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Last Mile Connectivity


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Quicksand ( co-founder Ayush Chauhan gave this presentation at the annual workshop of the University of Chicago Center in Delhi commemorating the graduating class of International Innovation Corps, a year long fellowship program that sends top student talent to work with Indian government on critical development problems. Ayush’s panel was on 'Last Mile Connectivity' focusing on how successfully piloted solutions and interventions can be effectively rolled out and adopted across the target audience.

Ayush led by saying that the design of good quality, sustainable pilots required program teams to champion the last mile - that moment of truth when all the careful deliberation on systems, policy and enabling institutions meets the consumer. Using Quicksand’s work on the direct benefit transfers project and the urban sanitation project as examples, he demonstrated how an ostensibly powerful, transformative public policy begins to break down when no one champions the end-user.

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Last Mile Connectivity

  1. 1. Last Mile Connectivity IIC Annual Workshop July 30, 2015 @ayus_h
  2. 2. EXAMPLE 1 Direct Benefits Transfer
  3. 3. Direct Benefits Transfer An ambitious pan-India effort to transfer social security benefits and wage payments directly into the bank accounts of the rural and tribal poor: >plug leakages in the erstwhile process of transferring benefits through a multi-tiered system >advance financial inclusion goals for the poorest >move forward towards a Digital India vision
  4. 4. Payments are made to end beneficiaries through an elaborate system of smart cards, linked bank accounts, point of transaction terminals, identity authentication and a network of community service providers
  5. 5. Biometric authentication devices fail in these settings on multiple counts
  6. 6. Heavily cash dependent payment system adds risk, complications and delays
  7. 7. There is no awareness of these bank accounts being anything more than payment conduits
  8. 8. EXAMPLE 2 Swachh Bharat Abhiyan
  9. 9. Swachh Bharat Abhiyan A massive infrastructure effort to provide people basic sanitation access and eliminate open defecation: >building a toilet would prompt people to use them >toilets would ensure safe disposal of fecal matter >pay per use would ensure self sustainability of shared toilet facilities
  10. 10. Government has made a clarion call to build individual, public and community toilets across the country through public- private partnerships
  11. 11. People’s reasons for resorting to open defecation is more than just lack of toilets
  12. 12. People with toilets at home may still be defecating outside Toilets often run into disuse because of a dysfunctional sewage management system
  13. 13. People with toilets at home may still be defecating outside Enforcing payments within communities is one of the biggest challenges for caretakers
  14. 14. Human Centered Design A Framework to Tackle the Challenges of Last Mile Connectivity
  15. 15. 1. Understand End-User Experience >there is no substitute to spending time with people >have a hypotheses that is grounded in the everyday reality of people
  16. 16. 2. Co-create Solutions >involve a diverse set of stakeholders while conceptualizing solutions >take a systems approach while designing solutions
  17. 17. 3. Make Prototyping & Testing a Continuous Process >prototyping & testing cannot be limited to pilots >turn your ideas real and tangible to get quick and early feedback
  18. 18. Last Mile Connectivity IIC Annual Workshop July 30, 2015 @ayus_h