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Technical Handbook on the Replication of Renewable Energy and Rural Development projects Based on the EURO-SOLAR experience

This Programme  was  funded     by  the  European  Union



List of Acronyms and Abbreviations

P. 03


P. 05

Background - The EURO-SOLAR Programme as Reference

P. 06

Objectives and Description

P. 07

Players and Organisation

P. 08


P. 09


P. 11


P. 12


P. 12

Participating Players

P. 13

Project Beneficiaries

P. 14

Tables of Expected Results and Activities

P. 15

RESULT 1. Institutional activation

P. 18

RESULT 2. Selection of beneficiary rural communities

P. 21

RESULT 3. Equipment design, installation and start-up

P. 26

RESULT 4. Awareness-raising, training of communities, and strengthening of productive activities

P. 44

RESULT 5. Visibility, replication and exchange of best practices

P. 50


P. 55

APPENDIX: Conceptual System-Calculation Guide

P. 59

This publication  was  made  possible  through   the  support  of  the  European  Union



The contents  of  this  summary  are  intended   solely   for   information   purposes;;   they   are   QRWPHDQWWRUHSUHVHQWWKHRI¿FLDOSRVLWLRQ of  the  institutions  of  the  European  Union.



Acronym or Abbreviation Description AOP

Annual Operational Plan


Coordination Unit: the organisation in charge of implementing the Project, consisting of personnel from the Project’s executive Ministry, Non-Governmental Organisations or other private agencies (depending on who is the Project Promoter) and supported by Technical Support personnel.


Curriculum Vitae


European Union


Final Acceptance


Financial Convention: convention established between the European Commission (project’s promoter) and the 8 beneficiary countries that settles the guidelines and conditions to implement the project.


Global Operational Plan


Information and Communication Technology


Local Community Organisation: a group of people belonging to a beneficiary rural community that will take over the administration and management of the kit.


Monitoring Committee


Non-Governmental Organisation


Operation and Maintenance


Organisation of Ibero-American States for Education, Science and Culture


On-Site Verification


Provisional Acceptance


Rural Community: Isolated community without access to the power-supply grid; project beneficiary.


Renewable Energies


Specialised Technological Support: the institution that provides the Project with technical assistance in the areas of renewable energies and technology. For the EURO-SOLAR Programme, this role was played by Spain’s ITER the Technological and Renewable Energy Institute from Spain).


Terms of Reference


Technical Support: group of experts supporting the Coordination Unit in implementing the project. The Technical Support provides services in each country, to both the Coordination Units, and the Regional Technical Support. The European Commission specifically hired Technical Support experts for EURO-SOLAR through Gas Natural Fenosa Engineering.


Technical Operation Certificate

Because of their own specificity, the present Replication Handbook and EURO-SOLAR Programme use different technical terms. The Handbook terms “Coordination Unit” and “Technical Support” are respectively called “National Coordination Cell” and “Technical Assistance” in the EURO-SOLAR website and Summary.









1) Background: The EURO-SOLAR Programme as reference Background: The EURO-SOLAR Programme as reference

There are currently some 1,4 billion people (approximately one quarter of the world’s population) without access to any source of electricity. Eighty per cent of those live in isolated rural areas. Electricity plays a key role in human and economic development, so it is essential that access to the power grid be extended to those communities currently without it. Today, most of the energy consumed worldwide is fossil fuel based, generating 80% of global CO2 emissions. It is therefore crucial that rural communities without electricity get access to sources of renewable energy so as to foster their human and economic development through models of sustainable production and consumption, thus preventing an increase in global warming. This Replication Handbook is based on the EURO-SOLAR Programme, a pioneer project of the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Development and Cooperation -EuropeAid-in Latin America. EURO-SOLAR is seen as one of the most ambitious initiatives to encourage the use of renewable energies as a development engine in Latin American rural communities without access to electricity. It is a major showcase project that managed to provide a permanent system of renewable energy to 600 rural communities (over 300,000 people) in Latin America’s eight most underprivileged countries, as well as improving the provision of basic services in education, health and ICT, among others. From its very conception, EURO-SOLAR was designed as an integral Programme,


based on the technology to encourage environmental sustainability and on an important social dimension which was developed in cooperation with the beneficiary communities, through intense efforts in awareness-raising campaigns, organisation and training. As a result, this handbook is based on the structure and development of the EURO-SOLAR programme, improving and integrating the lessons learned in the course of its 5 year long implementation. The EURO-SOLAR Programme was based on a multiannual action plan (20092012), with a regional perspective -over the eight most underprivileged countries of Latin America- and a multi-sectoral perspective -including areas such as energy, health, education and information technologies. Notwithstanding its unquestionable success, EURO-SOLAR is considered a programme that was quite complex in terms of organisation. This is due, firstly, to its regional nature, since it was developed in 600 rural communities located in eight different countries; secondly, because, given its crosscutting features, it involved a large number of institutions and actors working within different priority areas -energy, education, information technologies, health. One of the goals of this handbook is to simplify the methodology of EURO-SOLAR in terms of both organisation and scope, focusing on a local or national approach.

The project can also be implemented in separate thematic modules -energy, education, information technologies, health- facilitating its replication. Readers interested in further information on the programme can also consult the website w w w. p r o g r a m a e u r o - s o l a r . e u that summarizes the main activities and results of the EURO-SOLAR Programme.


2) Objectives and Description Objectives and Description

The general objective of this Handbook is to facilitate the replication of future projects focused on the promotion of renewable energies and rural development, based on the EURO-SOLAR experience, and with the ultimate goal of contributing to the improvement of living conditions in the most underprivileged local communities, assisting them in their fight against poverty, isolation and marginalisation. The specific objective of the Handbook is to simplify and adjust the structure of the model project (EURO-SOLAR), so that it can be easily replicated both locally and nationally, whether in its entirety or on a modular basis (energy, education and information technologies, and health), without the need to raise the issue of its large-scale replication (at regional or cross-cutting level).

accordance with the Project Module which is to be implemented (energy, education and information technologies, or health). While the project may be implemented in modular fashion, the focus of the project must be understood as an integral whole, since it is not limited merely to the installation and start-up of the equipment; instead, it also includes strengthening the organisation of the RC’s, training RC members in the kits’ administration and maintenance, and providing support for the development of basic services in the areas of health, education, information technology, and the development of productive activities.

The project described in this Handbook concerns the installation of energygeneration kits (power systems) based entirely on renewable resources. In their complete version (designed to provide services in the areas of health, education and information technologies and to promote productive activities within the community), the kits include – besides the energy-generation source (solar and/ or wind) – a set of peripheral equipment such as computers, Internet-connection systems, multifunction equipment (printer/ fax/scanner),telephone, projector, water purifier, refrigerator for medical use, lighting and battery charger. If the intention is to replicate the project only partially, these may be reduced in



3) Players And Organisation Players And Organisation

EURO-SOLAR was a regional programme in which, from its very beginning, the European Union and the eight selected Latin American countries have participated actively. Therefore, it was essential to establish a fluent communication to facilitate an efficient development of all project activities. The EURO-SOLAR’s organisational structure and it’s relevant players were as follows: EUROPEAN COMMISSION – EUROPEAID IN BRUSSELS The European Commission was responsible for coordinating the EURO-SOLAR Programme, contributing most of the financing, contracting the supply of equipment, and providing technical assistance. EUROPEAN UNION DELEGATIONS (EUD) European Union Delegations represent the European Commission in the Programme’s eight beneficiary countries. They supervised the Programme in each country, in collaboration with the National Coordination Cells of the executive ministries and the Technical Assistance. NATIONAL COORDINATION CELL (NCC) The National Coordination Cell managed the Programme in each country, coordinating and supervising the activities at national level and contributing the funds and resources committed to it. Each country’s NCC consisted of personnel from the Programme’s executive ministry and from the Technical Assistance including technical and social specialists.


LOCAL COMMUNITY ORGANISATION (LCO) The members of the rural community, the beneficiaries and end users, created a Local Community Organisation that manages the kit, ensuring its community use and maintenance. This process was developed with the support of the NCC’s and the Technical Assistance. TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE (TA) TA acted at the regional and local level to coordinate, supervise, manage and support all Programme activities. Their team consisted of experts in the energy sector, employees of the private company subcontracted by the Programme (in this case, Gas Natural Fenosa Engineering), selected through an international tender for services. TA worked with all the players and was part of the NCC. THE TECHNOLOGICAL INSTITUTE FOR RENEWABLE ENERGIES (ITER) The ITER supplied the Programme’s technological expertise in the area of renewable energies. It was also responsible for providing consulting services, design and technical expertise to EURO-SOLAR.

SUPPLIERS Supply companies were responsible for the provision, installation and connection of the power-generation, communications and health care systems. They also trained the users in the use and management of the equipment. RURAL COMMUNITIES (RC’S) These are the beneficiaries.



Because of their own specificity, the present Replication Handbook and EURO-SOLAR Programme use different technical terms. The Handbook terms “Coordination Unit” and “Technical Support” are respectively called “National Coordination Cell” and “Technical Assistance” in the EURO-SOLAR Programme.


4) Sustainability Sustainability

Sustainability may be defined as the extent to which the positive effects derived from the intervention last, once external assistance has been withdrawn. As for this Project’s sustainability strategy, it must focus on how well the effects of this Project last throughout the kit’s useful life. This requires the preparation of a strategic sustainability plan adapted to the reality of the beneficiary communities and considering the following main axes: •

Institutional Sustainability, seeking the real commitment of all authorities involved. Locally, the community is expected to take on a structure that will allow it to assume the obligations and rights related to the kit’s use, care and maintenance throughout its useful life.

These four axes should be treated as high priorities when developing all project activities.

Technical Sustainability, to ensure that the transferred technology can be easily adopted by the beneficiaries, both culturally and economically. This will result in the equipment being used properly throughout its useful life. Social Sustainability, encouraging the beneficiaries to assume ownership of the kit and to be willing to maintain it themselves, during its entire useful life. It is necessary to make sure the entire community can use the kit, and that women play a leading role in its management. Economic Sustainability, focused on obtaining the resources needed to pay for operating expenses, maintenance, and the kit’s upkeep (spare parts, consumables, hardware to be substituted, etc.) throughout its useful life. To this end, use of the kit (outside of community schedules) will be promoted for activities that can generate some economic benefit and, therefore, foster its sustainability.






The Terms of Reference of the Project



1) Introduction

2) Objectives

The following are the Terms of Reference (ToR) for the replication of the EURO-SOLAR Programme. The structure considered is similar to the original Terms of Reference, although improvements resulting from experience throughout the Project’s development have been introduced along with suitable modifications to replicate it at a smaller scale (locally or nationally).

The Project’s general objective is to promote renewable energies in the more underprivileged countries to help improve the living conditions of rural communities, supporting them in their fight against poverty, isolation and the marginalisation resulting from their socioeconomic conditions.



The Project’s specific objective is to provide beneficiary rural communities without access to the power grid, with a source of renewable electricity primarily for community use. This electric power will act as the engine for the community’s sustainable development and will – depending on the extent of the project’s implementation – foster the development of education, health and the growth of productive activities. To this end, a standard kit will be installed in the selected beneficiary rural community (or communities). The kit consists of photovoltaic solar panels and, in some cases, a back-up wind turbine, which provides basic electric energy for community use. To increase the system’s efficiency, it includes reserve batteries and a control panel to manage the use of available energy at all times.

In addition to the energy-generation system, the kit installed in each beneficiary rural community also includes the following auxiliary equipment * (optional, depending on the module to be replicated)1: • 5 portable computers, • 1 multifunction peripheral (printer/ scanner), • 1 projector, • Internet-connection equipment and service, • Water purifier, • Refrigerator for medical use, • Battery charger. Should there be any modification of the equipment to be connected, the solar panels and/or wind turbines will need to be resized appropriately to reflect the new characteristics.

1 All of the aforementioned auxiliary elements correspond to the installation of a complete kit as per the EURO-SOLAR model, which included 3 components: Educational and Information Technologies, Health Promotion, Social and Productive Activities. It also bears stressing that all equipment is intended primarily for community use.



3) Participating Players Participating Players

While each concrete case will require a redefinition of the participants in the light of the specific needs and size of the project (whether local, national or regional), the following table shows those players considered in this Handbook and mentioned throughout all the ToR who have been considered in the document. However, each specific case may entail modifications, making it necessary to adapt this table accordingly.



The work by social experts in the communities seeks to ensure the existence of a legally constituted Local Community Organisation (LCO), trained to administer the resources generated from using the kit. Also, each community’s LCO (with the participation of all the beneficiaries) must assume responsibility for the care and proper use of the equipment, through the creation of kituse rules which will regulate:

CUs are tasked with coordinating and supervising activities and contributing the funds and means allocated for their execution. They may consist of personnel from the project’s executive Ministry, NGO’s or other private agencies (depending on the Project Promoter) and supported by Technical Support personnel. Their main functions are: • •

Project Implementation, with the help of Technical Support. Coordination and interaction with possible Ministries and Institutions involved in the project’s development (if the health, educational and information technologies components are to be implemented). Organisation, monitoring and overall supervision of the project as regards the rural communities, STS and its suppliers. Guaranteeing the kit’s installation in the rural communities.

The Monitoring Committee is an ad hoc commission created for the supervision and coordination of the project and presided over by the CU. The MC consists of all the institutions responsible for the sectors involved (Ministries responsible for Energy, Education, Health and/or Information technologies). LOCAL COMMUNITY ORGANISATION (LCO)

The norms for the transfer of responsibilities between community members, to reduce the loss of knowledge due to rural exodus. The administration of the community resources generated from using the kit for purposes other than education or health. The use of the kit for the entire community, establishing usage priorities, when the battery charge is not full.

SPECIALISED TECHNOLOGICAL SUPPORT (STS) The Specialised Technological Support is the technological reference point in the area of the project’s renewable energies. This role should be assumed by an institution with extensive experience in the field of Renewable Energies. Its functions are: •

To assist the CU in the technological development of energy-generation systems based on renewable resources, even in creating the kit’s technical specifications.

To participate in the monitoring of equipment certification, monitoring of proper use, and control of systems’ operations.

To provide technological expertise throughout the project.

Distribution visibility.





4) Project




Technical Support provides general support for all project activities, particularly to the CU. It becomes especially important if the goal is to replicate the project in different rural areas. Its main functions are:

This is the company responsible for supplying the Internet-connection equipment and installing it on site.

Regional supervision and coordination of the project (in the search for regional consistency and the exchange of best practices and lessons learned). Development of the management abilities of the public agencies in charge of implementing the Project (institutional fortification). Training, leading and coaching rural communities in the maintenance and use of the equipment and in the development of applications for its future ownership. Coordinating, supervising and following up on the facilities in the field. Distribution of best practices, organisation of regional meetings and general visibility of the Project.

KIT SUPPLIER This is the company responsible for supplying the equipment (except where related to the Internet connection), installing it on site, training members of the community in how to operate and manage the kit, and providing a two-year guarantee and after-sales service. SUPPLIER OF INTERNET-


INTERNET ACCESS PROVIDER This is the private company or entity (public institution) that provides Internet service to the beneficiary rural communities. Internet service may be provided by the CU hiring a communications company, or through an agreement with some institution that provides the service (e.g. some of the participating Ministries). RURAL COMMUNITIES (RC’S) They are the beneficiaries.



Three types of project beneficiaries’ can be defined: •

Direct beneficiaries: these are the isolated rural communities selected for the execution of the project. Indirect beneficiaries: other entities within the country who participate in the project, either by comprising the Monitoring Committee (MC) or the Local Community Organisation (LCO), or by generating synergies. Indirect end beneficiaries: these are the isolated rural populations of the Project’s beneficiary countries who, despite not having kits installed in their own communities, will still be able to go to neighbouring communities to use their services.


5) Expected results and activities Expected results and activities

The following table shows the results, activities and outputs required to achieve the Project’s objectives, described in terms as inclusive as possible (including the execution of the education and information technologies, health, and social and productive components) and for different rural areas. It bears remembering that, in the event of partial or local replication, certain points need not be carried out. 1. INSTITUTIONAL ACTIVATION 1.1. Creation of Coordination Unit (CU)

1.1.1. Internal Organisational Handbook for the approved project, including organisational chart, functions and responsibilities of the CU work team

1.2. Set up of the Monitoring Committee (MC)

1.2.1. Information campaign focused on institutions involved, listing of institutions involved, and meeting schedule 1.2.2. Signed MC regulating agreement

1.3. Planning, budgetary endowment and monitoring

1.3.1. Approved GOP 1.3.2. Approved AOP’s (each year) 1.3.3. Quarterly follow-up reports 1.3.4. Budget approved by the corresponding institutions (each year)


2.1.1. Map of pre-selected areas and justifying report

2.2. Information and awareness-raising campaign regarding the project

2.2.1. Awareness-raising and communication campaign and distribution material 2.2.2. Registration Form 2.2.3. Procedure for receipt of applications agreed to with agencies involved

2.3. Receipt of applications and preparation of preliminary list of RC’s

2.3.1. Preliminary list of possible Beneficiary RC’s with their corresponding database

2.4. On-Site Verification of RC’s

2.4.1. RC Database

2.3.2. Map showing location of RC’s on preliminary list 2.4.2. Archive holding the dossiers of each RC

2.5. Selection and preparation of short list of beneficiary RC’s

2.5.1. Community selection criteria and application methodology 2.5.2. Approved short list of possible Beneficiary RC’s with dossier of corresponding data 2.5.3. Map showing location of short-listed RC’s



3. EQUIPMENT DESIGN, INSTALLATION AND START-UP 3.1. Design of the kit and peripheral equipment

3.1.1. Initial kit design (including alternatives) 3.1.2. Final kit design and dossier with MC’s observations

3.2. Design of the Internet connection

3.2.1. Study of Internet connection alternatives in beneficiary areas

3.3. Call for tenders on supplies, selection of suppliers, contracting of equipment supplier

3.3.1. Technical purchasing specifications 3.3.2. Bidding and contracting timetable 3.3.3. Private or institutional agreement guaranteeing Internet connection (where the service is provided by an institution) 3.3.4. Signed contract with suppliers

3.4. On-Site Verification of location of kits

3.4.1. Project for inspection visits agreed to between CU and supplier 3.4.2. Report on visits performed, including document signed by CU, supplier and RC 3.4.3. RC Records (Output 2.5.2.), reviewed and updated

3.5. Adaptation of buildings meant to house the peripheral equipment

3.5.1. Report on each RC, indicating the identified adaptation/construction requirements, as well as the entity responsible for the activity, with budget and timetable 3.5.2. Report on follow-up visits to each RC on supervision of renovation works, including evidence (photograph…) 3.5.3. Certificate of completion of the renovation of buildings intended to house the peripheral equipment

3.6 Purchase, transportation, installation and start-up of the kit and the Internet-connection equipment

3.6.1. Report on results of pilot kit installation: incidents and modifications 3.6.2. Minutes of work start-up meeting, signed by CU, TS, donor and supplier 3.6.3. Minutes of periodic follow-up meetings on the activity, signed by CU, TS, donor and supplier

3.7. Provisional (PA) and Final (FA) Acceptance

3.7.1. Web Application or other online monitoring tool on PA process 3.7.2. PA protocol 3.7.3. Documents derived from PA: i) Installation Activation form; ii) OSV Procedure; iii) OSV Report form; iv) TOC Report form; v) PA Certificate form 3.7.4. Provisional Acceptance Certificate 3.7.5. Final Acceptance Certificateal

3.8. System operation and maintenance

3.8.1. Maintenance visit plan, under supplier’s responsibility 3.8.2. Supplier’s event-resolution procedure 3.8.3. CU’s control procedure of after-sales services 3.8.4. Diario de registro de incidencias

3.9. Remote monitoring of systems

3.9.1. Informes periódicos de seguimiento en remoto de cada CR

3.10. Transfer of Equipment Ownership

3.10.1. Records of transfer of equipment ownership




4.1.1. Schedule of awareness-raising visits 4.1.2. Report on results of visits 4.1.3. Awareness-raising material

4.2. Creation of LCO’s

4.2.1. Report on local legislative framework for the transfer of ownership and analysis of alternatives 4.2.2. Record of formation of LCO’s, including operating rules 4.2.3. Listing of LCO officials, including positions

4.3. Training in equipment operation and maintenance

4.3.1. O&M training plan 4.3.2. Teaching material: handbook, posters, videos and/or DVD’s, etc. 4.3.3. Master list of community managers 4.3.4. Results of assessment of community managers’ knowledge

4.4. Training in use of peripheral equipment

4.4.1. Training plan in use of peripheral equipment 4.4.2. Teaching material 4.4.3. Evidence of training provided (sign-in sheets, etc.)

4.5. Development of productive activities

4.5.1. Training plan in productive uses 4.5.2. Teaching material 4.5.3. Evidence of training provided (sign-in sheets, etc.)

5. VISIBILITY AND EXCHANGE OF BEST PRACTICES 5.1. Annual regional meetings

5.1.1. Workshop project 5.1.2. Minutes of workshops

5.2. Project visibility and promotion

5.2.1. Visibility plan 5.2.2. Image handbook 5.2.3. Functional, updated webpage 5.2.4. Communications and visibility material: press releases, pamphlets, video, posters, etc 5.2.5. Promotional material: videotapes, T-shirts, caps, etc 5.2.6. Quarterly follow-up reports on communications activities

5.3. Internal communications

5.3.1. Functional Intranet with periodic updates

5.4. Search for synergies

5.4.1. Listing of synergies and action plan for each one




Result 1. Institutional Activation

5.1.1. ACTIVITY 1.1. SET UP OF THE COORDINATION UNIT (CU) The Coordination Unit (CU) is the project’s management unit. This organisation consists of the Project Promoter (whether Ministries, NGO’s or public or private entities) and is supported by Technical Support personnel. It is directed by a Project Leader, designated by the Promoter. Given the project’s success, it is vital to carefully select the work team, particularly where the Project Leader is concerned. The following criteria are of particular importance: •

Team members should have experience in the implementation of operational projects. Institutions which focus on planning or regulation are not advisable, as they lack both the experience and the appropriate means to carry out projects of this kind. The institution should have a local presence. The Project is intended for remote and isolated communities, which makes access and contact continuity with the local beneficiaries difficult. This fundamental task is made easier if

The ideal structure for the CU


the institution has an established network in the field and close to the communities It is deemed advisable that the institution that leads the project should have experience in multisector projects and in coordination with other ministries or institutions.

The CU leader is one of the most important people for the proper implementation of the project. On this basis, an appropriate selection is recommended. Some of the key success factors are: •

• • •

• •

Training in one of the fields involved (energy, education, health or ICT, among others). Work experience in managing projects of a similar size. High work capacity. High level of relations and access to institutions at decision-making levels. Wholehearted dedication to the Project. Ability to organise multidisciplinary work teams, plan projects and negotiate budgets. Knowledge of the administrative procedures of institutions.

• Communication skills. Given the complexity of this type of project, it is recommended that the Project Leader be recruited for its entire cycle, thus avoiding changes in this position, insofar as is possible. Should it be necessary to substitute any member of the team, an overlap period is recommended to allow for the transfer of information, documentation, etc. As regards the organisation, it is important for the Project to have, from the very onset, an Internal Organisational Handbook that defines the actors participating to the Programme and their responsibilities, as well as communication procedures between them to guarantee the Project’s coordination. This is a living tool which must be agreed to by, and communicated to, all the participants. The concrete objectives of the Handbook consist of defining: • The communication channels, official information flows and coordination mechanisms between the various players, the purpose being to ensure that the information reaches all interested parties. • The organisational structure of the different players. • The internal organisation of the CU.


The channels and procedures to be used for the exchange of best practices. The following is a suggestion for a minimum table of contents of the handbook: • Organisation of the actors of the programme • Communication procedures and exchange of best practices: • Correspondence • Documentation • Meetings and minutes • Administrative procedures • Organisational charts of each player’s operation • List of contacts

Outputs of Activity 1.1: Output 1.1.1.: Internal Organisational Handbook for the approved project, including organisational chart, functions and responsibilities of the CU work team.

5.1.2. ACTIVITY 1.2. SET UP OF THE MONITORING COMMITTEE (MC) Since the Project can be carried out in a cross cutting manner, involving players from various sectors such as energy, education, health, information technologies, etc., a structure must be set up to include all of them. This structure, called the Monitoring Committee (MC), will be created in the initial phase – prior to any other operational activity – and coordinated and led by the CU. The MC’s composition and operation must be regulated through an official agreement, subscribed to by all the participating institutions (Project Promoters, Ministries involved, collaborating NGO’s, and others). The agreement will list the services, responsibilities, human and financial resources, etc., corresponding to each institution or player involved.

To facilitate identifying and contacting potentially involved entities, the CU should prepare a record of contact points in each institution, to allow the Project Leader to initiate a series of contacts. Once they have been identified, an initial presentation and information campaign regarding the Project will be carried out. Once the participating entities have been defined and contacted, an interinstitutional agreement should be prepared, which should include, at least, the following information: •

Player or institution responsible for coordination (CU);

Participating institutions contact point of each one;

Services and responsibilities of each player;

Committed human and financial resources, identifying which Project line item is to be assumed by each player. It is important that the entity which is to assume responsibility for the most significant items be clearly identified: renovations, equipment purchases and installation, Internet connection, contact with communities, visibility, training, etc;

Commitments for the Project’s sustainability once the operational phase has been completed and throughout the kit’s useful life;

Basic operating rules for the Monitoring Committee: frequency of meetings (at least once per quarter), division of functions, etc.

When identifying and selecting the participating players’ selection in the Monitoring Committee (MC), the following should be kept in mind: •

The fields that the project encompasses, so that authorised representatives of all those fields may participate in a coordinated fashion. The participation of other institutions or players, such as: companies that might collaborate with the Project; NGO’s, universities, etc. The participation of other ministries which are essential for the budgetary implementation, such as the Ministries of Planning, of Finances, etc.




Once agreed to, the agreement will be signed by all players involved, thus making their commitment to the project official. It is important that this agreement be signed prior to the start of the operational phase. The donor’s hiring of teams should be conditioned to the signing of the agreements.

Outputs of Activity 1.2: Output 1.2.1: Information campaign intended for institutions involved, listing of institutions involved and meeting schedule. Output 1.2.2: Signed MC regulating agreement.

5.1.3. ACTIVITY 1.3. PLANNING, BUDGETARY ENDOWMENT AND MONITORING The first task of the CU, with TS’s assistance, will be to carry out the Project’s Global Operational Plan (GOP). This will be the equivalent of the Annual Operational Plan (AOP) should the term be under one year. Should the decision be made to opt for executing the project over a multi-annual term, the GOP will differ from the respective Annual Operational Plans (AOP’s). Both the GOP and the AOP’s should include, at least: • Activities • Methodology • Timetable • Human and material means • Budget


• •

Origin of resources Definition of ownership model and use of kits

To ensure adequate planning, the work timetable should include elections, periods of adverse weather conditions, holidays, etc. It is important that all these factors be considered during the planning phase to anticipate possible delays. Since the GOP and AOP’s will commit human, technical and financial resources from various institutions, they will be ratified by the Monitoring Committee for approval. Concurrently, the MC will take the steps required to secure the project’s operating budget. It is important that the project work and the GOP and AOP’s are in line with the country’s financial calendar. For example, if the executive ministry is required to present the budgets for the following fiscal year in October, the AOP must be prepared prior to this, to factor in the budget for the project in the executive ministry. In some cases, prior to obtaining financial resources, it is essential that a project be registered with the country’s financial information system. It is important that the Project Leader be aware and learn what procedures must be followed initially, to avoid delays in the financial endowment and, therefore, in operational activities.

During the entire project, the CU will follow up on the progress of activities. To gather this information, the CU, with TS’s assistance, can produce quarterly progress reports, which will present information on: • The progress of the project’s activities • Adjustments to the planning • Budgetary implementation • The main critical points detected and proposed resolution strategy

Outputs of Activity 1.3: Output 1.3.1.: Approved GOP. Output 1.3.2.: AOP’s approved each year, in the case of multi-annual projects. Output 1.3.3.: Quarterly follow-up reports Output 1.3.4.: Budget approved each year by the corresponding institutions, in the case of multi-annual projects.



Result 2. Selection of Beneficiary Rural Communities

The following explains the procedure for selecting the beneficiary communities following the model proposed in the EURO-SOLAR Programme, which requires this section on selection as it is a project involving some 600 communities. Should the project be replicated in a single community or in previously determined communities, point 5.2 would not be necessary.


ACTIVITY 2.1. PRE-SELECTION OF REGIONS Prior to the Rural Communities (RC’s) identification phase, certain preselection rules will be defined for potential project-hosting areas. The following criteria, among others, should be kept in mind: •

The existence of sufficient solar and possibly wind resources. This aspect must be based on available wind and solar radiation maps. Long-term unfeasibility of access to the electric power grid. Suitable areas are deemed to be those areas within the country that are not currently, nor will be within five years, included in state, regional or local electrification plans. It is best to avoid areas of extreme poverty, as the communities must be able to assume the costs derived from the systems’ operation and maintenance. Suitable areas are deemed to be those areas where the beneficiaries have some periodic revenue derived from activities such as: agriculture, fishing, handicrafts, etc.

The area’s level of security. Absence of guerrillas, armed conflicts, lootings, etc. Other specific conditions which must be considered for each country individually, such as possible synergies with other projects currently underway, whether sponsored by the same or by other donors, etc. Coverage of the various Internet connection technologies. Given the difference in costs for Internet connection, depending on the selected technology, those areas where the only option is satellite connection to the Internet should be avoided, as it is very costly compared to other alternatives. When considering this factor, the collaboration of the entity responsible for communications in the country will be necessary, as will information from the various Internet operators.

Once the selection criteria have been defined, a territorial analysis must be carried out, to define each country’s areas for implementation of the project (where it is to be applied to several countries). The results of this task will be translated to a map, and a report justifying the actual selection must be prepared. The MC will participate in this activity to gather information from all the institutions for analysis, and to ensure that the recommendations of the various institutions and players be considered from the very onset (for example, the Ministry of Health might recommend a specific area because it lies within its priorities for the improvement of health conditions).

Outputs of Activity 2.1: Output 2.1.1.: Map of pre-selected areas and supporting report.

5.2.2. ACTIVITY 2.2. INFORMATION AND AWARENESSRAISING CAMPAIGN REGARDING THE PROJECT To foment the community’s empowerment and ownership from the very start, it is necessary that the communities themselves should ask to be Project beneficiaries. To this end, an information campaign may be carried out in the selected areas, during which the applications of those communities that want to participate may be gathered. It is recommended that these campaigns highlight: •

What social benefits the project will entail for the populations in terms of education, health, information technologies and access to information, as well as the possibility of improving the community’s productive activities. The requirements the communities must meet and the commitments they must make. Details of the selection process: application, sending and receiving declarations of interest, presentation deadline, and date and means through which the results of the selection process are to be communicated.

The initial awareness-raising campaign is intended both for potential beneficiary communities and for the municipalities,



entities and organisations with a local presence. The idea behind it is to inform and involve these institutions in the project from the very start, and to involve them in the community selection process (assistance in publicising the project, receipt of applications, etc.) and the subsequent monitoring of activities. The MC should participate in this activity by providing the necessary support to ensure the collaboration of local units of the institutions (institutions involved in the areas of education, health or information technologies, among others). •

Ensure transparent, uniform and impartial information, disregarding the political affiliation or ethnic origin of the community, municipality or local organisation contacted.

Employment of local languages.

Definition and form of messages to be transmitted (as simple and visual as possible).

Distribution channels (preferably local media, such as the radio, information posters in the municipalities or communities, etc.)

It is recommended that a Registration Form be made available to the communities; this must be completed to file an application to the project. The information which must be included in the form should include, at least: •

Name of the community,

Access to the power grid and project (without access, with projected access, whether there is any project),




UTM coordinates,

Number of inhabitants,

Existence of a health care centre,

Existence of a school,

Number of students, broken down by grade.

The participation of social experts to help the communities fill in the forms is recommended. Outputs of Activity 2.2: Output 2.2.1.: Awareness-raising and communication campaign and distribution material.

complete the information or detect any incoherence. Next, the preliminary list of communities will be drawn up, which will include all the communities which have asked to be beneficiaries and have filed the information correctly and on time. The preliminary list will be entered in a database, with the information provided by the RC’s themselves in the registration forms. This information must be checked against and/or completed with the more recently updated information available, indicating in each case the source and the year of the update.

Output 2.2.2.: Registration Form.

Outputs of Activity 2.3.:

Output 2.2.3.: Procedure for receipt of applications agreed to with agencies involved.

Output 2.3.1.: Preliminary list of possible RC beneficiaries with their corresponding database. Output 2.3.2.: Map showing location of RC’s on preliminary list.

5.2.3. ACTIVITY 2.3. RECEIPT OF APPLICATIONS AND PREPARATION OF PRELIMINARY LIST OF RC’S In response to the awareness-raising campaign described in Activity 2.2. (Section 4.2.2.), and following the methodology designed with and agreed to by the involved agencies, those RC’s interested in participating in the project will file a registration form. The CU, with TS’s assistance, will assume the responsibility of gathering all registration forms filed by RC’s and preparing the preliminary list of possible beneficiary RC’s. A preliminary analysis of the information received will be performed, to

5.2.4. ACTIVITY 2.4. ON-SITE VERIFICATION OF RC’S Once the preliminary list of the project’s potential beneficiary RC’s, has been established, an on-site verification of each RC should be performed. It is recommended that this verification be carried out through a campaign of visits carried out by the CU, with TS’s assistance, to the RC’s on the preliminary list, to perform the following actions: •

Verification of the accuracy of the data provided by the RC’s in the registration forms, correcting these if needs be.


Verification of Internet connection alternatives.

Verification of the existence of flood risks, obstacles that would cast shadows on the solar panels or hinder the Internet signal, etc.

Geo-referencing (UTM coordinates) of each community through GPS or any other universal navigation system.

On-site evaluation of the community residents’ actual interest in the project.

Gathering of detailed information on the community’s management and financial abilities.

On-site identification of the school, health care centre, local community centre, etc., and drawing of a positional sketch.

Definition of the kit’s preliminary location: UTM coordinates of the location of the power system (panels, wind turbine) and peripheral equipment. Regarding this location, verify the land ownership, proximity to school or place where peripheral equipment is to be located, and proximity of inhabited dwellings to increase equipment security.

Site Access. .

Land type and morphology.

State of repair and necessity to renovate the buildings which will house the peripheral equipment.

The communal leaders’ identification and contact data.

Identification of possible candidates for training in technical maintenance of the kit.

Photographic report.

It is recommended that all material and information gathered in the field be included in a dossier for each RC, to be completed by the CU. Also, the information thus gathered will be archived to permit the preparation of a homogeneous database with the information of all Project RC’s. This visit will also provide an opportunity to raise awareness within the community, placing particular emphasis on the Project’s technical, social and economic benefits and commitments.

Outputs of Activity 2.4.: Output 2.4.1.: RC Database Output 2.4.2.: Archive holding the dossiers of each RC.




Criterio competitivos:


For those communities which have successfully passed the previous phase, the following criteria, among others, will be considered:

To select the communities using objective, transparent and verifiable criteria, a selection methodology based on a system of quantitative indicators will be developed (it is recommended that this be organized in a spreadsheet). Through such a system, communities may be prioritised according to the extent of their suitability for selection. It is recommended that such a methodology consider three types of criteria: mandatory, competitive and optimising. The following describes the criteria considered in the EURO-SOLAR Programme: Mandatory criteria:: •

The community has a school. Where deemed appropriate, the existence of a health care centre may also be considered a mandatory criterion.

The community’s population must exceed a certain threshold (which will be set independently for each country, based on its specific characteristics, to guarantee the Project’s sustainability. The standard considered in the EURO-SOLAR Programme was 350 inhabitants per community).


The community has poor or no access to the power grid, nor is it expected to gain any such access within a given number of years (5 years).

The degree of literacy must exceed a certain percentage (when calculating this indicator, the community’s dominant language will be considered).

Parameter: Sources of Real Community Revenues Indicator: Number of sources of available revenues in the RC: agriculture, tourism, cattle farming, handicrafts, others… Valuation: Priority must be given to the diversity of income generation sources within the RC’s, which allows them to have financing alternatives to ensure the project’s economic sustainability. Parameter: Degree of Community Organisation Indicator: Number of community organisations (water committee; roads committee; women’s committee; school, student, parent or family associations; etc.) Valuation: Priority must be given to the largest legally-constituted organisation within the community. Parameter: Involvement of women in the Community’s operation Indicator: Percentage of women involved in community organisations. Valuation: Priority must be given to the greatest involvement of women in the RC’s existing organisations Parameter: Creation of a Network of Communities Indicator: Distance to the nearest RC proposed as a candidate for inclusion in the Project. Valuation: Priority must be given to the nearness of other receiving communities of the Project, to create a network of communities.

Parameter: Cooperation Projects in effect within the Area Indicator: Number of projects Valuation: Priority must be given to the greatest number of cooperative projects in the area, to maximise the impact.

Parameter: Population Benefitted Indicator: Number of inhabitants in the community. Valuation: Priority must be given to the largest number of RC inhabitants, so that the greatest possible number of people may benefit from the Project.

Parameter: Student Population Indicator: Number of students in the schools. Valuation: Priority must be given to the largest number of students in the RC’s school.

Parameter: Local Institutions involved Indicator: Collaboration agreements with local institutions. Valuation: Priority must be given to the largest number of local institutions that are committed to the Project through some official agreement.

Optimising criteria: it is suggested that the following factors, among others, be evaluated: • Municipality’s willingness to participate actively in the project • Interaction with other Projects being implemented in the area • Degree of commitment and interest manifested by the community


Once the methodology has been applied to the information gathered in the campaign described in the previous section, the short list of beneficiary communities will be drawn up. It is recommended that this short list include approximately 15% of back-up RC’s, so that, if need be, any RC which drops out of the Project may be easily replaced.

implemented in more than one community at national/regional level). The short list will be submitted to the MC for approval, after which the final result will be communicated to all those communities which have sent the registration form, indicating their status (beneficiaries, back-ups, or not selected).

Outputs of Activity 2.5.: Output 2.5.1.: Community selection criteria and application methodology. Output 2.5.2.: Approved short list of possible RC beneficiaries with dossier of corresponding data. Output 2.5.3.: Map showing location of RC’s on short list.

The short list will be recorded in a database, which will include all information considered in the selection methodology. In this manner, it will be possible to check the rating obtained by each RC, thus ensuring the objectivity, impartiality and transparency of the selection process. A map showing the location of RC’s on the short list should be prepared (if the Project is to be

The diagram summarises the selection process for beneficiary RC’s




Result 3. Equipment Design, Installation and Start-up

5.3.1 ACTIVITY 3.1. DESIGN OF THE KIT AND PERIPHERAL EQUIPMENT The Project is based on the installation of a standard kit, identical in all the RC’s (should more than one community be selected), which decreases the unit cost and allows the number of beneficiaries to be maximised. The kit’s design may consider a certain degree of flexibility, so that the system may be adapted to the local reality. For example, in the EURO-SOLAR case, two kit types were designed: 100% solar and mixed solar-wind. Each CU selected the most appropriate type for each RC. General considerations The following are a series of points to be evaluated based on the possible specific needs of each community, prior to designing the kit. Number of users A decisive factor when defining the technical structure of the kit is the number of end users intended to benefit from a given system. Although a system with these characteristics is modular, supplying energy to a family does not entail the same level of complexity as supplying it a community of 20, 100 or 1,000 people. Also, the technical solutions that should be used differ from one case to another, and it is sometimes impossible to scale up from a low to a high power solution. Energy contribution Another factor to keep in mind is the nature of the energy contribution. Existing


technical solutions differ noticeably, depending on the origin of the resource. There may be cases where a solution, applicable in one or more locations, cannot be replicated in another area, due to the absence of this resource. In general, a renewable-energy system is subjected to certain production/ downtime cycles, which is why it becomes impossible to guarantee a continuous power supply. Ensuring the availability of power requires resorting to storage systems or to support systems that use fossil sources (conventional support systems). Economic sustainability When using renewable-energy systems, the generation of said energy entails no related cost. However, maintaining the systems in working condition does have related costs, such as substituting the equipment once its useful life has expired. The cost of installing the equipment – including transporting all elements to the facility – must be analysed, as must the preliminary work intended to prepare the site where the equipment is to be installed. It will also be necessary to: •

Evaluate the maintenance work required to maintain the operating system.

Promote a productive use of the facilities, so that they may generate the revenues needed to ensure that the appropriate preventive and corrective maintenance be carried out.

Furthermore, during the design phase, the appropriate peripherals for each case will be defined. These Terms of Reference have been prepared considering the standard kit of the EURO-SOLAR Programme, so if there are any variations, they would have to be modified accordingly. Kit definition The kit design, as used under the EUROSOLAR Programme, might be defined as a series of power generation and storage infrastructures, based on renewable resources. These are designed to provide a variety of services using the various pieces of accompanying equipment, which can be connected to a miniature power grid network created using the generation system. Additionally, the following aspects are defined specifically for all facilities: •

Installed power-generation capacity

Storage capacity

Assembly infrastructure, and power conveyance

Connected equipment and planned uses of the facility


In the specific case of this document, the kit is described as a power-supply system for isolated rural environments with a 5-kW maximum power generation, and a series of connected power consumptions. This being an isolated system, a storage system is considered, able to provide the required power for a period that may range from one to several days. Advantages and disadvantages / Alternative to the concept The idea of a uniform kit for a great number of installations entails a series


of advantages and disadvantages that must be taken into consideration when defining a development action plan for a rural electrification programme based on renewable-energy technology. Advantages include: •

Cost optimisation, because significant purchase volumes may be achieved for each component of the kit.

Unification of suppliers maintenance of kits.

Easier installation. The kit design allows better training of personnel responsible for installation irrespective of existing conditions at locations.

Facilitation of selection of suppliers, by simplifying the preparation of the call for tenders and the analysis of the bids received.

Connected equipment and uses foreseen for the kit.

to disappointment, when the expectations associated with these infrastructures are not met. It also increases the costs of installation since the beneficiaries may lack the necessary knowhow and might request special features which turn out to be redundant. •


On the other hand, the definition of a uniformed kit based on such strict specifications has certain disadvantages, for example: •

It is impossible to perform an optimal adaptation to the specific weather conditions of each location. This means some aspects of the kit must be oversized, thereby increasing the cost and requiring greater user attention.

There is not much scope for the intended utilization of the kit to be specifically adapted to the needs of its beneficiaries or to their training level. This may lead

Difficulty in finding appropriate technical support or spare parts in certain regions if kit components are not adapted to local conditions.

Alternatives to this notion of a uniform kit for all facilities can be numerous. The range of such alternatives must be limited, on the basis of certain fundamental premises: •

Define the basic needs which must be met, as regards both the desired power output and uses. There are significant differences between, for example, the installation of domestic-electrification systems and centralised power-generation or community-use systems.

Define the various degrees of leeway that may be left open during the design, definition of requirements, and presentation of bids phase. Starting with the basic requirements, it is possible to find alternatives for the various elements, in terms of total power, integration of distinct renewable resources, assembly infrastructure, etc., which may be adapted to different specific conditions (climatic, orographic, urban, demographic, etc.).

Once these requirements have been defined, it is possible to design kits tailored to specific situations, or which

requirements are defined based on the final usage intended, without producing a specific, concrete list of devices. Taking into account the advantages such a model might have in terms of adaptability, as opposed to what was previously discussed in the case of the kits, disadvantages might include: • Greater complexity in terms of supply and installation entailing a greater delay in the development of the project • Although the model simplifies the process of generating technical specifications by allowing greater freedom of action in certain components, it results in greater complexity in the offer-selection process and the need to establish assessment criteria for the proposed solutions. • Stricter logistical control will be required, so that the supplies delivered to each location effectively correspond to that location. • In the same vein, it also further complicates the acceptance of the facilities. Not only is it necessary to check whether the components provided correspond to those which were offered, but the suitability of the solution chosen must also be verified before the installation process. • Smaller volume discounts for those components subject to greater adaptability, such as certain elements of the generation system (inverters, batteries) or the equipment, when solutions are offered which do not include all the equipment.



The illustration represents the kit’s various elements. The Specialised Technological Support (STS) is in charge of the design of both the kit and peripherals, as this requires specialised knowledge and experience in renewable energies and in the electrification of isolated areas.

To conclude, based on the experience acquired during the development of the EURO-SOLAR programme, we can state that the idea of a uniform kit greatly simplifies many of the aspects (administrative, logistical and technical) of a programme such as this, involving a large number of countries. On the other hand, a similar programme might provide greater flexibility in certain aspects, if based on a modular concept. It is possible to define a model in which a kit may be furnished in such a way as can satisfy the requirements of various types of communities, on the basis of the integration of modules. Likewise, a modular concept might initiate a kit with certain basic features which then change and develop as new needs are identified. This modularity could affect both the generation system, which is relatively simple with current technology,


and the infrastructures, offering various assembly alternatives. Also, as regards uses, modules could be proposed to meet different needs (power, health, or education and information technologies). Components The kit consists of photovoltaic solar panels and, in some cases, of a back-up wind turbine, which provide basic electric energy for community use. To increase the system’s efficiency, it includes reserve batteries and a control panel to manage the use of available energy at all times. Besides the energy-generation system, the kit installed in each beneficiary rural community also includes the following peripheral equipment, depending on the selected module:

Education & Information technologies • 5 laptops. • All-in-one device (printer/fax/ scanner). • 1 projector. • Internet-connection equipment. Health • Water purifier. • Refrigerator for medical use. Auxiliary equipment • Battery charger. • Lighting system.


The design is performed in two stages: 1. Initial design The first step in designing the kit is to define the services to be provided to the RC’s and select the corresponding peripheral equipment (for example, if the only services to be provided relate to education and information technologies, peripherals will consist of computers, a projector and the Internet-connection equipment). Once the peripherals are known, their energy requirements will be determined, to design the power subsystem (solar panels, wind turbine). Since renewable resources are not always available, the system’s energy-storage capacity must be ensured through batteries. When selecting the technologies and equipment, the following should be kept in mind: •

Equipment durability and resistance.

Ease of equipment use and repairs.

Availability of spare parts and technical services within the country.

Inclusion of anti-theft and antivandalism systems (anchorage of photovoltaic panels, equipment branding, alarms, etc.).

Furthermore, the system must be so designed as to allow power supply priorities to be set for whichever piece of equipment is deemed essential when there is not enough energy to supply all the peripherals. This plan will entail gradually disconnecting power consuming devices, the objective being to extend the availability of the power

supply. In each case, priority uses will be defined in terms of what is most beneficial, and the design of the powersupply will evolve accordingly. > Planned equipment The best way to optimise resources is to know how the energy generated is to be used. In so doing, the energy requirements to be fulfilled may be evaluated with some degree of certainty, and the installation may be designed accordingly. The equipment should be designed taking into consideration: •

Its power or energy consumption, so that it may be possible to evaluate the hours of use and assign higher priorities to some pieces of equipment over others.

The communities’ needs and their ability to use the equipment rationally. With this information as a starting point, it is possible to draw up a profile of use for the kit that will yield its energy balance. > Specific equipment cases The following discusses certain equipment specifications that may entail specific requirements.

the country’s applicable laws impose special conditions on their installation. Description of the system, from the point of view of the technical installation to be carried out, including the power consumption of all equipment involved in the system.

Refrigeration subsystem Conditions of use of a refrigeration system are very difficult to forecast, as they depend on both the local weather conditions where it has been installed and the planned use of the system. As a rule of thumb, this equipment consumes high amounts of energy resources, which is why they should be sized as small as possible while still covering the specified requirements. Where their use is required for the storage of vaccines, the following aspects must be evaluated: •

The equipment and the installation thereof must comply with WHO standards.

Trained personnel must be on hand to ensure that the vaccines have been preserved correctly during their shelf life.

Communications system

Water-purification subsystem

In the specific case where this communications system is intended to be used to access the Internet, the following factors will have to be taken into consideration: • Available technology: the different types of technology will have to be analysed in terms of technological availability, as well as whether

As is the case with vaccine-storage systems, ensuring the drinkability of a population’s water supply means complying with strict norms on water treatment and conservation. From the point of view of the powergeneration system, what must be considered is the energy consumption of the various active elements used to transport the water (pumps, for example),



and to treat it (UV lamps, for example). 2. Verification of the kit’s initial design and final design To ensure their relevancy and suitability to local conditions, it is suggested that the Monitoring Committee review the initial design, evaluating the various alternatives proposed therein, and checking certain aspects, such as:Adecuación a las regulaciones legales o técnicas del país. • •

• •

Suitability under the country’s legal or technical regulations. Environmental, weather, risk and other conditions which might necessitate some kind of modification. Specific requirements of certain components. Existence of materials, consumables, spare parts and technical support in the country for the selected equipment. Appropriateness of maintenance costs with regard to the beneficiaries’ ability to pay. The system’s anti-theft or antivandalism security requirements: alarms, anchoring, tracking systems, equipment branding, etc.

It is important that suggestions made by the Monitoring Committee be based on the premise that the predefined unitary budget for each kit is not to be exceeded, and that a closed schedule for the submission of suggestions be


established, in order not to delay the remaining activities. In EURO-SOLAR’s case, some of the improvements detected in the kit include: • Refrigerator to be used for health with independent solar panels to comply with WHO criteria. • Installation of purifying filter only if there is a water-piping system, to avoid contaminating stored water. • Purchase of printers that allow refillable cartridges, to reduce the cost of consumables, and consumables that can be acquired locally. Outputs of Activity 3.1.: Output 3.1.1.: Initial kit design (including alternatives) Output 3.1.2.: Final kit design and dossier with MC’s observations

5.3.2. ACTIVITY 3.2. DESIGN OF THE INTERNET CONNECTION As the Internet connection is one of the pillars of the Project, and given the differences in costs between the various technological alternatives, this stage is deemed critical for economic sustainability. The selection of one option or another will depend, basically, on the service’s availability. Given the significant weight the Internet connection has on the kit’s total operating cost, priority must be given to the cheapest technology technically available (cable, cellular and, in last place, satellite, in the case described in the previous chart). That is why this criterion was considered in the previous stage, that of the pre-selection of beneficiary regions. If the area’s isolation necessitates the use of satellite technology, the following aspects should be kept in mind: • There is little equipment standardisation: not all connection equipment can be used for all Internet provider signals. Therefore, the best contracting guideline would be to ensure that the satellite Internetconnection equipment be provided by the company or entity which will provide the Internet service to the RC, to prevent technical incompatibilities. • If, for whatever reason, it is not possible to ensure that the equipment and the Internet connection are provided by the same company, a joint call for tenders should be issued.






Description: Dish antenna, ODU, IDU and modem Cost: High

Availability: Very High Cost: Low


Description: Modem Cost: Low

Availability: Very low, limited to urban areas Cost: Low


Description: Receiver and Modem Cost: Low

Availability: Average, depending on coverage by telecommunications companies Cost: Average

This chart is based on EURO-SOLAR’s field study for the various Latin American countries included in the Project These evaluations may change, depending on the region being analysed or on the countries in which the Programme is to be applied.

Should the previous option also prove nonviable, diligence will be required prior to issuing the call for tenders to ensure that the technical purchasing specifications guarantee equipment/ service compatibility. Analysing the suitability of installing a Wimax network will only be possible if the beneficiary communities are in close proximity. This means sharing the Internet connection received in one community with several nearby communities, provided that there are no obstacles between them. This requires a small communications facility being installed, consisting of emitters and receivers. This configuration is less expensive than providing all the communities with independent satellite connections, as the high cost of the Internet service is shared by several communities. However, it is important that the technical viability is analysed, and that from the onset, the issue of agreements between the

communities is dealt with, to ensure the shared payment of the service. If the installation of a Wimax network is decided upon, the geographical criterion and the viability of reaching agreements between communities must be meticulously considered and analysed during the selection phase. It also bears stressing that one institution will have to assume the burden of ownership, management and maintenance of the Wimax network infrastructure.

Outputs of Activity 3.2.: Output 3.2.1.: Study of Internet connection alternatives in beneficiary areas.

The study of alternatives for the Internet connection must be performed by experts in the field (Specialised Technological Support).



5.3.3. ACTIVITY 3.3. CALL FOR TENDERS ON SUPPLIES, SELECTION OF SUPPLIERS, PURCHASE OF EQUIPMENT Should the project be replicated in different Rural Communities, it is recommended that the materials be purchased through a call for tenders. Therefore, the following section describes the bidding process used in the EUROSOLAR Programme. Should a bidding process be decided upon, it will be carried out based on the results obtained during the previous activities, preparing the technical specifications on the kits for the call for tenders. The scope of the bid will include the delivery, installation and start-up of all equipment and related materials, the guarantee, the operation and maintenance after-sales service for two years, and technical training for the RC’s kit managers. It is recommended that the technical specifications include, at least, the following items: Equipment: a. Power supply i.Selected equipment: Photovoltaic panels and/or wind turbine ii. Inverter iii. Batteries iv. Charge regulator b. Components i. Wireless access point ii. IP Telephone


iii. Computers

c. Labelling

iv. Projector

d. Anti-theft system: cabinets, alarms…

v. Multifunction equipment vi. Refrigerator vii. Water purifier

Technical acceptance of equipment a. Provisional acceptance

viii. Lighting

b. Final acceptance

ix. Battery charger

c. Resolution of non compliances

x. Alarm xi. Others c. Operation and control of energy required and produced based on the selected components.

Component guarantee After-sales and O&M service a. Terms of after-sales and O&M service


b. Estimate of volume of interventions

i. Panel support (tower or other support type).

c. Owner’s liabilities

ii. Wind turbine support

Training of community managers:

iii. Satellite-connection antenna support (if this is the chosen technology) iv. Lightning rod (if necessary) v. Connection cabinet vi. Control board vii. Other components e. Internet-connection system i. Possible Internet-connection technologies ii. Characteristics of the Internet-connection equipment iii. Characteristics of the Internet-connection service (include necessary conditions for remote monitoring) iv. User management and network maintenance v. Security vi. Service quality and bandwidth vii. User support and network maintenance viii. Remote monitoring of Internet connection (general description and objective, technical characteristics, costs, risks) ix. Others Security a. Protective fence b. Serial number

a. Scope of training and refreshers (themes, extent, times, recipients) b. Methodology c. Teaching material (handbook, interactive video, posters, languages of documentation, etc.) Installation and Works a. Civil engineering for the installation of the power-generation kit b. Work project

Given the kit’s modularity, it is important that the contracting and installation guidelines are carefully defined. The cheapest option is to consolidate all equipment into a single lot, to optimise the construction phase. Moreover, this creates the advantage that a single supplier assumes the responsibility for the interfaces between the various systems. In EURO-SOLAR’s case, a joint call for tenders was issued for all components, with eight lots, one per country; contracts were awarded independently to the most appropriate supplier.


The scope of the call for tenders included the installation, start-up, guarantee, and after-sales service, as well as the technical training for the kit’s community managers. This model is deemed to be quite convenient, because: • The installation is carried out by specialised companies, minimising defects; • The community receives two years of after-sales service, during which it may resolve possible equipment deficiencies and reinforce its kitmanagement abilities; • Technical training must be provided within the RC. It is important that this training is not given by the technicians who install the kit, but rather by specialists in training in rural environments, with knowledge of the local languages, to ensure successful results. These Terms of Reference are based on EURO-SOLAR’s hiring model. Should changes be made, the ToR will need to be modified accordingly. The files for the call for tenders will be completed using these technical specifications and the list of selected communities, with the coordinates for the location of the kits (Output 2.5.2.).

Other aspects which must be considered are: • Should any institution within the country provide a free Internet connection for the communities, only the connection equipment will be included in the call for tenders. In this case, it is imperative that the donor should have a firm commitment, through an agreement signed by the institution which will provide the service. This agreement will also set forth the characteristics of the equipment required, to be included in the kit specifications to ensure the systems’ technical compatibility.

Outputs of Activity 3.3.: Output 3.3.1.: Technical purchasing specifications Output 3.3.2.: Bidding and contracting timetable. Output 3.3.3.: Private or institutional agreement guaranteeing Internet connection (where the service is provided by an institution) Output 3.3.4.: Signed contract with suppliers.

It is recommended that the contracting of the Internet-connection service and equipment be made at the same time as for the rest of the kit. The goal is to test all systems, including their connectivity, as soon as the kit has been completely installed, and to perform a provisional combined acceptance of the Internet service and equipment. Given the required period of installation and the possible delays which may occur, it is recommended that the launch date of the Internet service is not fixed, but rather related to the completion of the installation and the start-up of the kit.

The CU will define a bidding timetable; purchases will be made considering reasonable terms and possible contingencies in the processes (inconclusive call for tenders, single bidder…).



5.3.4. ACTIVITY 3.4. ON-SITE VERIFICATION OF KIT LOCATIONS Once the contract with the equipment supplier has been signed, all beneficiary RC’s should be visited; the CU, with TS’s assistance, and the suppliers should participate in these visits, the main objective of which is the exact identification of the site where the power-generation kit, the peripheral equipment and the Internet-connection system are to be located, including positional sketch and UTM coordinates. The information contained in the dossier of each RC will form the basis for this (Output 2.5.2.). Regarding the definitive location of the kits, the following factors will have to be taken into account: End use of energy Closeness to school, local community centre and/or health care centre. One of the Project’s main priorities is to make significant improvements in education and health, at least locally. The powergeneration subsystem must be located as close as possible to the locations where the power-consuming peripheral equipment is, to prevent power losses in transit and to reduce the required cable length. In EURO-SOLAR’s case, the maximum distance considered between the electric subsystem (photovoltaic cells and wind turbine) and the consumers was 40 m.


Technical factors: •

Cable length (power loss),

Surface area occupied by the kit and fence, trying not to interfere with other incompatible land uses (for example, playing areas, etc.),

Definition of orientation,

Definition of the antenna’s orientation (if applicable), depending on the orientation of the satellite to be used for the Internet service or for the Wimax network,

Description of possible obstacles that might block the panel or the Internet signal and the degree of difficulty to overcome such obstacles.




Social factors: • •

Ownership and land use, Security and maintenance: improved when near an inhabited location.

A good practice would be to consider reaching an agreement with some nearby neighbour; in exchange for keeping an eye on the equipment. The neighbour could be offered some service in return, such installing lighting in his/her home. These visits may also be used to: • Conduct an information campaign within the RC, informing the inhabitants of the coming steps (adapting spaces, construction and installation….). • Review the contact data for the RC supervisor, to be able to inform him/ her prior to any project-related visit.

Inform RC supervisors of the kind of identification Project representatives must wear when visiting the RC’s. This measure is intended to prevent fraud, such as people unrelated to the Project presenting themselves as its representatives and disappearing with some equipment. Introduce the supplying company to the community and define the scope of the relationship, specifying which type of services and/or materials are to be provided to the RC, whether or not these will be remunerated, and in what amounts. Review the need to renovate those buildings selected to house the peripheral equipment and conclude an agreement, between the supplier, the CU and the community, defining the scope and responsibility of the works to adapt the buildings meant to house the peripheral equipment (see Activity 3.5.).

All this information should be captured in a document signed by the CU, the supplier and the community’s legal representative, with each signatory receiving a copy.


Outputs of Activity 3.4.: Output 3.4.1.: Project for inspection visits agreed to between the CU and supplier. Output 3.4.2.: Report on visits performed, including document signed by the CU, supplier and RC. Output 3.4.3.: RC Records (Output 2.5.2.), reviewed and updated.

Waterproof roof: the roof must have sufficient eaves to stop rainwater leaking in, even under strong winds.

The building must have anti-insect features.

Sufficient tables and seats to allow the proper installation and use of the equipment.

• 5.3.5. ACTIVITY 3.5. ADAPTATION OF BUILDINGS INTENDED TO HOUSE THE PERIPHERAL EQUIPMENT Installation of the kit and peripheral equipment will require appropriate suitable physical space which complies with space, security and hygiene conditions, among others. Generally, it is best if the peripheral equipment is installed in either a school, health care centre or clinic, or local community centre. Depending on the condition of the buildings which will house the equipment, some adaptation, renovations and/ or construction may be necessary. The corresponding furniture (tables, seats, cabinets, etc.) must also be provided.

A built-in cupboard with anti-theft lock, to protect the equipment.

As an example, the following illustrates the minimum surface area requirements for computers in EURO-SOLAR. It was estimated that housing the peripheral equipment in the school required a minimum surface area of some 21 m² (6 m × 3.5 m). The implementation took the following premises into consideration (see the figure): • No more than two people per computer (assuming that two people can use a computer simultaneously). • Space needed for the teacher or the centre’s administrator. • The physical set-up of the furniture and equipment, allowing enough space for circulation.

The above represents the minimum requirements; however, depending on the availability of resources and on whatever additional specific needs may be expected, the surface area and the size and amount of furniture may be increased. In any event, when selecting the location of the peripheral equipment, one point to consider is that if the equipment is to be located in an existing space, such as a classroom in the school, it is imperative that the use of the equipment should not interfere with existing activities. It is therefore important to ensure that the school centre is not deprived of the space needed to carry out its normal activities. If there is any interference, it will be necessary to construct a specific place to house the equipment. It is recommended that the CU be responsible for determining whether an existing space is to be renovated or whether a new space is to be built. It is also preferable if the CU oversees and monitors the adaptation, renovation and/ or construction works.

When identifying what renovation work is required, the criteria to be considered are: Space available for the equipment,

A strong door with a lock secure enough to protect the assets stored within,

Windows that favour natural lighting and ventilation, but are protected by metal bars and mosquito screens, to protect the goods,





Although Activity 3.4. (Section 4.3.4.) called for a preliminary identification of the initial condition of those buildings in which the peripheral equipment is to be located, this activity will require more details, to enable the budget to be prepared and also the corresponding scope of works. Renovation or construction works will be supervised until they have been successfully completed. To avoid damage, the equipment cannot be installed until the spaces have been completed. It is therefore recommended that the installation of the kit be delayed until all renovations or construction works have been completed. Since the renovations dictate when the kits can be installed, the schedule should provide the leeway necessary to account for possible delays and the progress of the works should be closely monitored. It is important to remember that the equipment supplier has a scope of works to comply with, that delays will incur financial penalties, and that conflicts may arise if he is forced to postpone the work because the premises for the peripheral equipment are not ready. The CU must be responsible for establishing commitment deadlines to ensure that the works timetable is met, and for the site supervision of this activity. The MC will identify the person responsible for the remodelling or construction of the peripheral equipment buildings. It is recommended, here, that a local entity be responsible for the renovations and


that the community participate actively in this activity, in order to foment project ownership. Good coordination between the CU and the suppliers is vital. Follow-up meetings are most useful for this purpose, as they help maintaining coherence of the renovation and installation.

Outputs of Activity 3.5.: Output 3.5.1.: Report on each RC, indicating the renovation/construction requirements identified, along with the entity responsible for the activity, and the budget and timetable. Output 3.5.2.: Report on follow-up visits to each RC on supervision of renovation works, including evidence (photograph…) Output 3.5.3.: Certificate of completion of the renovation of buildings intended to house the peripheral equipment.

5.3.6. ACTIVITY 3.6. PURCHASE, TRANSPORTATION, INSTALLATION AND START-UP OF THE KIT AND THE INTERNET-CONNECTION EQUIPMENT If need be, and prior to the start of this activity, the CU, TS and supplier will hold a work-launch meeting during which the timetable for the purchase, transport and customs-clearing, installation and startup of the equipment will be adjusted. The documentation and responsibilities assigned to each actor will be defined, as will the follow-up indicators for this activity. To detect defects early on and avoid repeating them, it is recommended that the installation and start-up of all equipment be carried out in a pilot community first. The selected RC must be close to the capital or easily accessible (within the standard limitations for this type of RC), and the need to adapt the buildings for the peripheral equipment must be kept to a minimum, so that the installation of the equipment may begin smoothly. Once the pilot kit has been installed, the CU, with TS’s assistance, will carry out an on-site revision, recording all detected non-compliances. The supplier must make the modifications required to remedy all detected deficiencies. Afterwards, the CU (with TS’s assistance) will be responsible for checking, in the field, whether the modifications have been taken into consideration in the remaining facilities.


During this preliminary phase, the supplier will also produce the technical training material on kit management which is to be distributed to all the RC’s. Activity 4.3 provides greater detail regarding the format, minimum contents and distribution medium of this technical training and material, for which the supplier is responsible. Afterwards, monitoring of the supplier’s performance must always be left to the CU, with TS’s assistance, which will record in the corresponding quarterly follow-up reports (Output 1.3.3.) the real progress of the activity. These reports will include evidence of detected deviations and incidents (photographs, etc.). It is recommended that meetings between the supplier and the CU be held at least once a month during the installation phase, to review any deviations and incidents observed, and to define the appropriate remedial measures. One of the critical points concerning progress coordination is the date on which the Internet service, provided by the CU, becomes operational. Since the equipment must be installed for the Internet to work, it is recommended that during the final stage of this phase, the CU closely monitor the kit supplier’s progress, so that the end of the start-up may coincide with the beginning of the Internet service.

Some points to consider are: •

Delays may happen during the installation of the equipment, which can seem demotivating for the communities. Where necessary, this can be solved by bolstering the CU’s coaching and awareness-raising of communities.

Good coordination between the CU and the equipment supplier is essential. Follow-up meetings are most useful for this purpose, as they help maintain the coherence of the renovation and installation.

In the EURO-SOLAR programme, delays in the installation of the kit were due mainly to mismanagement of customs-clearing procedures, adverse weather conditions and difficult access to the communities. Contingency plans may be devised to counter all of these factors (bringing customs specialists on board, considering the rainy seasons or adverse weather phenomena in the scheduling of works to avoid them insofar as possible, etc.).

Outputs of Activity 3.6.: Output 3.6.1.: Report on results of pilot kit installation: incidents and modifications. Output 3.6.2.: Minutes of start-up meeting for the works, signed by the CU, TS, donor (if this is not the CU) and supplier. Output 3.6.3.: Minutes of periodic follow-up meetings on the activity, signed by the CU, TS, donor (if this is not the CU) and supplier.



5.3.7. ACTIVITY 3.7. PROVISIONAL (PA) AND FINAL (FA) ACCEPTANCE OF EQUIPMENT The Provisional Acceptance (PA) is carried out once the kit’s installation and startup have been concluded, to verify whether the works have been executed properly. The result of the PA is the PA Certificate, which confirms that the equipment meets the contractual requirements and that it functions properly. The supplier’s payment for the equipment depends on his obtaining this certificate. The Final Acceptance (FA) however, takes place one year after the PA, provided the kit’s equipment has worked properly during this period. The PA must begin once the supplier has completed the kit’s installation and startup, and it must be carried out in the field, using the Internet connection in each RC, since this will be working once the startup has been completed. Should the project be implemented in several communities, it is recommended that a Web Application be created and maintained to systematise all the information. The Web Application is a useful and affordable tool that allows all authorised actors to learn the status of each of the facilities at any time, with e-mail notifications each time an installation’s status changes within the PA process. It is recommended that access to this application be restricted (with a login/ password system) and that it be hosted on the project’s webpage. This tool can


also provide remote monitoring of the systems (see Activity 3.9., in Section 4.3.9. further on), both to verify whether the systems are working and to attend events online. In EURO-SOLAR’s case, this Web Application was created by the STS, but another solution may be sought, provided its maintenance is assured. In any event, if this tool is also used to provide remote monitoring of system operations, the CU should take responsibility for its maintenance. Before work begins, an RP protocol must be created, setting forth which actions are to be carried out, who is responsible for them, the work flowchart, etc. This protocol will be communicated to all actors involved: • • •

Supplier(s) CU/TS Specialised Technological Support (STS)

The following provides a brief description of each of the fundamental stages of the proposed PA procedure: Stage 1: Registration of facilities in the Web Application A kit’s installation and start-up is deemed to be completed when: •

Batteries are fully charged and the kit is ready for use,

Spare parts have been provided,

The RC’s technical managers have been trained to manage the system,

Training handbooks and materials have been delivered,

There is an Internet connection.

At this time, the supplier will register the kit as activated through the Web Application, which will consist of entering the data on brand, model, serial number and main characteristics of the equipment, along with a series of pictures to show that it has been installed correctly. The STS will review the data entered by the supplier and, if everything is approved, it will issue a positive kit activation report, indicating, where necessary, what needs to be rectified.. Stage 2: On-Site Verification (OSV) campaign of facilities Once the positive kit activation report has been received, it is recommended that the CU, with TS’s assistance, performs an onsite verification (OSV) of all the facilities. The reason for not performing the OSV directly is to avoid unnecessary travel


to remote, out-of-the-way communities, which is why the actions described in Stage 1 must always be carried out. The objective of the OSV is: •

• •

To verify on site whether the kit meets all characteristics defined in the positive kit activation report (equipment brand and model, correspondence of serial number, etc.). To check the system’s proper installation and operation. To evaluate the RC’s technical managers’ knowledge of the system and check whether the Handbook and teaching materials are available. This point is important, since if the RC is not able to manage the kit properly, the project’s sustainability will be jeopardised. Thus, by including this objective in the PA, the supplier’s payment depends upon the execution of this requirement. To identify any errors.

Reference information to perform the OSV will be: •

The positive kit activation report (result of the previous stage)

On-Site verification created by the STS.

Checklist created for this purpose by the STS.

proper operation of the communications equipment and the Internet service. Should several communities be included in the project, and to homogenise the on-site verification procedure, it is recommended that the STS launch the OSV campaign by visiting at least 10% of the facilities. This initial visit will provide the opportunity to offer a theoreticalpractical course to the CU’s and/or TS’s experts who will perform this task in the field, so that all technicians may learn through experience and replicate the procedure. Furthermore, the first OSV will be conducted together with the supplier, so that verification standards may be clearly defined. Stage 3: Evaluation of the on-site verification report The STS will analyse the OSV Report to check whether the kit was installed as per the contract and to confirm that the system is being operated properly. At the same time, a remote confirmation of the kit’s operation will be performed through the Internet connection for a period of one week. The outcome of the review can be one of the following: •


As a result of the OSV campaign, the CU/TS will produce an OSV Report which will be filed with the CU and uploaded to the Web Application from the RC itself, to test the

The OSV Report which was sent may be incomplete or contain errors, in which case the STS will inform the TS/CU so that these can be rectified. This cycle will be repeated until the OSV Report is deemed to be complete. All communications will take place via the Web Application. The contents of the OSV Report may identify defects in the installation of

the kit which are so serious as to affect to its operation, in which case the kit will be deemed to be noncompliant. The STS will generate a non-compliance report, so that the supplying company may take the corresponding remedial measures. All communications will take place via the Web Application. •

The contents of the OSV Report is appropriate and the remote monitoring (Activity 3.9.) shows that the kit is functioning properly, in which case the Report is approved, and the STS issues the “Technical Operation Certificate” (TOC), which will be uploaded to the Web Application. Moreover, all actors will be informed, through the Web Application, that the kit has obtained its TOC.

Stage 4: Correction of defects found in the kit This action is carried out by the supplying company, to remedy non-compliances detected in the PA process. Depending on the nature of these non-compliances (critical/non critical), the CU/TS may repeat the OSV visit. This process will be repeated as often as necessary until it can be guaranteed that the kit is operating properly and complies with the contractual conditions. To avoid possible over-exertion in OSV activities, it is recommended that the call for tenders include penalties should it prove necessary to carry out more than a certain number of on-site verification



visits (more than two or three visits should be deemed excessive). Stage 5: Issue of Provisional Acceptance Certificate Once all the kits have obtained their TOC’s, the CU may issue the Provisional Acceptance Certificate, which will also be signed by the supplier. Each player will keep a copy of this document. Once the PA has been completed, a oneyear term will start during which the kit’s proper operation must be demonstrated. During this period, the purchaser will retain a financial guarantee (a percentage of the contract’s total value) to cover any damage or deficiency attributable to the supplier of the kits. It is recommended that the Final Acceptance (FA) occur 12 months after the PA, provided that: •

No critical non-compliance has been detected during this period.

The supplier has remedied the observations included in the Provisional Acceptance Certificate.

The supplier has remedied any mishap noted during the operation of the equipment.

During the 12 months between the PA and the FA, the kits will be subjected to remote monitoring (Activity 3.9.). The results of this monitoring will be reflected in a report for each RC which is to be uploaded to the Web Application. This report, together with the results of the information gathered by the CU in


its contacts with the RC’s, will be the basis for the STS’s writing of a document called the “Final Technical Operation Certificate” (FTOC). This document will be the basis for the CU to issue the “Final Acceptance Certificate” which is part of documentation required to release supply-contract payments. The FA Certificate will be signed by the CU and the supplier. All information generated during the PA, one-year monitoring and FA processes should be stored in the Web Application, so that it is verifiable and traceable.

5.3.8. ACTIVITY 3.8. SYSTEM OPERATION AND MAINTENANCE For the kits to work correctly, it is necessary that they operate correctly, that damaged equipment be repaired or replaced, and that the necessary preventive and corrective maintenance be carried out. If there is a supply contract, it must include a two-year after-sales service, so that the supplier may be liable for: •

Guaranteeing the equipment: the minimum guarantee for the equipment should be 2 years, during which the guarantee should cover material, production and assembly defects for the system’s various components. This guarantee refers to the “substitution through new equipment and free installation of faulty component replacements during the first two years”, should repairing them not be possible.

Managing the substituted equipment in an environmentally sustainable fashion.

Maintaining a stock of spare parts and replacements. The supplier must define and maintain a minimum local stock of spare parts and replacements to guarantee proper maintenance.

Conducting maintenance visits: starting with the PA and lasting throughout the period of after-sales service, the supplier will conduct as many visits to the facilities as is

Outputs of Activity 3.7.: Output 3.7.1.: Web Application or other online monitoring tool on PA process Output 3.7.2.: PA Protocol Output 3.7.3.: Documents derived from PA: i) Kit Activation form; ii) OSV Procedure; iii) OSV Report form; iv) TOC Report form; v) PA Certificate form Output 3.7.4.: Provisional Acceptance Certificate Output 3.7.5.: Final Acceptance Certificate


necessary, and at least once a year in any event, to meet the equipment manufacturers’ conditions or to guarantee the proper short- and long-term operation of the kit. These visits are part of the core operationand-maintenance mechanism. The supplier must prepare a annual schedule of visits during which the following minimum mandatory control and maintenance operations will be performed: •

Visual check of system elements.

Measurement of the operating parameters of the power-generation system and storage subsystem.

Status check on electric security systems.

Operational status check of health equipment.

visits should be certified through a report signed by the supplier and the local manager of the beneficiary RC. This report should include, at least: the date and time of the intervention, the tasks carried out, the measures taken, together with an assessment of the equipment’s condition. In the event of any failure, diagnosis must be made within one week. Once the failure has been diagnosed, travel to the location and the repairs must be carried out within two weeks of diagnosis.

Maintenance works will be recorded systematically in an “Incident Log”, which should be continuously updated. This document will clearly record the dates of interventions, the reason for the incident, and its status. Should the Project be replicated over several years, a copy of this log should be sent, at least once a year, to CU leaders. The following is a diagram indicating the supplying company’s procedure for resolving incidents:

It is recommended that this verification be performed in the presence of at least one of the three local community-trained managers. The interventions performed as part of these preventive maintenance

Note: Where the diagram reads “CNC”, read “CU” in this document



Meanwhile, the CU must check whether the service rendered by the supplier is correct. The following presents a possible supervision procedure, according to the model followed with EURO-SOLAR:

The supplier will not be liable for all corrective actions, since those derived from the improper use of the equipment will be paid by the beneficiary. In each case, the CU will establish the appropriate guidelines and procedures. Once the after-sales service is over, an equivalent maintenance service will have to be provided. The CU will define the appropriate mechanisms and evaluate whether this service may be assumed entirely by the RC or whether it requires some type of support, either technical or financial. It is important to keep in mind that during the kit’s life, certain components will be substituted, and that these – like wornout batteries – may prove to be health or environmental hazards if not handled appropriately. Therefore, it is important that the training of community managers should stress this issue and that there should be some supervision and support from the CU to guarantee the correct handling of such discarded components. One possibility is for the supplier of the new component to see to the environmentally-sustainable removal and disposal of the substituted component. After the conclusion of the two-year period of after-sales service, maintenance of the equipment may be provided by the supplier himself (if he is re-contracted), by the CU, or by some collaborating entity, such as, for example, a university. In each of these cases, options will be evaluated to see which one best guarantees the system’s sustainability.

Note: Where the diagram reads “CNC”, read “CU” in this document.



It bears reminding that some of the equipment in the kit, e.g. the batteries, has a limited useful life, and that such components must be replaced periodically (every five years for batteries). It is important that, from the very start of the project, this replacement cost is factored in and that it is included in the agreements with the RC and with the entities of the Monitoring Committee, explicitly defining the responsibilities of the various players.


To supervise the operation of the kits automatically,

To answer questions and provide remote assistance (“help desk”), strengthening and updating the RC’s technical training in handling the system,

To be kept informed of operation incidents.

Output 3.8.1.: Maintenance visit plan, under supplier’s responsibility.

Output 3.8.3.: CU’s control procedure of after-sales services. Output 3.8.4.: Incident-registration log.

Producto 3.9.1.: Periodic remote monitoring reports of each RC

Given how isolated the beneficiary communities are, it is considered good practice to set up a remote-monitoring portal of beneficiary RC’s. The goal of this remote monitoring is:

Outputs of Activity 3.8.:

Output 3.8.2.: Supplier’s incidentresolution procedure.

Outputs of Activity 3.9.:

As indicated in Section 4.3.7. above (Activity 3.7.), the Web Application can be used to perform this remote monitoring. The Web Application should be managed and maintained by the CU, a University, or another entity of the country which has entered into an agreement of commitment with the project.



5.4. 5.3.10. ACTIVITY 3.10. TRANSFER OF EQUIPMENT OWNERSHIP The Project aims to give beneficiary RC’s the responsibility for the equipment and, where this is legally possible and practical, to make them the final owners of the systems. When defining the ownership-transfer procedure, the following needs to be considered: •

The country’s legal framework, to determine whether it allows the transfer of ownership to the communities. The situation of the beneficiary RC’s, in terms of whether their legal constitution allows them to assume ownership of the equipment. The RC’s ability to assume responsibility for the ownership of the equipment and to maintain it economically.

Whenever the legislation allows it, priority must be given to the transfer of the equipment to the RC’s. Otherwise, kitownership formulae will be studied to ensure that their use and management remains exclusively for the RC’s benefit. It is recommended that the transfer of ownership be officialised through written documents to be signed by the CU and the final owner of the kits. Outputs of Activity 3.10.: Output 3.10.1: Records of transfer of equipment ownership.


Result 4. Awareness-raising, Training of Communities, and Strengthening of Productive Activities

5.4.1. ACTIVITY 4.1. RAISING AWARENESS OF THE PROJECT Throughout all Project phases, contact will be established with the RC’s and with other local entities committed to the project (municipalities, etc.), to: • Inform them of the progress and estimates of the works, • Gather their expectations and suggestions, • Solve conflicts, • Assess the communities’ training needs, • Assess the communities’ resources, both human and economic, • Analyse development opportunities for productive activities, • Foment the participation of women and the youth, • Reach agreements with local organisations, • Obtain the support of community leaders, and • Avoid cases of theft. Fraud, cases of theft and acts of vandalism are common problems when the installation of the kits is nearing completion. Some ideas to help mitigate this problem are:

• • • • •

• • •

• • •

Securing the school perimeter, Coordinating some form of collaboration with the police, Creating a community security committee, Providing more lights in the area, Installing an alarm connected to the kit’s generation source and conducting frequent drills so that potential thieves are aware of the existence and operation of the alarm, Reinforcing the security of the premises (bars and padlocks), Purchasing insurance with coverage for theft and natural disasters, Strengthening the communities and raising their awareness in taking care of the equipment, Raising awareness of nearby police stations, offering them the use of the kits in exchange for them assuming responsibility for security, Acquiring a GPS localisation software, and putting signs on the computers indicating that they have a GPS localiser, Coordinating with the police to train community members in matters of security and theft prevention, Keeping a guard animal, Limiting the number of copies of keys to the premises, Rural patrols (organisations with permission to enforce the law),


• • • • •

Warning campaigns on theft prevention over local radio stations, Constant check of key elements (doors, padlocks…), Floor-anchored padlocked cabinet to store equipment, Virtual hotlines: for reporting thefts and preventive measures, Any person not of the RC who comes near to check/handle any component of the kit must be properly identified and must sign the RC log book, Agreement with some neighbours, whereby they look after the kit’s security in exchange for installing lights in their houses, for example.

Some of the tasks which will be performed in this activity are: • During the renovation phase (Activity 3.5), informing the community of the measures still to be taken, setting fixed completion deadlines. • Creating project-related awarenessraising material. Heavy reliance on graphic material to transmit the main concepts, given the beneficiaries’ low education levels. • Maintenance of periodic contact with beneficiary RC’s, during which the project’s benefits and the RC’s responsibilities will be stressed. • Holding periodic meetings with local authorities and representatives of the RC’s interest groups.

Reinforcing knowledge about the kit’s components and utilities, and gathering the questions and difficulties the project generates in each RC. Helping in the strengthening of the Local Community Organisations (LCO’s). Creating information and awarenessraising materials which remain in the schools and health care centres at all times (posters, etc.)

Outputs of Activity 4.1.: Output 4.1.1.: Schedule of awarenessraising visits. Output 4.1.2.: Report on results of visits. Output 4.1.3.: Awareness-raising material.

5.4.2. ACTIVITY 4.2. CREATION OF THE LOCAL COMMUNITY ORGANISATION (LCO) The LCO is the entity that encompasses the local operators who take responsibility for the overall management, operation, maintenance and replacement of the equipment. It will look after the interests of the community, oversee the development of revenue-generating activities, and where applicable, become the final owner of the equipment. Social work with the communities will reveal those leaders and supervisors who can take over the management of the Local Community Organisations (LCO’s) that must be created. This way, an LCO will be set up in each RC; it will assume the responsibility of the operation, maintenance and replacement of consumables. LCO’s should be identified and structured with three goals in mind: • Ensuring the sustainability of the equipment. • Creating a suitable local structure to complete the final transfer of the kit’s ownership or use. On this issue, agreements and signed undertakings will be sought. • Providing simple technical maintenance of the kit. To this end, within each community, it is recommended that the LCO include a group of at least 3 managers who will be in charge of the kit’s operation and maintenance. These people will preferably have some



knowledge about electricity, roots in the RC, and plans to remain there. Setting up the LCO also entails the preparation of operating rules or statutes, which will be drafted in a participatory fashion. It is of: • • • •

recommended that the LCO consist A chairperson. A treasurer. A representative of the school. Three RC managers designated for training in operating the system.

Woman’s participation in the LCO will be encouraged, the objective being parity (50%). During this activity, the previously defined ownership-transfer plan (Activity 3.10) must be kept in mind. There are several options, but where the property is to be transferred to the RC, it bears remembering that this can require the creation and legalisation of a specific entity, in which case the steps to follow will probably be the following: • Define the legal framework and identify both of the institutions involved in the process of legally incorporating the communities and the corresponding requirements. • Visit and meet with representatives of these entities to reach those basic agreements that would facilitate the processes.


Obtain the information, documentation and processes required for the legal incorporation of the project’s beneficiary RC’s. Foster and follow up on the process of legal incorporation of RC’s, providing them with information on the advantages of being legally incorporated and keeping them informed on the progress of the procedures.

Where the community already has an established, working local organisation, it is recommended that its functions be expanded to include those of the LCO, to avoid having to create an additional organisation.

Outputs of Activity 4.2.: Output 4.2.1.: Report on local legislative framework for the transfer of ownership and analysis of alternatives. Output 4.2.2.: Record set up of LCO’s, including operating rules. Output 4.2.3.: Listing of LCO officials, including positions.

5.4.3. ACTIVITY 4.3. TRAINING IN EQUIPMENT OPERATION AND MAINTENANCE Given the technological gap between the equipment and the beneficiaries, one of the risks identified is that the RC’s will not be able to take ownership of the equipment and that they might reject the proposed technologies. Indeed, the cultural difference that may exist between RC’s, with little education, without electricity, without access to electronic materials and on the other hand an autonomous electrification system, and computers with Internet connection, might constitute a significant risk. Therefore, the bridge between the communities and the materials will be the equipment managers, i.e. the people who serve as an interface between the communities and the technology. It is therefore critical that these managers be selected and trained appropriately. When selecting managers, the following points, among others, should be considered: • Degree of local roots, to avoid – insofar as is possible – that trained managers abandon the communities. • Degree of managers’ education: it is crucial that they should know how to read and write and that –insofar as possible – they should show aptitude in handling electronic equipment, to avoid hindering the learning process. For this reason, the inclusion of a teacher or of the health care centre’s supervisor


It is recommended that the CU, with TS’s assistance, should select 3 technical managers in each RC, who will be trained by the equipment supplier during the installation and start-up phase. To ensure that the results of the training are positive, it is important: •

• •

in the team of managers might be considered. Manager’s commitment to the project and to the community.

To have specialists with the appropriate training profile, with in-depth knowledge of the RC’s and of its indigenous languages, who will be in charge of preparing the training plan and the necessary teaching materials. It is not considered appropriate that the supplier’s personnel who are in charge of installation also provide the training, as they fail to meet the required profile. To use the right methodology regarding the level of knowledge of the community’s future managers. In short, “learning through experience” is what is recommended, so that future managers can apply the knowledge learned immediately. To adapt the schedules to the community’s availability. To carry out the training and the presentation of all the materials both in Spanish and in the indigenous languages spoken in the community.

To stress the issue of energy management; this will be critical to ensure that the kit is operated properly. To prepare support audio-visual material, such as interactive DVD’s or videos showing the equipment’s basic operation and maintenance task, to make the contents easier to understand.

To increase the managers’ commitment, the possibility of providing them with incentives – whether economic (salary) or non-economic (T-shirts, ID card, certificate, priority in equipment use, etc.) – should be analysed. Some of the risks this phase presents include among others, the managers’ absence during training, illiteracy, or the inadequate selection of managers. The training material must be written in the language of the local communities, as it must be comprehensible for most of the local population and not exclusively for the managers (should the latter prove unsuccessful, a minimum level of management may be provided with the Handbooks if the local population can grasp their explanations and presentation). The training material should include at least: •

A User’s Handbook for the kit, explaining the general operation of the system and the main maintenance tasks. It must be duly illustrated, bound and laminated. Laminated poster reminders of the main technical operations, to be

placed next to the equipment to which they refer. Video or DVD tutorial on how to use the kit. This didactic video file must be installed on all 5 computers, so that it is available to the RC.

Both the training plan and all teaching materials will be reviewed by the CU, with TS’s assistance, prior to their authorisation. It is recommended that a pilot training session be offered in one community to improve and optimise the teaching process. The result of the training is that communities’ managers are able to use and maintain the equipment by their own: • Being familiar with the general layouts of the electrification system and peripheral equipment. • Managing wisely the available energy by reading the charge status of the batteries and their consumption, and consequently being able to define priorities in distributing the energy • Connect and disconnect the electric circuits and peripheral equipment. • They can operate the peripheral equipment in a basic fashion: computers, projectors, multifunction equipment, etc. • They can provide maintenance for the electrification system and peripheral equipment. • They know and apply the protocol of measures to be taken in the event of a failure of the electrification system or the peripheral equipment.



They know the supplier obligations regarding after-sales service, contact procedures, etc. They can complete the kit’s operations log and/or statistical O&M records.

It is important that the training be evaluated, so that it may be repeated should it fail to achieve its proposed objectives. To this end, as part of the Provisional Acceptance process, during the On-Site Verification, it is recommended that the CU, with TS’s assistance, subject to the RC’s managers to a theoretical-practical exam which would cover the minimum contents to be attained. Should the managers pass the exam, they may be issued a certificate. Otherwise, the supplier will have to reinforce the training. In EURO-SOLAR’s case, training was the responsibility of the kits’ supplier. In fact, one of the requirements for the provisional acceptance of the kits was that managers should be trained. The point of such a condition is to seek the supplying company’s commitment, since it is possible to link training results to payment for the tasks performed. It is a fact that training is not an isolated activity; in fact, refresher courses will have to be provided after the initial training. To this end, over the two years during which the kits’ supplier will be in charge of O&M, at least one of the kit managers will be present at each revision and/or maintenance visit, to refresh and reinforce the main concepts.


this issue must be addressed in the initial stages of the awareness-raising campaign.

Outputs of Activity 4.3.: Output 4.3.1.: O&M training plan. Output 4.3.2.: Teaching material: handbook, posters, videos and/or DVD’s, etc.

The following list summarises the training required under the EURO-SOLAR model:

Output 4.3.3.: Master list of community managers.

Group Objective: Telecentre Administrators Training Objective: To guarantee the appropriate use of the peripheral equipment and the administration and management of the “telecentre” Possible Training Supervisor: CU/TS


Although it is important that there should be, in each RC, a few managers capable of understanding and managing the systems, it is no less necessary that the kits be used correctly, so that the community may enjoy the project’s benefits in a sustainable fashion.

Group Objective: Teachers Training Objective: Educational uses of ICT’s Possible Training Supervisor: Ministry of Education

Group Objective: Health Personnel Training Objective: Use of refrigerator for medical use, Use of ICT’s for health promotion. Possible Training Supervisor: Ministry of Health

Group Objective: Students Training Objective: Basic computer sciences and use of educational contents. Possible Training Supervisor: CU/TS

Group Objective: Community in general (open to Teachers) Training Objective: Basic computer sciences. Possible Training Supervisor: CU/TS

Output 4.3.4.: Results of assessment of community managers’ knowledge.




One of the principles of the project is that the kit be economically sustainable. To this end, the information and communications equipment (computers, multifunction equipment, etc.) is expected to be a revenue-generator outside of school hours. This way, the RC can obtain economic resources from the use of the Internet, document printing and copying, etc. therefore, some people will have to be trained adequately as “telecentre” administrators. There is a risk that conflicts may arise between those in charge of education, and the community, over the use of the classroom as a “telecentre” outside of school hours. To avoid this problem,


Group Objective: Associations of Parents, Producers, Farmers, etc.. Training Objective: Use of contents in the development of productive activities through specialists in community business development. Possible Training Supervisor: CU/TS

Outputs of Activity 4.4.: Output 4.4.1.: Training plan in use of peripheral equipment. Output 4.4.2.: Teaching material. Output 4.4.3.: Evidence of training provided (sign-in sheets, etc.)

Providing this training will require the preparation of a Training Plan on the use of the peripheral equipment which would include, among other aspects, the following: • Definition of those responsible for each training action and of the necessary profile (certification, experience, knowledge of indigenous languages). • Preparation of a coordinated training schedule, indicating dates for each community. • Preparation and reproduction of training materials. • Search for social facilitators to ensure a closer and more continuous presence in the RC’s: - From outside the RC’s (universities, NGO’s, etc.)

- From inside the RC’s, after training Present the need for follow-up and use of ICT’s in online reinforcement of training.

This figure outlines the different activities involved in the process.

As various institutions may intervene in the training, good coordination regarding responsibilities, scopes and work projects is fundamental. The ideal coordination framework is the MC.




Result 5. Visibility, Replication and Exchange of Best Practices

5.4.5. ACTIVITY 4.5. DEVELOPMENT OF PRODUCTIVE ACTIVITIES It is recommended that courses be organised that teach the communities how to take advantage of ICT’s in the development of economic and commercial activities, for example: • Administration of the telecentre. • Purchase/sale of raw materials. • Use of accounting tools. • Access to micro-credits and promotion projects. • Creation of micro-businesses.





Outputs of Activity 4.5.:

In order to share project strategies and methodologies, it is recommended that annual meetings (where the project is planned to last over one year) be held, in which the topics will be the following: • Analysis of the Project in each region/community, comparing the actions carried out with the annual planning. • Identification and evaluation of milestones achieved. • Deviations and remedial measures taken. • Best practices and success stories. • Critical points and actions to be taken. • Review of planning for the following year.

Output 4.5.1.: Training plan in productive uses.

All Project actors will participate in the annual meetings: CU’s, TS, STS, etc.

This will require a prior diagnosis of which current and potential productive activities are to be found in each community, and developing ad hoc training and materials according to defined objectives.

Output 4.5.2.: Teaching material. Output 4.5.3.: Evidence of training provided (sign-in sheets, etc.)

Outputs of Activity 5.1.: Output 5.1.1.: Workshop project Output 5.1.2.: Minutes of workshops


To guarantee correct visibility of the project, a communication plan must be implemented, identifying the actors and their responsibilities, the guidelines and the objectives. The strategy of communication outlined here is mainly informative; it is intended for a very wide public which breaks down, roughly, as follows: Beneficiary communities: Including the inhabitants of the beneficiary towns and the municipal seats. The specific objective is to generate interest and raise awareness within the populations regarding the opportunities the Project offers in matters of education, health, productive uses, and information technologies. The aim is to involve the beneficiaries in the project’s development and success. The communities must have knowledge which is as exact as possible regarding the scope of the project, what it consists of, how they can access the services, what the schedule is, and what the implications are. It is critical that no expectation be raised that will not be met later on, so the information must be suitable, both in terms of contents and scheduling. It is crucial that local leaders


and economic and social agents who can facilitate the transmission of the messages be identified.

interest is to have some kind of presence at local events which are important to the municipalities involved.

For the communities’ general public, oral communication is of great importance; therefore, messages should be adapted to this medium. So the communication which is to be developed must consist of informal talks and meetings during which the questions and uncertainties that trouble the people involved may be gathered and addressed. It may also prove useful to use audio or video recordings with the project information which needs to be transmitted. This would allow the recorded information to be reproduced as often as is deemed necessary in the beneficiary communities’ educational centres. This information can also be useful in the events carried out by the community as part of the project’s actions.

As for the mass media, the most appropriate course of action is to design messages for local radio stations.

Equally useful is preparing various promotional articles in accordance with the characteristics of each country (caps, T-shirts, blankets, glasses, etc.) and in the local languages; the idea is to motivate people to participate in the information sessions and training measures which have been designed and thus raise the project’s recognition factor among the public. Another useful tool is the production of simple pamphlets, adapted to the RC’s languages, with numerous photographs and illustrations to facilitate comprehension of content. Equally of

Public institutions of participating countries Including those institutions involved with the project’s workspaces, as well as the Ministries involved (Energy, Education, Health or Information technologies, among others). The message is intended primarily for the personnel of the institutions with the authority to mobilise resources and generate opinions. The specific objective is to obtain the support and recognition that would enable a network of communicators to be created, who favour the project. Measures to be taken are essentially public-relations activities based on customised communication that offers relevant, ongoing information on the project’s contents and progress through meetings, private presentations, invitations to workshops and events, periodic sending of information bulletins, etc. To perform the aforementioned activities, it is necessary to identify people of interest and to draft lists of telephone numbers, e-mail and postal addresses that will allow a personalised form of communication.

The CU will perform the tasks of identifying key persons, gathering data, and subsequently, preparing a project of visits and meetings to publicise the project and take advantage of possible synergies with other initiatives which are already underway. One possible means of communication is through a quarterly information bulletin on the project and the preparation of general material (brochures, slideshows, and information videos) as tools to facilitate the presentation. NGO’s and other organisations This public includes NGO’s and other organisations and associations involved in activities within the project’s geographical areas and workspaces. The specific objective is to facilitate the establishment of collaborative relations with other projects and initiatives which share the same fields of interest: renewable energies, the environment, education, health and rural development. The actions required must begin with the identification of these organisations and their key personnel, to establish an ongoing and reciprocal communications channel. Communications should be personalised through meetings and invitations to specific projects. Society at large The objective is to earn recognition for the project’s activity. The actions which must be taken are intended to establish a continued



presence in the media, obtain high rankings in web search engines, participate in important events related to rural electrification, the environment, renewable energies, international cooperation and rural development, and take advantage of all opportunities for visibility derived from the communication actions taken by those institutions involved in the Project.

received. And it is an important source of information for journalists. The website could have an “In the news” section, with a quarterly digital newsletter prepared by TS on the basis of information provided by the CU, highlighting the project’s achievements and progress. This newsletter will be hosted in this section and will also be distributed electronically through e-mails or in hard copy through the postal service, to all actors involved in the project and to selected members of target audiences. Visitors to the website will be given the option of registering to receive the newsletter. Furthermore, and to foster interactivity, the website can offer a contact address; this will help meet the information needs of those visitors who request assistance. The webpage will be updated at least every quarter.

The channels with the greatest opportunities to reach this public are the Internet, written media, and presence at events. The planning for each country also includes the design of specific publicity campaigns for audio-visual media, radio and television. The actions and tools used in achieving the proposed objectives may include: •


Preparation of an image manual: this basic guide contains, in a single document, the norms and models needed for the reproduction, both in the office and in a print shop, of the more commonly used articles of stationery. Development of a webpage: the regional communication strategy will include the development of a generic webpage as an information tool for the public. One of the main advantages of this tool is that the Internet is an inexpensive, global, interactive medium that offers the public wide-ranging, continuously updated information on the project’s development. Additionally, whoever visits a webpage does so voluntarily, so the messages are more willingly

Participation in events. Having a presence at events (fairs, meetings, forums, technical workshops, roundtables, etc.) is considered a highly valuable way to gain visibility and, particularly, to exchange experiences., It allows sharing best practices, publicising and promoting the project among the various publics, and acquiring new knowledge Participation in events can yield significant returns if the action is planned rigorously and with

enough lead time. Those events deemed to be of greatest interest are the ones related to renewable energies, the environment, rural development and cooperation. Among the events that will be held, the following ones, at least, bear mentioning: a) Launching of the project; b) Inauguration of the first kits. •

Audio-visual materials: part of the general information strategy addresses the preparation of a video on the project’s development. The main advantage of preparing such a video is that it enables the project’s identity and philosophy to be presented directly from the beneficiaries’ point of view. A video is a communications tool; its visual impact favours the message’s acceptance by a variety of audiences. The video will be posted on the webpage, in a relevant section, and sent to journalists and people of interest in the target audience.

Press-kit material: notes and official press releases are fundamental information channels for the project, as they can have significant impact with hardly any economic cost. However, to ensure that the notes and official releases have such an impact and that they do get published, certain key points must be taken into consideration: Target media: it would be worthwhile to create a small database of the country, segmenting the media by thematic areas and identifying contact journalists.


Quality of information: news items must be truly relevant, written in a clear style, and they must convey the importance of the information. Objectives: at the very least, communications must be published when the following milestones are reached: project launching, selection of communities, installation of equipment, and every initiative of interest developed in the RC’s. Press relations are important if the messages are to be properly transmitted; when relevant milestones are reached, it may be productive to host meetings or press breakfasts with a small number of journalists. During these encounters, the importance of these achievements can be explained in greater detail. As a tool for mass distribution and significant impact, when defining their activities countries will consider the possibility of organising field visits for journalists under explicit invitation.

The style of project communications should be based on the following concepts: • Simple and clear. • Close to the language of the various publics for which they are intended. • Highly responsive to requests for information from the media. • Personalised, ongoing contact with journalists. • Collaborative and inspiring trust. Follow-up reports will be prepared on a quarterly basis to cover activities in the communications area: schedules of planned and completed activities, including the name of the event or activity, a brief description, the date of execution, the location, and the cost (if applicable). Activity reports must include a copy of all publications produced (photocopies of features in the press, of hand-outs and pamphlets, radio slots, polls, etc.). Every activity will be assessed in terms of actual effectiveness.

Outputs of Activity 5.2.: Output 5.2.1.: Visibility plan. Output 5.2.2.: Image manual. Output 5.2.3.: Functional, updated webpage. Output 5.2.4.: Communications and visibility material: press releases, pamphlets, video, posters, etc. Output 5.2.5.: Promotional material: videotapes, T-shirts, caps, etc. Output 5.2.6.: Quarterly follow-up reports on communications activities.

Other kinds of articles or press communiqués which may be sent to the media with information on the project must have the same distribution model as the press releases. •

Promotional material: having promotional materials to support the project’s various actions is considered necessary. Posters will also be prepared, to be used at events, and a general presentation of the project in PowerPoint will be distributed to all participants.







In EURO-SOLAR’s case, due to the geographical spread and great number of actors involved, it was deemed necessary that communication mechanisms and tools should be set up internally to facilitate the smooth, coordinated flow of information among them.

A project such as this one, with positive impacts in several key development components (e.g. education, health and ICT’s), has great synergetic potential with other projects, whether these are institutional or promoted by NGO’s or the RC’s themselves.

This is why an online work tool or “Intranet” was developed, taking advantage of the webpage’s infrastructure. The main objective of the Intranet is to facilitate team work and the possibility of sharing information and documentation online, thus offsetting, to a significant degree, the considerable geographical distribution of the participants.

All projects with which synergies might be established must be identified, and the appropriate measures must be taken to coordinate and detect specific points of action.

The basic elements of the Intranet are its planner/calendar, the possibility of assigning tasks, lists of addresses, e-mail accounts, document sharing, chats, etc. Access to the Intranet is provided through the webpage itself.

Outputs of Activity 5.3.: Output 5.3.1.: Functional intranet with periodic updates.


Outputs of Activity 5.4.: Output 5.4.1.: Listing of synergies and action plan for each one.


6) Sustainability Sustainability

Every definition of sustainability insists on the same criterion: the ability of a project’s effects to last over time. Sustainability is defined as the extent to which the objectives of the aid action can continue to be achieved after the aid itself has come to an end. In other words, it is the degree to which the positive effects derived from the intervention continue once the external help has been withdrawn. It seems obvious that if the changes a project generates on the ground are not long-lasting, its concrete contribution to a process of development is more than debatable, so the issue of sustainability appears to be a central criterion that should influence the intervention’s entire lifecycle. Experience has shown that there are a whole slew of factors that very significantly influence a project’s chances of being sustainable. That is to say that if an intervention neglects any one of these aspects or if any one of them presents concrete problems, the probability that the effects will survive over time would drop drastically. The group of sustainability factors currently considered in projects is relatively extensive. In the case of this project, it was agreed that there were four important factors that would determine the project’s future sustainability What follows is a very brief discussion of each of these factors, providing a

concrete definition of what each one of them represents specifically for the EURO-SOLAR Programme. 6.1. TECHNOLOGICAL SUSTAINABILITY Technological sustainability demands that the transferred technology be easily assimilated, both culturally and economically, by the beneficiaries, and that this translate into the proper operation of the equipment during its useful life. Difficulties may arise with the transferred technology when it is used or when maintenance is being carried out, due to the absence of spare parts or of personnel duly trained in its use. Also, resources are needed to cover the equipment’s operating and maintenance expenses. If the objectives set forth in the Project are to be achieved, the first requirement is to bridge the current gap between the technology of the equipment included in the kit and the reality of isolated communities without access to electric power. This makes it absolutely essential that community members are trained in the use of the equipment and that they see the advantages it can contribute to their everyday lives. Equally necessary is that the community itself should have the technical skills necessary to operate and perform basic maintenance on the equipment. This requires ensuring the success of the supplier’s training of community technical



managers, through the use of appropriate teaching tools and materials. Although the equipment supplier provides two years of system maintenance, in EURO-SOLAR’s case, ensuring the system’s technical sustainability also required: •

A supervisory entity to oversee the community’s correct use and handling of the kit. The existence of some entity or technical office to support the communities in the operation and maintenance of the kits once the after-sales service was terminated. Private local companies with technological capacity and the ability to respond to the communities.

The supervisory entity might depend on one of the ministries possibly involved (Energy, Education, Health, etc.) for its budget. The budgetary endowment should permit technical and administrative support for the communities in the purchasing of spare parts and, after termination of the supplier’s maintenance contract, where communities had not generated the necessary resources, sufficient financial reserves to guarantee the kits’ maintenance. The technical office will have to set up communication channels with the LCO’s which will serve as a control system for equipment malfunctions, so that maintenance measures may be activated. The Internet connection will greatly facilitate such contacts.


6.2. SOCIAL SUSTAINABILITY In most cases, the projects’ social failure is due to the fact that beneficiaries see them as foreign to their interests. Therefore, social sustainability occurs when the collective beneficiaries (rural communities) attain a “relationship of ownership” with the kit, when they view it as their own and are willing to sustain it by themselves, once the execution phase is over. To get the beneficiaries involved, their right to define their own priorities must be accepted, real participatory processes must be promoted, giving recipient rural communities decision-making power regarding the uses of the kit, and gradually reducing the stewardship Project managers had exercised. A gender focus is also required, to improve the specific position of women, eliminating the unequal relationship between sexes. Social sustainability requires the existence of a “managing organisation” within the community itself, capable of administering, operating and maintaining the kit so that the expected community services are provided: education, health, information technologies and promotion of productive activities. At the same time, measures must be taken to ensure the project will not damage the communities’ environmental conditions, given the negative impacts that may occur for nature, its resources, and the residents’ own health. In this sense, the

most critical aspect is the handling of used batteries, a waste by-product that will be generated every 5 years, when they must be replaced. To avoid these environmental impacts, it is essential that this issue be included in the training and that the necessary plans be defined to ensure the proper handling of waste materials. 6.3. ECONOMIC SUSTAINABILITY The assessment of economic and financial viability is an essential component which must not be neglected. Here, the basic question that must be answered is how the resources necessary to pay for the kit’s operating, maintenance, and replacement expenses (spare parts, consumables, material to be replaced, etc.) are to be obtained. Ideally, the objective is that each beneficiary rural community generates revenues through the kit’s exploitation, which would then be used to cover the operating, maintenance, and replacement expenses. Under “necessary replacements”, the substitution of used batteries - the life expectancy of which is five years – must be stressed, because of their considerable economic and environmental impact. It is important that financial plans be prepared to ensure the availability of the resources needed for the replacement of the used parts and their proper handling as hazardous waste materials.


An alternative to this desirable situation is that, particularly at first, an institution should contribute these indispensable resources. The idea is to establish a strategy of decreasing support over time, with the ultimate purpose of attaining the kits’ sustainability. Also, to ensure the kits’ maintenance, the scope of the contract with the supplier includes a two-year term of after-sales service. Nevertheless, an action strategy must be devised for those cases when, once the contract has expired, the community lacks the resources needed to operate and maintain the system.

Meanwhile, at the level of the communities themselves, the most appropriate legal structure for the transfer of ownership of the kits to the LCO’s must be analysed, defined and fomented. This will help in clearly identifying the rights and obligations of the community regarding the use, care and maintenance of the kit.

6.4. LEGAL SUSTAINABILITY One of the most typical causes of failure for many projects is the inadequate management capacity of those institutions in charge of their administration, once external assistance has come to an end. At the institutional level, there needs to be agreements, in accordance with the country’s political and legal context, to ensure the fulfilment of the commitments made by the authorities involved when contributing the means and resources needed to support the beneficiary rural communities in the management and maintenance of the kits, once the execution phase has been completed.






CONCEPTUAL SYSTEM-CALCULATION GUIDE Steps to follow to calculate the subsystems that form a typical EURO-SOLAR system




Photovoltaic solar power




Wind power

The weather conditions of the location of the kit, together with the technical conditions of the technology to be used, provide an estimate of the energy available. Using these data, it is possible to calculate and design the entire electric circuit of the power-generation subsystem.




In this case, we have an isolated system that uses all the energy accumulated in the storage subsystem; in this sense, the assembly is highly efficient. Energy is obtained only when charges/consumptions are operating. On this basis, and to ensure that the system be designed in accordance with energy-efficiency criteria, its concept and design should focus on the storage subsystem. That is to say, the energy-production and -consumption calculations will be correlated through the capacity to store energy and its later use. In the case of a battery-based storage system, the technological variables consist in both discharge capacity and lifecycles.




Decision-making regarding the charges to be used, as well as estimate of usage time, based on the nature of the charge.

Weight of each energy-consuming element in the system

These analyses are case-specific; they permit the energy demand to be estimated, as well as the times when demand can be expected to occur.



DEMAND VS GENERATION DEMAND VS GENERATION After analysing the various subsystems separately, it is possible to combine the results thus obtained to evaluate the system’s behaviour.




Furthermore, the system’s behaviour should be estimated under various generation and consumption scenarios



















For more information: European Commission Directorate-General for Development and Cooperation – EuropeAid Latin America and the Caribbean Regional Programmes for Latin America and the Caribbean E-mail:

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