Using Tablet Technology To Create Safe Water Demand
Safe Water Network has created a tablet-based awareness and educational campaign aimed at rural communities lacking safe water access in India. This low cost approach to providing compelling messaging, accelerates household adoption and usage, and it can be broadly replicated.
This is one of the first such approaches taken in India, where convincing off-grid communities to adopt safe water and improve hygiene behaviors is a significant challenge. Safe Water Network’s content incorporates cultural and regional references and is offered in many local dialects. Messaging comes in the form of entertainment, music and peer endorsements for the use of safe water. The content also addresses the important benefits of adopting safe water and how to prevent water-related disease through improved hygiene practices.
The tablet benefits from a certain cache amongst the villagers. This enhances Safe Water Network’s ability to connect with rural communities and it elevates the status of safe water usage.
The content for the tablet program was developed by Dialogue Factory and sponsored by the Merck Foundation. Dialogue Factory specializes in experiential marketing throughout India. They are a division of the global advertising company, WPP. Their work with us includes devising strategies on how to engage communities interested in a locally owned and managed water system solution and in the development of the iJal brand, a name we created with the first water stations opened here in India in 2008.
“We are proud to partner with Safe Water Network in their rural mission,” says Dalveer Singh, CEO of Dialogue Factory. “We believe that the ‘Tablet’ is one of the most innovative and powerful tools to educate, entice and engage rural audiences. Through this medium we have woven dialect, region & culture specific stories with messages to bring about effective behavior change.”
The next phase of development includes upgraded infotainment modules including games, and a suite of interactive assessment tools as well as tracking capabilities. This will be used to mobilize community leaders and to undertake field assessments to determine which villages are best suited for a locally owned and managed safe water solution.