Play #12: The Town Hall

When you’re not sure how your tech is going to be received by a new community, host a meeting in the local town hall people to gather, see the technology, ask questions and provide feedback

Asad Rahman
Feb 15 · 2 min read

The Pilot

If we collect shared taps in rural Tanzania to the internet of things, people can use top up cards to buy their water, eliminating the need for cash, cutting corruption and ensuring sustainability.

Use this play to answer our challenge around awareness building: Our end user (person or organisation) isn’t aware of the tech or its benefits.

This play is part of our Frontier Technology Playbook: Plays by DfID Pioneers to Overcome Development Challenges. Click here to read the other plays and an introduction to the Playbook.

The Pioneers: eWaterPay

eWATER taps can dispense water 24/7 using contactless payment. To access the water, villagers use eWATER tags, which they can top up with mobile money or cash. When presented at the eWATER tap, water is dispensed and credit it deducted from the tag.

This system was completely new to villagers, who had never seen these taps or tags before. Weeks ahead of installation, we hosted a Town Hall meeting, where the technology was explained, people could play with the tags and become familiar with the setup.

This opportunity also allowed us to understand pricing thresholds and answer questions. It meant that by the time the taps were installed, people knew exactly what to expect.

The Practice

  1. Work with local leaders (in this case it was the local water authorities) to make sure that you have the right appeal to draw the crowds
  2. Keep the session informal, make sure everyone feels welcome and give everyone a voice
  3. Use it as an opportunity to test many dimensions of your product, do more listening than speaking and remain open-minded about what you might learn

Get in touch…

Drop a line to find out more!

Asad Rahman

Written by

Applying tech and innovation to international development with UKAid. Follow us here:

Frontier Technologies Hub

Working with the UK Dept. for International Development to apply frontier technologies to the biggest challenges in development.

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