Learning our ABCDs

The ABCD model Dr. Reed brought up was actually something I learned about in my service-learning class in Cape Town.  Here’s one of my favorite quotes around the topic:  Image(Sorry I don’t have the proper citation!  I can dig this up sometime if folks would like to read the full article.)

The approach of identifying existing assets in the community (e.g. skills, social capital/existing networks) instead of identifying just needs (i.e. shortcomings, failures) is much more empowering, and ultimately delivers greater agency to the community.  With this model, it becomes critical that the incoming volunteers and NGO view themselves not as the central agents of change, but rather players in the periphery, empowering their local partners to take up the real action.  This mindset for me has become one of the critical pieces for ensuring the sustainability of a project.

Brief team update:  Round 2 of prototype testing.  We’ve identified two major factors that determine whether our aspirator draws up chlorine. (1) The size of the bypass holes, which controls how much water goes through the aspirator versus around it.  Directing more water through the aspirator => a greater pressure change and thus more chlorine getting sucked into the water supply, which is what we want.  (2) The size of the tube connecting the aspirator to the chlorine supply.  Smaller tube diameter = easier to draw up chlorine.  (Think of a small soda straw versus a boba straw.)  In the next round of testing, we’ll play around with these variables some more and hope to get closer to the proper dosing levels for our chlorinating device!

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