PoweringHealth.org is a web based knowledge portal designed by USAID's Energy Team for all those seeking options to provide reliable electricity to power health clinics and facilities in developing countries. The objective of Poweringhealth.org is to improve the success rate of health facility electrification efforts. It is targeted at a wide range of users – from local health workers to international donors and ministry officials – with multiple layers of increasingly technical information. Information is provided to help the user weigh the pros and cons of various energy systems with a focus on ensuring the sustainability of solutions and disseminating international best practices.
The website is designed around a step-wise approach to understanding a health facility’s energy needs and designing an energy system to meet those needs in a cost effective way. The steps include the following:
- Identify your health center’s current energy demands;
- Determine whether your energy demands will change in the near-term;
- Establish energy target in terms of kilowatt hours per day (kWh/day);
- Assess, evaluate, and select the most appropriate technology needed to meet the target;
- Design system, procure, and install technology with the help of an expert; and
- Operate, maintain, and manage your energy system.
The first three steps are supported by quantitative tools for conducting an energy audit, energy load calculation, and energy system optimization. The tools consist of interactive data tables where users can input information on health center energy needs and determine energy targets. The tools will also enable users to select the appropriate energy system based on a life-cycle cost analysis. To date, the methodology outlined on Powering Health.org has been implemented in collaboration with the USG PEPFAR program in Ethiopia, Guyana, Haiti, and Rwanda.
One of the primary objectives of Powering Health is to collect and disseminate international best practices. Several case studies are highlighted on the site, and users are encouraged to email case studies, experiences, best practices and other comments to the USAID Energy Team.