The Winner

M.Paani proposes development of women's self help groups (SHG) that are established to represent the community as a whole. Working with local NGOs, the SHGs take out water and sanitation loans from partner micro-financing institutions (MFI) to build water and sanitation infrastructure. Partnering with local telecommunications companies, the SHG encourages community members to sign up for mobile service through an incentive program that rewards members for topping up their mobile phones with "water points," which equate to money that accrues in a locally owned and managed "drop fund." Community members can pay for their water via mobile banking, and the community receives a marginal discount off of their water and sanitation bill if they remain with the telecommunications partner.

A fund management committee, made up of elected leaders from each SHG, manages the "drop fund," which is then used to pay off the loan taken from the MFI and to finance long-term maintenance of new infrastructure and ongoing community hygiene education.

M.Paani leverages the high penetration of mobile technology in the developing world, in combination with the Water Credit 2.0 model, to connect and empower communities in need with information and access to micro-finance solutions.