We’re excited to see Nithya Ramanathan, CEO of Nexleaf, attend the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting. In Davos, she was interviewed live on Facebook by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance on Tanzania’s push to introduce an Internet of Things (IoT) solution to monitor vaccine refrigerators at national scale.
Nithya explains how this initiative was made possible through a joint learning exchange between the Tanzanian and Mozambican Ministries of Health (MoH), in which the Mozambican MoH shared their learnings and data gathered from refrigerator monitoring. We’re proud to have facilitated the country engagement between the Tanzanian and Mozambican Ministries of Health and to be part of their initiatives to monitor the vaccine supply chain at the ‘last mile.’
The partnerships we have fostered with countries such as these are moving us closer towards our goal to monitor and protect every vaccine on Earth! Watch the full interview to understand how Nexleaf is cross-designing solutions with countries and helping build a complete picture of the cold chain.
While the report does not cover specific countries where Nexleaf technology is currently deployed, it showcases the potential and importance of IoT applications for all countries and contexts. We believe governments have a critical opportunity right now to create policy and regulatory frameworks that will help them protect their data while also ensuring that IoT technologies can operate within their borders in ways that serve national goals and priorities.
The Internet of Things, or IoT, is revolutionizing how data is gathered all over the world, and Nexleaf is committed to creating IoT solutions that serve global goals. Today, Nexleaf announced the release of two data-driven reports from our new “IoT for Development” series.
Nexleaf’s CEO Nithya Ramanathan co-authored a paper featured in Social Science & Medicine. In collaboration with the Human Sciences Research Council of South Africa and UCLA CHIPTS, the paper identifies potential uses of mobile technology (mHealth) to address current barriers in the South African healthcare system. Based on findings from interviews and focus groups with community health workers, health officials, field staff, and patients, the development of mHealth can improve resource allocation, foster trust between community health workers and clinic staff, and facilitate communication with patients.
With partners PATH and VillageReach, Nexleaf conducted small-scale studies to evaluate the performance of vaccine cold chain equipment (CCE) in Uganda and Mozambique and to unearth underlying causes for equipment failures. By monitoring eighty-six failing refrigerators and freezers in selected locations, the project teams acquired revealing, actionable information that led to immediate and long-term vaccination systems improvements. This is an exciting example of how collaborative efforts to systematically collect and communicate data can improve the efficiency and reach of immunization programs in low- and middle-income countries.
Gavi has announced a partnership with Nexleaf Analytics to create a planning tool to help countries make evidence-based decisions on the purchase and maintenance of vaccine refrigerators. The Gavi-owned planning tool will be available to all Gavi countries as they make their vaccination supply chain equipment decisions. Nexleaf will contribute software engineering and analytics know-how, as well as lessons learned from our years of experience working directly with Ministries of Health. Funding to implement in initial countries will come from the Gavi Matching Fund provided by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. This project also receives support from Google.org, a Nexleaf funder since January 2015, for tool development and engineering.
An article and video featured in the Financial Times address Nexleaf’s StoveTrace program in Notarpalli, a rural village in India. Following an eight-month trial, in which Nexleaf provided villagers with modern, clean cookstoves with attached data-monitoring devices, Notarpalli has experienced full adoption of clean cookstoves.
By analyzing data collected from the monitoring devices, Nexleaf was able to identify problems associated with the stoves and provide impactful solutions to ensure integration of the stoves into daily life.
Read the full article to learn how Nexleaf’s StoveTrace program is affecting rural communities.
An article published in Nature Climate Change this week demonstrates how data from Nexleaf’s StoveTrace platform is helping break down barriers to achieving safe, clean, modern energy access for all.
A view-only copy of the full text of the article can be accessed here. The abstract is available here.
The method described in the article, which is called Sensor-Enabled Climate Financing (SCF), brings together cutting-edge climate science, rugged StoveTrace wireless sensors, and market-based mechanisms to make clean cooking affordable for the poorest 3 billion. With this method, a rural woman receives a small loan to procure a clean cookstove. StoveTrace sensors then collect real-time data on her cookstove usage, and the woman receives usage-based payments from a climate fund for the carbon emissions she mitigates by using the clean cookstove. The SCF method enables even extremely low-income women to afford clean cookstoves.
Nexleaf gathered the clean cookstove usage data featured in the Nature Climate Change article from very low-resource areas of Odisha, India, where there is little modern infrastructure. “We’ve been working on this problem since we started,” says Martin Lukac, CTO of Nexleaf. “We struggled to build a robust sensor. Our early probes burned off. But we knew it was important to get data flowing in these remote areas, to connect rural women to climate financing, and also to make sure that the clean cookstoves continue to work for the women over time.”
As a non-profit organization grounded in field engagement, Nexleaf strives to create low-cost technology and data analytics tools that address the needs of people living and working on the front lines of global public health and climate change. “Connecting women to climate financing gives them a way to afford to pay for their clean cookstove,” says Tara Ramanathan, StoveTrace Program Director at Nexleaf and primary author of the Nature Climate Change article. “They become actively engaged in the cookstove value chain, improve their quality of life, and protect the planet.”
SCF was developed by Project Surya, an international collaboration among the University of California at San Diego, Nexleaf Analytics, and The Energy and Resources Institute of Delhi. Project Surya partners tested the SCF model in 4,038 Indian households with funding from Leslie & John “Mac” McQuown. Nexleaf’s first StoveTrace funder was Qualcomm Wireless Reach, which continues to support the program. StoveTrace has also received support from Beneventures Foundation, Mulago, The World Bank, Ellen Lehman & Charles Kennel, Joy & Ed Frieman, and Henning Rodhe.
Learn more about Nexleaf’s StoveTrace program here.
Nexleaf’s StoveTrace platform, in collaboration with Vodafone M-Pesa, has enabled 22 women in rural India to begin receiving climate credits: payments made directly to women’s mobile phones every month in exchange for their climate stewardship. The purpose of this new program is to allow rural women to afford and to use the cleanest cooking technologies. Through introductory sessions, women are informed that the more they use clean cookstoves, the more money they will receive via payment to their mobile phones.
The StoveTrace platform allows for data calculation of household-level stove usage every month to measure exactly how much each woman should be paid for her clean cookstove use. This program was launched in Notarpalli village in Nayagarh District in Odisha, India. Nexleaf aims to get 1,000 women enrolled in the M-Pesa program by next year.
Nexleaf is partnering with several local NGOs to make this program possible: the Saunta Gaunta Foundation and Sambhav in Odisha, India, Hand in Hand in Tamil Nadu, India and the Renewable Energy Programme (RUWES) in Nigeria. Nexleaf Analytics wishes to extend a special thank you to our long-standing supporters: Qualcomm Wireless Reach, Leslie and Mac McQuown, and Beneventures Foundation for making this innovative program possible.
Nexleaf’s ColdTrace innovation has been selected as one of seven Gavi INFUSE Pacesetters that will work with Gavi in its mission to increase access to immunization around the world. With its INFUSE initiative, Gavi seeks to identify the most promising technologies that improve vaccine access and efficacy in low-income countries, with particular emphasis on data-driven innovations. 60 companies and entrepreneurs applied to the program after it was announced at this year’s World Economic Forum; 18 projects were selected for a final round of pitching to evaluators from both private companies and international organizations like the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF. The panel chose seven Pacesetters that will work with Gavi on scaling up their work and serving more countries.
Learn more about INFUSE Pacesetters from The Verge, and read more about ColdTrace here.