Promoting Solar Products and Services

Overview

In 2016 We Care Solar partnered with the Liberian Ministry of Health to spearhead a country-wide initiative called Light Every Birth.

The aim of the Light Every Birth initiative is to improve the functioning of energy-poor facilities providing obstetric care, to demonstrate the impact of sustainable energy on maternal and newborn health; and to advocate the fundamental rights for all mothers to deliver with sufficient lighting.

Suitcase installations targets government health facilities through collaborating with the Liberian government, NGOs and UN Agencies to enact this commitment. The goal is to highlight Liberia as a “Model of Excellence” for electrification of maternity care – with a long-term vision of elevating the Light Every Birth Initiative to a continental and global scale.

Implementer       

GIZ/Energising Development (EnDev), Africare, Public Health Initiative Liberia (PHIL), UNICEF,  UNFPA, UN Women, Family Health Division (FHD)/Ministry of Health (MoH), Innovation for Poverty Action (IPA)

Donors and budget    

UBS Optimus Foundation, Gilead Foundation, UNDESA, Music for Relief, Sillicon Valley Fund and private donors

Start and end date      

 March 2017 - 2020

Aims/objectives       

  • Improve the functioning of energy-poor facilities providing obstetric care;
  • Demonstrate the impact of sustainable energy on maternal and newborn health;
  • Train county health officials to maintain Solar Suitcases

Geographic coverage    

All 15 counties of Liberia

Target groups

Expectant and new mothers, newborns, health workers

 

Components

Component 1: Health facility Assesment and Selection to guarantee light provision for most needed facilities

During the facility assesment and selection process We Care Solar works with the county health teams, FHD, and EnDev to identify all health facilities in the country with no or unreliable electicity. Determining which of these are appropriate for solar suitcases.  The criteria selection includes:

  1. Maternal and child health – Facility should offer obstetric care, have skilled personnel that are qualified to conduct deliveries, and be open 24 hours to offer maternal health services

2.Electricity – Facility should have no source of electricity or unreliable electricity (outages more than 2 hours a day)

3.Sustainability – Facility size, structure, and access to sunlight all affect its suitability for a Solar Suitcase

Component 2: Capacity Building to guarantee proper use and sustainability  of installed systems through routine maintenance

These Capacity Building activities are made to ensure the proper use of the suitcase. During the installations the staff are trained to guarantee a smooth operation of installed systems. Within the solar suitcase there is a user manual that explains in detail how to and how not to use the system. Also included is a minimum maintenance explanation for the health workers. After the installation is completed, We Care Solar will ensure that the Solar Suitcases are maintained over time through capacity building of the MOH at the county and national levels  and develop a strategy to facilitate the handover of the Solar Suitcases to the MOH at the conclusion of the program.

 

Component 3: Study Evaluation to understand the impact of reliable solar electricity for maternal care throughout Liberia

The study conducted by IPA involves quantitative and qualitative data collection and analysis focusing on maternal and newborn health care services.  The study consists of a Baseline, key informant interviews and Endline. The study outcome will hopefully improve the overall maternal health situation in Liberia.

Activities, Updates, Results

October 2018

To date, Solar Suitcases have been installed in 320 health facilities in Liberia. More than 1,500 health workers across 14 counties have been trained in Solar Suitcase usage. Installations by EnDev are ongoing, with plans to install an additional 129 Solar Suitcases by March 2019

 

February 2018

Innovations for Poverty Action is conducting an evaluation of the impact of the Solar Suitcases on provision of quality maternal healthcare. They completed a baseline analysis in early 2018 using data collected by installation partners. Endline data collection is planned for late 2018 and the final report will be available in Q2 2019.

June 2017

Representatives from We Care Solar, UBS Optimus Foundation, GIZ/EnDev, PHIL and Africare met to discuss progress, challenges and next steps of the project.

More articles about We Care Solar:

in March 2018 about installation of 100 solar suitcase

the media coverage by UNCC

Overview

The Liberia Accelerated Electricity Expansion Project (LACEEP) has three main objectives:

  1. increase access to electricity
  2. strengthen institutional capacity in the electricity sector
  3. support governmental transition processes and institutional capacity building

 

The Initiative Skip the Grid is focused on West Africa. Their aim is to bring solar power and other critical infrastructure to health care systems. The initiative is a division of the Rural Renewable Energy Alliance (RREA) and funded by donations.

Overview

The World Bank and ECREEE have designed the Regional Off-Grid Electrification Project (ROGEP) to increase access to sustainable electricity services in the ECOWAS region and 4 Sahel countries for household, commercial enterprises and public facilities.