FHI 360, IREX, and USAID at the event co-organised by ‘ICT Works’ taking place on September 26th. He will be talking about SeeSaw’s experience in M4D and participating to the reflections on what has been done so far in the field.

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July 2013 – Project in Kenya
Supporting sanitation provision in Kenya via community-led monitoring, with Practical Action
Practical Action Kenya are approaching the midway point of an urban sanitation intervention in Nakuru, Kenya. They have commissioned SeeSaw to work with them to develop a system that will get the community to use cellphones to help monitor project progress.
The monitoring system that SeeSaw are designing has two goals. The simple one is to keep all parties up to date with project progress (those on the ground signal, via cellphones, when new sanitation facilities are built, report more generally on issues of public hygiene, etc).  The second, more ambitious goal is, by getting community to lead on reporting and by relaying information back to them, to encourage more involvement in and interest by communities in urban sanitation per se. This strong feedback loop is, we believe, crucial to keep communities engaged and motivated over time.
For us is it important then that the system can receive information not just from smart-phones but also from normal phones (sometimes called ‘feature-phones’) to report information. The system (technically a mobile-to-web-to-mobile platform!) thus combines elements of monitoring, benchmarking, oversight and regulation in order to achieve its goals.

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July 2013 – Training
SeeSaw at the WEDC conference in Kenya
SeeSaw held a well attended half day training session for those attending the 38th WEDC conference in Nakuru, Kenya. The overwhelming majority of the 50+ people there gave very positive feedback on the participatory nature of the training, the three case studies presented and the methodology for analysing opportunities and projects involving ICT in the WASH sector.  Get in touch for some of the powerpoints used.

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May 2013 – Event
SeeSaw at the African Utility Week

Next week the African Utility Week will take place in Cape Town. This is a major event for the water and sanitation sector. Indeed, more than 5 000 professionals will attend this conference and exhibition, including water and sanitation providers, regulators, government officials, etc.

Hence, it is an excellent opportunity for SeeSaw to present our services and software. David is one of the speakers – he will share his experience with a presentation entitled  “ICT tools to support small water schemes”, scheduled on Wednesday 15th of May 2013 at 9.40 am, in the Water area.

For more information, visit the official website: www.african-utility-week.com

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April 2013 – Event
SeeSaw at IRC’s Symposium in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

We are excited to participate to this year’s IRC conference on ‘Monitoring sustainable WASH Service Delivery Symposium’ in Addis Ababa next week .
The symposium is about monitoring sustainable water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) service delivery.  It will gather practitioners, policy-makers, researchers and other experts from the public and private WASH sectors, but also from development partners and universities.
SeeSaw will be presenting a demo of our software and mobile applications for field level reporting in low-literacy environments, on Tuesday 9th from 6.00pm onwards. We’ll also be part of the presentation about the ‘Factors for successful design and implementation of ICT systems’ that will take place on Tuesday as well. You can read more about the topic 4: ICT for monitoring sustainable service delivery here.

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March 2013 – Project in Ghana
Design & implementation of a system to that allows local water entrepreneurs to report maintenance issues and staff activity, with Community Water Solutions
Community Water Solutions – a social enterprise based in the US – supports water entrepreneurs in Northern Ghana to treat and sell safe water to local communities.  CWS supports up to 55 entrepreneurs, all women, around the northern town of Tamale.  The entrepreneurs run their small businesses, as profit-making enterprises, with a proportion of the receipts from the water sales going towards the ongoing maintenance of the system.
Prior to SeeSaw’s involvement, staff from CWS would travel around once a fortnight to visit the entrepreneurs and check their systems, bring new supplies and assist with maintenance.  There was a concern that issues arise between visits that could usefully be reported, but for a variety of reasons the entrepreneurs wait.  This may be undermining the delivery of safe water to local communities.
SeeSaw worked with CWS to put in place a monitoring system that permits entrepreneurs to signal various issues by using basic cellphones to make missed calls – each time signalling specific maintenance challenges (such as a lack of chlorine, damaged tanks, etc). Customised reports are then provided to CWS – they use this information to track trends over time and improve the efficiency of their support to the local entrepreneurs.
More information about this project is available here on the CWS blog.

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March 2013 – Project in South Africa
An ICT system to get local communities to report on the health of the Liesbeek river ecosystem with the Friends of Liesbeek association
A partnership has been established with a volunteer group (FoL) that seeks to protect the river and surrounding ecosystem. SeeSaw has developed a specific mobile application that allows users to report information concerning pollution hotspots along the Liesbeek River as well as one-off incidents (the software has also been used to map inlet and abstraction points). The platform gathers all the information on a map and allows trends to be seen over time – permitting simple ‘visualisation’ of the links between the river ‘architecture’ and the source of pollution.
SeeSaw’s “Snapture” application, one component of the wider SeeSawSend platform, features heavily, permitting users to report information by only taking photos. This system is ideally suited to fieldworkers who have little familiarity with smartphones or whose literacy is not too strong.

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December 2012 – Event
Sanitation Hackathon in Cape Town
SeeSaw is organising the Cape Town Sanitation Hackathon. We will therefore be joining London, Nairobi, New York, Pune and 5 other cities on 1 & 2 December, bringing together the cream of the Cape Town ‘software community’ with sanitation experts from all over SADC. We’ll keep you posted as the event takes shape, but if you’re in Cape Town and interested in attending, please bookmark the 1 & 2 December as a red letter date.

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December 2012 – Project in Madagascar
Designing and managing a digital meter reading system to support piped water schemes in small centres in Madagascar with CRS
Since 2012, SeeSaw has been working with CRS and other organisations to support small piped water systems in Madagascar, using mobile phones to capture meter readings and, using photos and GPS co-ordinates, mapping these spatially.
SeeSaw developed an easy-to-use android app to permit water providers to collect and relay meter readings via affordable smartphones.  The information reported (such as the reference number of the meter, the quantity of water consumed etc) are relayed back to the provider, via email, to allow simple importation into their billing systems. SeeSaw also analyses the readings to alert the water provider to possible anomalies (i.e. broken meters, leaking pipes, etc).
A further option is to alert the meter reader when the reading entered is significantly out-of-line with historical usage patterns.  The same function can be used by meter readers to verify selected customer information (i.e. “does this person still live here?”) or be informed when a customer’s arrears exceed pre-determined thresholds.

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October 2012 – Training in Mozambique
Customised Training on ICT in the Water & Sanitation Sector, especially its use in sector regulation for Conselho de Regulação de Águas (CRA)
Following CRA’s attendance at the successful “But Does it Float?” workshop in Cape Town on experience in using ICT tools in the water and health sectors, CRA requested a proposal for a training workshop customized for the Mozambican situation.
The main goal of the training was to build the capacity of CRA and AIAS regarding the uses of ICT in the water sector.  This is in line with their goal to develop an updated ICT system for small town water supply operations and regulation.
The training, involving a dozen or so Mozambican organisations and around 25 people was deemed a great success and more involvement and follow-ups are being planned.

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June 2012 – Event
“But Does it Float”
The event looked at some of the realities (glamorous and not-so-glamorous) of using ICT in the water and health sectors. It was held jointly with the iComms department of the University of Cape Town, and was a sell-out success – with over 30 people coming together to talk about experience across five countries in the region. Get in touch if you’re interested in receiving the background paper or the final write-up of the event.

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