Project Title:

Health Facility Solar Electrification (HFSE) Programs in India: Documentation of Best Practices and Learnings

About SELCO Foundation

SELCO Foundation is an open-source, not-for-profit organization that engages in field-based R&D and ecosystem building for the deployment of clean energy solutions that alleviate poverty in tribal, rural, and urban poor areas. The organization works closely with practitioners in the social sector, energy entrepreneurs, and partners from various developmental sectors.

Context

In India, as of March 2021, 12% of health facilities functioned without electricity supply. Among the rest, many faced unreliable electricity with frequent power cuts. Reliable energy is required for effective delivery of health services and optimum functioning of health facilities. It has been seen that on an average, health facilities that have reliable supply of electricity (through solar energy) provided treatments to 50% more patients, and also had increased institutional deliveries.

To meet the energy needs of health facilities, public (governmental) and private efforts have been made to solar power health facilities in more than 15 states across India. SELCO Foundation has solar powered over 1,300 healthcare facilities through the Healthcare Scaling program. Furthermore, by 2030, SELCO Foundation intends to solarize 25,000 health facilities.

Given that different stakeholders have participated in solar powering health facilities across the country, it is essential to capture the best practices of all similar programs. SELCO Foundation aims to study and document the learning and best practices from Health Facility Solar Electrification programs undertaken in India until 2021.This will inform program designs and help in developing a guidance document for the healthcare sector to provide reliable energy in all facilities.

Study Rationale and Objectives

The broad goal of the study is to document the best practices and learning in Health Facility Solar Electrification (HFSE) program by government and non-government agency in India.

  • To identify states and programs through a secondary study for in-depth program studies in 3-4 states
  • To document in depth the needs at the health care vs system installed, quality of installation, capacity and awareness of health centre staff, service and maintenance, financial flow and ownership models

SF is targeting to solarize 25,000 health facilities by 2030. Additionally, SF is also looking to scale a lot of its health work across Africa through Global SDG 7 Hubs. This study would help in learning and improving the quality of implementation by looking into the gaps in designing for scale, in terms of capacity building, financials, ownership, and services & maintenance, and other ecosystem components, which can then inform programs to appropriately scale the health operations in terms of cost and operations.

Research Design

The study is designed as a qualitative program and solution design study to understand learnings from deployment of solar for public health facilities across various governmental and non-governmental agencies.

Scope of Work

The aims of this study are multi-fold and have been elaborated below:

  • Needs at the Health Centre vs Systems Installed -With aim to gauge whether systems are over/under or appropriately designed
  • Quality of Installations -With respect to the product quality of various components, current status of components and any other supporting design challenges or successes
  • Capacity and Awareness of Health Centre Staff -With respect to awareness regarding the system, utilisation of the system, maintenance of the system, knowledge on impacts of the system as well as any unmet needs expressed.
  • Servicing and Maintenance -With respect to the services offered by implementing agencies or solar energy enterprises involved as well as the accessibility of such services at the Health Facility Level.
  • Financial Flow and Ownership Models -With respect to the details capital and operating expenditures incurred, processes and models employed, agencies involved in the financial flow as well as, the success and challenges of chosen models.

Needs at the Health Centre vs Systems Installed -With aim to gauge whether systems are over/under or appropriately designed

Methodology: Interview with main Program PoC from Energy or Health Department

  • How was the need assessment done?
  • Who did the need assessment?
  • How were the energy needs understood?
  • How was the system designed?- backup, hybrid, autonomy, system breakup (if any)
  • Collect any assessment forms, tender/procurement documents

Quality of Installations -With respect to the product quality of various components, current status of components and any other supporting design challenges or successes

Methodology:Visiting health centres- Methodology for selection to be determined as per the state progra

  • Create a checklist with technology team based on BoM and tender documents shared by the Health/Energy Dept or Implementing Agency (include wiring, earthing, mounting structure, shadow free zones, south facing, angle of panels, open switch boards, placement of batteries etc)
  • Year of installation
  • Verify and validate the installation on the field
  • Confirm energy scenario and mix (before and after)
  • Verify performance of the system (how many hrs)

Capacity and Awareness of Health Centre Staff -With respect to awareness regarding the system, utilisation of the system, maintenance of the system, knowledge on impacts of the system as well as any unmet needs expressed.

Methodology: Visiting health centres- interviewing health centre in charge, and anyone else assigned for maintenance of the energy system installed

  • Awareness on system specifications (what is connected, back up, troubleshooting, actions for troubleshooting)
  • Is there someone incharge for maintenance and upkeep?
  • Was there anyone trained internally at the health centre?
  • If the system is not working, who do they call? What has been the response time? How has the response time impacted the functioning of the health facility?
  • Impact stories
  • What could be improved?
  • Process of upgradation of system

Collect any paperwork that the health facility incharge may have for the health facility

Servicing and Maintenance -With respect to the services offered by implementing agencies or solar energy enterprises involved as well as the accessibility of such services at the Health Facility Level.

Methodology: Interview with the deployment agency. Methodology to be determined after documentation of the servicing and maintenance mechanism

  • What is the servicing model which has been designed and implemented
  • Is their regular scheduled servicing? How is that tracked? Where is it managed from?
  • Do they receive complaints on troubleshooting from the health facilities directly?
  • How are those managed?
  • How long do they take to cater to servicing requirements?
  • What kind of servicing issues come up?
  • How is remoteness of facilities accounted for in servicing?
  • What are the existing gaps?

Collect any paperwork on maintenance and servicing visits by the service provider, or any service contracts signed locally.

Financial Flow and Ownership Models -With respect to the details capital and operating expenditures incurred, processes and models employed, agencies involved in the financial flow as well as, the success and challenges of chosen models.

Methodology: Interview with the key decision makers in the program, as well as health facility manager and district health officer

  • How was the capital investment mobilised
  • If possible, what was the breakup- hardware versus operational
  • Who owns the system?
  • What is the monitoring process set up?
  • How are recurring costs on maintenance mobilised?
  • What is the plan for replacement of batteries?
  • How is system upgradation planned for?

Collect any paperwork on financial allocations.

Tasks and Deliverables

An initial desk research points to the following States to be considered for the study: Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, Goa, Tripura, Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh, Jharkhand, Meghalaya, Manipur, Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh Gujarat, Assam, Nagaland, Odisha, Bihar, and West Bengal.

3-4 States are to be selected on the basis of the kind of programs that have been implemented in order to select varying model typologies:

  • Health facility nodal points
  • System Design Approach
  • Funding source and lead government department/ other lead/ catalysing agencies
  • Geographical terrain, climate challenges and health challenges or socio-economic factors

The key deliverables for the Study are as proposed:

  • State/ Program wise documentation report of Health Facility Solar Electrification Programs
  • Overall learning and best practices report for Health Facility Solar Electrification Programs in India
  • Note on suggestions for guidelines to be developed for future Health Facility Solar Electrification Programs to be conducted in India

Copyright

SELCO Foundation will own the Copyright of this study. This will include data, photographs, reports, and any other material created and collected as per the mandate of this study. IPR of the study will also be with SELCO Foundation. All the information received for the duration of this assignment from the SELCO foundation has to be treated with confidentiality and must not be shared without prior written permission.

Timelines

SNo Activity M1 M2 M3 M4 M5 M6
1 Initial research and consultations in all 11 states
2 Selection Criteria and Study Design
3 Permissions and Study Tool Validation
4 Primary Study in 3-4 States
5 Data analysis and Draft Report
6 Review and Final Report

Essential Qualification of the Consultant

The agency should have a qualified, skilled, and experienced team to carry out various activities as mentioned above:

  • The agency should have a minimum of 5 years of experience in conducting research/ study/ evaluation/ monitoring and proven and relevant expertise in renewable energy, solar energy, healthcare service provision, etc
  • The agency team should have experience in the design and management of program evaluation, landscape research studies, implementation research. Demonstrated expertise in research, evaluation, and monitoring skills is required, including developing complex and large-scale evaluation/research/monitoring designs, and methodology.
  • The agency should have skilled persons with proven expertise in research, impact evaluation, and core thematic areas of healthcare services and solar energy.
  • A pan-India presence and proven track record of on-time performance on assignments of similar scale. The agency should have successfully executed at least 5 multi-state research/ study/ evaluation/ monitoring activities in the past 5 years.
  • The agency should have a track record of an effective system for internal quality assurance and ethical review.
  • At least three client references and contact information should be provided. The references should be limited to work done within the past five years and specific to India in relevant fields.

Proposal

The proposal needs to include CVs of key personnel, organizational credentials, data collection capabilities in specified geographies, and detailed costing. Please include a Gantt chart showing timelines and dependencies as well. The proposal should include the following elements:

  • Cover page
  • Technical Proposal
    • Agency profile (Same for both objectives)
    • Evaluation approach, methodology, and Sample size
    • Team and person-days
    • Tentative timeline of activities (Separate for both objectives)
    • Resumes of team leader and team members
    • Short descriptions of other relevant projects done
  • Financial Proposal
  • The agency is requested to send a proposal– with a break up of activities.

Agencies are requested to submit separate PDF documents for all of the above and name the file –Proposal SFHFSE Best Practices and Learnings (Agency Name)_DD/MM/YYYY. We request you to submit your proposal by 28th March 2023 to procurement@selcofoundation.org