KUMASI, Ghana 🇬🇭

Uncover bottlenecks to turn hundreds of customers into thousands.

I joined CleanTeam as they broke ground on their new waste processing site in Dompoase, to help them scale the business from several hundred to thousands of customers.

We mapped out and timed their systems and processes from beginning to end, looked for bottlenecks and prioritised areas to address. Prototypes and experiments allowed the team to shortlist approaches and technologies to deal with each challenge.

CleanTeam Ghana currently provide sanitation to 5000+ households across Kumasi.

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KISUMU, Kenya 🇰🇪

Kisumu is one of Kenya’s oldest settlements, a port city with stunning sunset views over the world’s second largest lake.

Kisumu is one of Kenya’s oldest settlements, a port city with stunning sunset views over the world’s second largest lake.

It’s home to 600,000 people, who are mostly trilingual, yet 60% of them lack access to proper sanitation.

I spent over 4 months there during a year long engagement. We joined the local business lead to carry out human centered design research & pilot concepts for a social enterprise.

As we discovered, small insights go a long way…“A foreign charity came here and spent millions building these beautiful new toilets.

Each came with a container to be emptied into compost. “They didn’t think that in our culture, nobody will touch it if they have tenants from outside their family. If only they’d provided an emptying service, we’d be happy to pay for it.”— Kisumu Landlord

Follow the process.

OBSERVE

We spoke to potential customers, elders, entrepreneurs and waste management experts to understand the sanitation landscape, mapping out user journeys, plots of land and even the city’s topography.

IDEATE

Local participants were engaged in workshops, collaborative exercises and co-creation of ideas to address each aspect of the value chain.

PROTOTYPE

Multiple product and service prototypes were created in collaboration with users.  These included existing products and low-fidelity concepts which could be easily adapted according to user feedback and needs.

TEST

An extensive test lasting months was carried out with selected customers. Participants took a diary of their experiences and documented challenges, as well asthe impact the services had on their lives. Experiences were planned out to mimic real life customer experiences.

CHITTAGONG, Bangladesh 🇧🇩

In a country where 80% of the land is regularly flooded, these cities are suffering the worst from the climate crisis.

river in bangladesh flood plains
colourfully lit sweeper colony in Chittagong

A ‘sweeper colony’ in Chittagong. The locals are told not to go there, and our female team members didn’t join us. The moment Shankar and I stepped inside the compound at night, there was a power cut and all the lights went off. When they came back on, we were surrounded by a group of 20+ men.

It turned out to be one of the friendliest and most vibrant places we visited.

Bangladesh’s second-largest city is a major port that houses over 4 million people.

I served as the prototyping lead within a team of 7, on an intense 5 week immersion to develop prototype businesses.

We met many communities with Nirjor, the local project lead, who piloted a business over the next two years.

concrete ring toilet bangladesh

We spent our nights meeting ‘sweepers’. They use buckets and sticks to empty concrete pit latrines at 4am, with kerosene, cigarettes and alcohol as their only companions.

Replace consultants and build in-house capacity.

Kate and I were brought in as internal human centered design consultants to help WSUP keep information, talent and budget in-house.

We spent our last three months creating a structure to make this team permanent for the first time.

Download the public reports below:

Kate in front of a blue wall

Human Centered Designer & Prototyping Specialist

WSUP, 2014-2015