Why we're using Kits to scale up local manufactuing
We've been thinking about our theory of change with help from the Humanitarian Innovation Fund recently, and this has helped us clarify why the "kits" program matters. Field Ready aims to ensure that everyone has access to the supplies they need, when and where they need them
To make this a reality, we need to improve manufacturing capabilities for humanitarian response, and our focus is on local manufacturing. For this to be viable at scale, aid agencies and governments need to understand the possibility of local manufacturing, and for any resistance to change to be overcome, by demonstrating that local production can provide appropriate supplies more quickly, and more cheaply, and often with other benefits such as livelihoods and sustainability. This requires local manufacturing capacity, including access to machines, materials and designs, people with relevant skills, and coordination to make local sourcing of humanitarian supplies possible. In the "kits" program, we're creating a way to package up our local manufacturing systems so that they can be used more widely. This is a key part of our strategy to scale to help us grow, so more people can benefit from our work, so it can be scaled up more rapidly, increasing local manufacturing capabilities. This will support more local manufacture of humanitarian items in a way that leads to new sources of revenue for Field Ready (potentially including surplus-making activities) to support our efforts to grow.
Kits will help grow our results more quickly, as they can enable more local manufacturing of useful items. Alongside our ongoing R&D work, testing new manufacturing techniques and designs, and our country programs, kits themselves can grow more quickly.
The kit will vary depending on what it will make and how it will be used and encompasses everything someone needs to make an item or set of items. That's likely to be a combination of tools and materials, and some information (designs, instructions), and maybe some support services around this, such as training, technical guidance and support.
However, we're clear that just training doesn't make up a kit and is out of scope for this program. Also, just information is generally not in scope - we want to provide tools and materials in almost all cases, although information only may be an appropriate solution for some items in some circumstances (such as besieged areas).