Our ACCESS Platform™ provides the resources, expert communities, tools, education and healthcare services and intelligent applications to successfully implement, monitor and learn from our implemented solutions so we can improve over time. It is a singular collaboration platform whose use provides distinct advantages for NGOs, governments, development practitioners, academics, experts and community members to work together collectively in a way that creates a transformative system for poverty alleviation from which we can all learn in co-developing vibrant, thriving communities.
Our ACCESS Platform™ has a few core components such as Village Portraits, Education, Healthcare, Agroecology, Expert Communities, Central Knowledge Base and Community Impact System (CIS):
We create a unique, online portrait of each village in an entire community. Initially, the village portrait describes the current state of affairs in the village and has some photos and maybe some videos. You can see an initial village portrait for Yakoko, Ghana by clicking here. Over time, the Village Portrait acts as the portal to view the step-by-step transformation of a particular village. For instance, a large multinational corporation who is buying a product or service from us (such as renewable electricity) through a long-term purchase agreement can see the impact their ongoing purchase is having in village after village.
Education and training services are an essential part of broad based poverty reduction measures. Initially, our information and programs are designed to help address skills training in various areas such as organic farming, brick making, bicycle repair, irrigation system maintenance, and so on.
The training materials are delivered through informative videos, texts, and audio files allowing the appropriate contextual skills to be learned and to provide an ongoing resource to those learning materials for future access to reinforce learned skills. As community members become skilled in the various solutions they are implementing, they can be tested and certified to teach a particular skill – to help serve their own village needs and perhaps those of nearby villages for which they can potentially earn some income. In the future, we seek to provide a broad spectrum of lower, middle and upper school based programs that complement local school curriculums.
Telemedicine uses telecommunications and information technologies to provide healthcare services from a remote location. This practice holds the promise of reaching hundreds of millions of poor that do not have access to medical diagnosis, organized personal health records nor services to improve their health.
Remote health care applications and patient monitoring is rapidly on the rise in the U.S. and we aim to bring the appropriate technology to help extend healthcare to the rural communities we serve. For instance, cell phone applications can listen to a patient's heartbeat and conduct an eye exam with assistance from a remote healthcare practitioner.
Organic, sustainable agriculture, forestry and livestock management are critical components to food, economic and ecological security in the communities we serve. Increasingly, research in these areas is becoming privatized, within the largest of agricultural companies who have the management skills and resources. We choose to support smallholder farmers within our agriculture research and development programs. We offer access to the knowledge and technical applications they need to compete in growing organic produce. Additionally, we carefully track the processes and results we achieve in rigorous data collection to learn how we can improve.
Since organic farming and forestry is more skills intensive, we bring the necessary knowledge in easy to learn video applications in the communities’ native language (if that is helpful). We then help manage the organic growing process through regional farm managers who help build skills and manage farmers through the growing cycles. Once we develop an agricultural and livestock business, we will provide handheld devices with farming applications that offer extensive management tools to help fortify farmers with the advantages of leading tools and applications to help improve yields and access to markets.
We reach out to various experts and groups of specialists in permaculture, irrigation, agroecology, soil, water, herbs, education, weather, etc. and invite them to become part of an expert online community in their respective discipline (ie: permaculture experts would have their own online community within the ACCESS Platform™).
Experts in each field provide the online materials and guides for anything from installing a local bio-digester, managing a business startup, applying the best irrigation techniques for permaculture farming to bicycle assembly and repair. Community members can ask questions online (or via text message) of the experts to help in the design, build-out or maintenance of solutions they are implementing in their village.
Our expert community is inherently designed to be an ongoing resource for the communities we serve. These experts are not just visiting a village for a day or a week and then leaving — the resource is online permanently. For example, a community of irrigation specialists can have a major impact on villages around the world from one central communication point, despite physically being located in varied geographical areas — an approach that is inherently scalable and repeatable.
People. Animals. Plants. The interactions and interdependencies amongst each of these within a specific community are complex and fluid. How our collective community development solutions are implemented and managed affect each of these constituents. So we plan, design, communicate, ponder and design again, and so on, to create a plan for a large-scale area that minimizes (or hopefully eliminates) unintended consequences while seeking to create intergenerational prosperity.
These are complex living systems. We will make mistakes. And we will learn so we can improve on the next community. In essence, within the context of learning, we view our living development process as a ‘living laboratory’ that is inherently adaptable and resilient, but one in which we are constantly learning and sharing our accumulated knowledge. This knowledge is a combination of both quantitative and qualitative data. Through our ACCESS Platform™ we collect both forms of data in a manner that reconciles both sources of information into an understandable set of knowledge from which we can learn and improve.
Like any good lab, we will be ever vigilant to collect data and create meaningful learning and knowledge systems. Knowledge will be captured and used to improve advice to others, provide specific feedback to NGOs, businesses and experts whose solutions are implemented. Our learning and knowledge systems will be the cornerstone of innovation and knowledge sharing with other villages around the world.
“Success” in delivering needed solutions for the community is critical for village stakeholders, but also essential for our clients, investors and partners. Each village, client, investor and partner will define success in its own way. As such, we will seek to ensure that these ‘success’ metrics are clearly articulated and agreed upon in advance of any solution implementation. We do this by concentrating significant efforts in community engagement from the outset along with ongoing dialogue amongst all constituents.
We then customize a solution, using in part some of the most widely used social and environmental analytic services, (such as GIIRS, IRIS, B Analytics, etc.), in what we call our Community Impact System (CIS) that performs customized impact monitoring against the various objectives of each constituent. We believe that with a coordinated metrics approach that can withstand disciplined analytical rigor, we can hopefully provide deeper insight in how to scale future impact in communities around the world.