How Green Empowerment Deployed 60Hertz’s Digital Maintenance
Green Empowerment launched 60Hertz Energy’s digital maintenance management software (CMMS) in nine Ecuadorian communities to empower local rural infrastructure operators to maintain a reliable water supply for the sustainability of 440 families and future generations.
Since its founding in 1997, Green Empowerment, a Portland-based non-profit, has helped 447,900 people in rural communities worldwide access critical resources through working with regional partners to implement clean water and renewable energy projects.
Collecting, transferring and distributing water is physically demanding for community members. To wash dishes, flush a toilet or bathe their baby often requires a long trip to the river, collecting multiple heavy barrels of potentially dirty water to bring back to families.
Foundational infrastructure saves women and girls countless hours otherwise spent on these menial tasks. When implemented conscientiously, this infrastructure project can lead to leadership and income-generating opportunities for women. In the communities where Green Empowerment is working in 2020, 50% of community water sector and energy committee leadership roles were filled by women.
Digital Maintenance Management in Water Infrastructure
The long-term success of these projects requires communities full ownership and operation of their water infrastructure. Dedicated and trained community members install the new systems. They build sand filters, dig trenches, lay pipework and gain hands-on training in the process. Each forms a water committee whose members study system operation and management. Locally trained technicians, paid by the community, perform regular maintenance on these water systems. Thriving water service is established owing to the spirit and health of community members.
How to Deploy Digital Maintenance Management in Rural Infrastructure
Historically, many international aid projects fail due to a lack of community buy-in to new technology, a lack of operational knowledge and maintenance training.
60Hertz provides a purpose-designed digital maintenance management system to allow local operators to guide themselves through work orders and report concerns to technical assistance agencies in real time. These digital tools empower local technicians to maintain their systems and support in-country partners and the primary contact and collaborator. The software mimics the infrastructure and policies associated with traditional maintenance processes. The human-centred design allows for ease of use for local technicians, the ability to work offline with their mobile devices and sync with intermittent access. Multiple language capability enables technicians to select their desired display language, easing data for sites with numerous native language speakers.
Avoiding a lapse in functionality is critical to communities that rely on water supply. A CMMS infrastructure such as 60Hertz ensures consistent data updates and constant water distribution. Upskilling local technicians allows more confidence in their knowledge and roles to carry out maintenance tasks without reliance on cumbersome pen and paper.
“We are excited to launch our very first digital maintenance and operations tool with 60Hertz in Ecuador. We hope this software will offer our communities a robust tool to properly operate and maintain their water systems while giving Green Empowerment live information on system maintenance and problem areas! We look forward to the learning process this new information will bring us, and especially seeing how communities use this tool to further their own systems.”