Can charcoal save trees?
There’s no shortage of innovative ideas to protect the
environment and lift people out of poverty, and Devex is proud
to highlight some of them.
Here are 10 of the #innov8aid solutions we featured in 2013.
By Duke University’s Pratt School of Engineering
What it is: It’s like a ketchup packet, only it’s filled with antiretroviral drugs for expecting mothers and their babies
What makes it innovative: The pouch when sealed keeps ARVs stable for 12 months, allowing the drugs to be stored
and administered when needed such as during the second trimester of pregnancy and after a home birth delivery.
Read more about Pratt Pouch
JustMilk nipple shield
What it is: A disposable silicone device that comes with an insert containing micronutrients, antimalarials, probiotics
What makes it innovative: It is designed as a low-cost, safe and effective way to administer medication or nutrients
to breastfeeding babies, especially those at risk of infection such as HIV.
Read more about JustMilk nipple shield
By Carbon Roots International
What it is: A cooking briquette made of charred agricultural waste
What makes it innovative: It offers an alternative source of fuel for cooking and energy, particularly in a country like
Haiti where charcoal consumption is so staggering that it has left the country with little forest cover.
Read more about green charcoal
Tsetse repellent collar
By International Center of Insect Physiology and Ecology
What it is: A wearable device that dispenses repellents with compounds sourced from urine of wild animals that
tsetse flies avoid such as zebra and waterbuck
What makes it innovative: The technology holds promise of improving food security and boosting incomes in Africa,
where tsetse is endemic. In areas where livestock wore the collar, there was a reduction in animal mortality and
disease incidence, and herders sold twice as much livestock as they did from unprotected areas, according to
Read more about tsetse repellent collar
By Thin Air Nitrogen Solutions
What it is: Fertilizer made from blue-green algae
What makes it innovative: Rich in nitrogen, cyanobacteria offers an organic and likely cheaper alternative to
conventional fertilizer and is proven to increase micronutrient concentrations in plants’ edible parts, such as zinc,
iron and beta-carotene.
Read more about cyanobacterial fertilizer
What it is: Food cart microfranchising
What makes it innovative: It promotes social entrepreneurship and good nutrition in food-insecure areas, as
MamaCarts not only helps women earn an income but also teaches them how to prepare healthy meals using
locally sourced materials.
Read more about MamaCarts
By Integrity Action
What it is: An online tool using citizen feedback to monitor issues found in development projects in war-torn
What makes it innovative: The tool not only provides verified information on irregularities in aid projects but also
tells if they have been fixed. Integrity Action shares the findings with the community, government and contractors,
and works with them to address the problem.
Read more about DevelopmentCheck.org
Timber frame with mulberry
By Habitat for Humanitty International
What it is: A mesh of harvested mulberry branches along with a timber framework covered and finished with a
plaster of mud, straw and wool
What makes it innovative: The material is used to reinforce houses so they can be resilient to earthquakes. In quakeprone Tajikistan, houses retrofitted with mulberry suffered minimal or zero damage from temblors.
Read more about timber frame with mulberry
Google Glass for aid delivery
What it is: A solution that uses the wearable gadget’s face recognition function to enrol and verify the identity of
Why it is innovative: Aside from helping fight fraud and increase efficiency in delivering aid, the technology can
promote aid worker security in hot spots such as Afghanistan and Somalia because it removes the need to carry
Read more about Google Glass for aid delivery
Anaerobic digester-equipped latrine
By: University of Maryland
What it is: An ecological toilet that converts human waste into high-value fertilizer and biogas
What makes it innovative: Aside from helping improve public health, the technology may also provide locals with a
source of income, through the sale of biogas and fertilizer and fees charged for toilet use.
Read more about anaerobic digester-equipped latrine
Join Devex to keep abreast
of the latest development
Check us out on Facebook.