The 25 participants were divided into five project teams, each of 5 members. The project thematic areas are detailed below, as well as the challenges the teams set out to solve and what their developed solutions were.

Each team started with an initial problem statement created by the Projects Lead and Communities Coordinators through their extensive prior qualitative research within the community and quantitative research. The team then went through one cycle of the IDDS design process - gathering information -> problem framing -> sketch modeling and collecting user feedback -> prototyping -> developing a business model.

If you are interested in learning more or partnering with one of the teams, please reach out at iddskenya@mit.edu!

Here are the five project thematic areas from the summit:

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Informal savings groups

Problem Statement: It was identified that Chamas in rural areas are more likely to not have a vision for investing their money and therefore the money sits idle and is not used for productive purposes.

Solution: a USSD platform that links rural Chamas to urban SACCOs for both education and investment purposes.

See the teams journey from problem to prototype here and their final pitch here.

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Microforestry

Problem Statement: In Embu county, lots of trees are being cut down for cooking fuel leading to deforestation. How can we incentivize reforestation and planting trees as a savings mechanism?

Solution: A mobile application that will help educate and motivate community members through a reward-based system to plant and maintain trees.

See the teams journey from problem to prototype here and their final pitch here.

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FINANCIAL EDUCATION

Problem Statement: 1 in 3 adults in Embu are rated highly financially literate. How can we improve this?

Solution: A series of ‘choose-your-own’ adventure stories for teachers to incorporate into their curriculum to teach the basics of financial concepts.

See the teams journey from problem to prototype here and their final pitch here.

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solar energy

Problem Statement: 56% of the Kenyan urban population lives in slums and usually there is no grid electricity (or if there is, it is too expensive for use). Pay-as-you-go solar models have made huge strides towards making off-grid electricity more accessible, however feedback is it can still be too expensive prohibiting use.

Solution: A new business and payment model where one solar panel is shared amongst several households, and together the households split the deposit and daily payments.

See the teams journey from problem to prototype here and their final pitch here.

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waste MANAGEMENT

Problem Statement: The current solution for waste management is to burn your garbage which is illegal, bad for the environment and leads to poor health outcomes. How can we encourage households to make use of waste collection services?

Solution: A system where households are given two different colored plastic bags (one for plastics and one for organic waste) and when the bags are full they can SMS a waste collector to bring their garbage to the waste collection site. At the site the plastics are recycled and the money is distributed between the collectors and the generators to sustain the process.

See the teams journey from problem to prototype here and their final pitch here.