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August 13, 2009 @ 9:07 am
Small-Scale Sustainable Infrastructure Development Fund (S3IDF)

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With visitors from 41 countries/territories I realized I better add another internationally-focused post to my ongoing series. I have covered 8 countries (in addition to the USA) so far and for number 9 I’ll discuss this innovative development organization doing work in India. S3IDF was registereddelucia1 in Massachusetts in 2001 and staffed in India in 2002. Having traveled throughout India in 2005 (Delhi, Bombay and Agra), I can tell you that it is simultaneously one of the craziest, most chaotic, yet amazing places in the world. The people are very friendly and very smart and while the country has its challenges related to poverty, infrastructure and resource management, strong economic growth has created many opportunities for the ambitious, industrious population. Yet, large segments of the population have been left behind.

To provide the poorer, rural and urban dwellers with a lift, S3IDF has stepped in to provide an environmentally-friendly economic push. According to the website, the organization, considers itself “a ‘social merchant bank’ that helps small enterprises to provide modern energy and other infrastructural services to poor people in developing countries in ways that are financially sustainable and environmentally responsible. It covers the provision of services in electricity, water, sanitation, transport and telecommunications that are necessary for poverty alleviation.” In 2007, Russell de Lucia (CEO & Chairman) and the organization won the Clean Energy Award in the “NGOs and Initiatives” category for their provision of efficient lighting services to poor households, communities and small/medium enterprises (SMEs) in southern India. Over 30 projects were implemented and powered with clean energy. About 6,000 beneficiaries now have improved health and safety as well as increased income earning opportunities through extended work hours. The electricity is provided by photovoltaics that charge batteries, biogas or other renewable generation methods. Keep reading for information about there other projects.

In addition to lighting, S3IDF has six other focus areas:

  • Productive Use/Livelihood & Transportation – ex: financed a milk delivery truck so 225 household could sell milk to a Co-Op
  • Very Small Household Energy/Infrastructure Device – ex: finances lights, pressure cookers for efficient cooking, water purifiers etc.
  • Biomass Energy – manages 7 such projects
  • Information and Communication Technology – finances businesses including Fedex Office style kiosks offering copies, phone service, internet, etc.
  • Enterprise Support Transactions (for Supply Chain Players) – ex: financed the installation of over 400 energy-efficient silk reeling ovens

silk-ovens

  • Modern Energy and Fuels supply – ex: organized a franchisee electric business in 3 villages that creates profit opportunity through billing and collection efficiency and the bundling of energy efficient devices such as compact fluorescent lights (CFLs)

Detailed information about the various projects can be found here.

Russell de Lucia Photo: Courtesy of Clean Energy Awards
Oven Photo: Courtesy of S3IDF

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