O ¦ N ¦ T ¦ H ¦ E ¦ SeeSaw
Open: we base our software offerings on open-source for a few reasons. It is more robust, it moves with the times and it saves money for the client. It allows us to adapt different tools to the job in hand rather than suggest a one-size-fits-all solution.
Needs-based: SeeSaw’s focus on incentives means we must be needs-based. In other words – we suggest only solutions that meet a defined need – and will therefore be used, adopted and driven by those in the frontline. All too often this does not happen and fancy IT solutions sit quietly rusting while the system carries on as usual.
Transparent: SeeSaw is not like many private software companies (nor, for that matter, NGOs working on water). We aim to be transparent about what we do – what works and what does not. We share learning and contacts with the rest of the sector, which is part of our mandate as a social enterprise.
Holistic: SeeSaw thinks in a holistic manner. We consider how our advice and software fit within the broader system and will interact with it. Will people use it? Will it change how the provider functions? Who will support it, who will obstruct change? We’re also very well connected and make links for those who work with us. So rather than just offer software that improves billing, SeeSaw helps find donors that appreciate and reward the improvement. Rather than work with NGOs only to improve their reporting, we make broader links so that systemic national change is possible.
Entrepreneurial: We’re entrepreneurs. That means we think like entrepreneurs, not bureaucrats or NGO-workers. We understand risk and know about return on investment. We advise accordingly – understanding the frontline service providers, in many respects, need to operate like a business. Producing water and seeing half of it leak away is not efficient. Expecting utilities to serve the poor when they can’t collect income is unrealistic. If our advice and tools help with sector monitoring and reporting, great. But first and foremost, they must be meaningful for those who actually provide the service, day-in-day-out.