Scaling up local production: introducing our new 'kits' program
Field Ready enables our most useful designs to be replicated in other places; by anyone, anywhere and at anytime. This is done by creating “kits” which provide all the equipment and information needed for reliable local manufacture of key supplies. This also identifies business models which will enable these kits to be adopted at scale.
This is part of our strategy to “scale up” our impact, so more people can benefit from our work, and so it can be scaled up more rapidly, increasing local production capabilities. The Humanitarian Innovation Fund is funding this work with support from the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs. This will support more local manufacturing of humanitarian items in a way that leads to further support for Field Ready assistance projects and increasingly bigger impact in the aid sector.
The working title for this program is called "kits." A kit is a box of manufacturing equipment and instructions, which will enable someone (who may not be a manufacturing or design expert) to make a specific item or set of items. For instance, a kit could be a 3D printer, some digital designs preloaded onto it, essential hand tools like scrapers, and instructions as to how to successfully print those items. That set of items would be selected to be a useful and coherent suite of things, where there is a demand to make locally.
As part of this work, we are making sure we're systematic about how we document the things we've designed and made, and that we understand how "Field Ready" different manufacturing methods and designs are. We'll be sharing more thoughts on manufacturing maturity, safety and replicability in the coming months in our technical posts.
Our starting point is to identify items and manufacturing techniques which can be reproduced by non-specialists in the field, and to make the process of doing this robust and repeatable.
Success by 2019
We have outlined some of the goals we want to achieve in the next two years at which time we have the support from the Humanitarian Innovation Fund for our Journey to Scale:
We have many plans we hope to achieve in terms of program development and support. We would like to develop 15 of each kit to use in a range of sites, such as hospitals, clinics, villages, camps etc. and 10 solid and reliable items made. We would like to see our kits being utilized in three countries. We will be creating supporting documents to provide further instructional use, such as 2 min videos showing non-Field Ready staff using each kit in country. We want to translate documents to at least one more language other than English, with the plan to continue to translate more languages as the kits grow. As we track the progress of the kids, we will develop a recording system to track the number of items made.
Watch this space to see how our kits progress and to learn more about our findings.