Last updated May 23, 2013

Partner Description:

There is a gap between what research shows is effective in development and what happens in practice on the ground. Evidence Action is a nonprofit organization that scales proven development interventions and crafts resilient business models for long-term success.

Evidence Action only scales solutions whose efficacy is backed by rigorous evidence. To maximize impact, it targets cost-effective interventions that can potentially improve the lives of millions. In the process, Evidence Action identifies innovative and appropriate financing mechanisms and constantly works to improve its operations. To maintain high standards, Evidence Action self-evaluates, learns, and improves its models with a commitment to increasing transparency, impact and value for money.

One of Evidence Action’s flagship programs is Dispensers for Safe Water. This is an entrepreneurial program to make chlorine dispensers available to more people. Chlorine dispensers are a proven innovation that dramatically expands access to clean water for less than 50 cents per person per year at scale.

This solution was developed by testing several ideas to address the problem of diarrheal disease, a leading cause of death for children under five in Kenya. Researchers at Harvard University and the University of California, Berkeley -- in collaboration with Innovations for Poverty Action -- identified chlorine dispensers as the most effective, low-cost intervention.

Chlorination is a well-known means of treating water that is unconsciously appreciated by millions of people in developed countries every day. Chlorine dispensers placed at water access points like wells, springs, and boreholes enable communities to access chlorine when they collect drinking water. These users simply need to turn a valve on the dispenser to release a metered dose of chlorine into their water containers (usually standard yellow jerricans), and then collect water as usual. The chlorine disinfects the water and protects against recontamination.

Rigorous evidence supports chlorine dispensers. Academic studies found that fewer than 1 in 6 households chlorinated their water when they didn't have access to a dispenser, but more than half of households treated their water when there was one available. Building on the great success of this research, the Dispensers for Safe Water program has been incubated at Innovations for Poverty Action and is now being scaled up at Evidence Action.

This year, Evidence Action will provide over 1 million people in Africa with access to safe water with the help of Kiva loans and the sale of carbon credits. Kiva loans will enable Evidence Action to install and maintain 3,000 dispensers in rural villages in Kenya that have high rates of water-borne disease. These dispensers will provide approximately 600,000 people with access to safe water; preventing an estimated 750,000 episodes of diarrhea, and saving more than 700 lives.

As shown in the diagram below, loans made through this partnership are disbursed in-kind to communities. These communities are represented on the Kiva website by local “promoters,” volunteers who are effective ambassadors for the dispensers.

When households use chlorine dispensers, they generate carbon credits because chlorination enables people to drink safe water without having to boil it. The burning of wood during boiling releases harmful greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. This valuable behavior change is monetized through the sale of carbon credits on the voluntary carbon market. Revenue earned from the sale of the credits will be used to maintain dispensers and repay Kiva lenders.

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Repayment Performance on Kiva

    This Field Partner All Kiva Partners
  Start Date On Kiva Sep 9, 2013 Oct 12, 2005
Total Loans $300,000 $586,255,450
Amount of raised Inactive loans $0 $599,025
Number of raised Inactive loans 0 533
Amount of Paying Back Loans $300,000 $119,653,275
Number of Paying Back Loans 226 126,432
Amount of Ended Loans $0 $466,003,150
Number of Ended Loans 0 592,740
Delinquency Rate 0.00% 3.40%
Amount in Arrears $0 $2,667,913
Outstanding Portfolio $300,000 $78,383,347
Number of loanDelinquent 0 10,426
Default Rate 0.00% 1.15%
Amount of Ended Loans Defaulted $0 $5,337,667
Amount of Ended Loans $0 $466,003,150
Number of Ended Loans Defaulted 0 16,806
Currency Exchange Loss Rate 0.00% 0.08%
Amount of Currency Exchange Loss $0 $480,684
Refund Rate 0.00% 0.77%
Amount of Refunded Loans $0 $4,495,225
Number of Refunded Loans 0 5,039

Loan Characteristics On Kiva

    This Field Partner All Kiva Partners
  Loans to Women Borrowers 69.91% 74.17%
Average Loan Size $300 $418
Average Individual Loan Size $0 $656
Average Group Loan Size $1,327 $1,827
Average number of borrowers per group 4.4 8
Average GDP per capita (PPP) in local country $1,800 $3,432
Average Loan Size / GDP per capita (PPP) 16.68% 12.19%
Average Time to Fund a Loan 4.46 days 5.58 days
Average Dollars Raised Per Day Per Loan $67.33 $75.03
  Average Loan Term 69.54 months 10.3 months

Journaling Performance on Kiva

    This Field Partner All Kiva Partners
  Total Journals 0 292,639
  Journaling Rate 0.00% 42.38%
  Average Number of Comments Per Journal 0.00 0.08
  Average Number of Recommendations Per Journal 0.00 1.89

Borrowing Cost Comparison (based on 2009 data)

    This Field Partner Median for MFI's in Country All Kiva Partners
  Average Cost to Borrower 0% APR 36.00% PY 33.64% PY
  Profitability (return on assets) N/A 0.5% -1.40%
  Average Loan Size (% of per capita income) N/A 56.00% 41.35%

Country Fast Facts

Field Partner Staff

Alexandra Cosman
Maria Langat
Joseph Marindi
Dorcas Masatia
Michael McGuirk
Cindy Ragab
Matt Zimmermann