Life Force Kiosks is a nonprofit that aims to reduce preventable waterborne diseases like typhoid, cholera, and diarrhea to save lives in the most vulnerable communities. The organization developed a new model of preventing water contamination by working with existing community water vendors to purify water and clean storage containers affordably at the tap. Customer in slums such as Kibera, just outside Nairobi, Kenya, are used to bringing their water containers to local water taps and paying for the water vendors to fill them. Life Force Kiosks equips these water vendors with the supplies and signage they need to offer water purification and container cleaning services to customers for a small incremental charge, which enables them to boost their earnings while providing a valuable service to the community.
When the founder of Life Force Kiosks was ready to launch this new service, he anticipated that it would be difficult for him to build credibility and trust as a U.S.-born outsider in the local area. Accordingly, he recognized the importance of hiring people from the community to help him establish and expand his operations. This mini-case study explores his approach to identifying and collaborating with a local team, as well as the benefits he realized.
This story is part of the Global Health Innovation Insight Series developed at Stanford University to shed light on the challenges that global health innovators face as they seek to develop and implement new products and services that address needs in resource-constrained settings.
Acknowledgements: We would like to thank Jeremy Farkas of Life Force Kiosks for his participation. This research was supported by the National Institutes of Health grant 1 RC4 TW008781-01.