Solution Overview & Team Lead Details

What is the name of your solution?

Ari The Pad ATM

Provide a one-line summary of your solution.

Our end-to-end menstrual management system includes innovative last-mile distribution through our sanitary pad dispensers (Pad ATMs) in schools, public toilets, and other institutions.

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What is your solution?

The pad ATM is a smart sanitary pad dispensing ATM offering easy, convenient self-service access to our beneficiaries, school going girls and dispensing analytics to our clients, the program leads. Our innovation leverages IoT and cloud computing technology to account for pad dispensation - tallying this data to the cloud server for storage and analytics. Here, AI models are used to optimize operations, generating information such as user adoption, stock management and consumption prediction. 

What specific problem are you solving?

We will currently never attain universal access to sanitary pads with the current distribution method due to these two issues: distribution and data gaps in sanitary pad programs Distribution gap is in part due to physical inaccessibility to last mile delivery of sanitary pads. This has led to an oversaturation of sanitary pad programs within Kenya’s major cities as transportation cost is more expensive the further you are from the major towns. As a result it has led to inequitable distribution where not all girls get the sanitary pad provisions. The current distribution system does not take into consideration socio-economic factors. For example, it relies heavily on the school administration to hand out sanitary pads which often leads to a skewed power dynamic that leaves students not comfortable to ask for sanitary pads if they have a negative relationship with the custodian. Another example of this deficit is that very poor school going girls resell their sanitary pad provisions to buy food. The distribution system currently employed is homogenous therefore it does not cater to variances in menstrual flow needs. The average distribution is one packet of 5-10 pieces per month. For this problem we offer a solution through our pad atm. Due to the size of the machine it can be placed in remote areas that would otherwise have been too expensive to run a program there, as going to the location and doing M&E would be too expensive and time consuming to have sustainable programs. It is also an on demand, automated, no adult interference, self-service option for the girls. We dispense one single sanitary pad to break the value of the pads as well as give the option of customization so that girls get more pads. In relation to the data gap the biggest issue is that there is no accurate, shareable data within the menstrual health management eco-system. The biggest cause of this is that it is expensive to collect data. The overall menstrual health management sector relies on self-reporting. This is not the most accurate method of data collection. There is no current evidence of any sanitary pad intervention that is publicly available. This results to menstrual health management players working in silos which could lead to the risk of having duplicate programs in the same school and causing over supply within these schools. There is no data to show that the provisions even reached the girls. There is currently no traceability system within this eco-system. This results to a lack of standardization in key performance indicators to even ascertain that impact was indeed achieved. This has led to bloated impact number i.e stating number of pads give once as impact vs impact quality i.e staying and providing impact to one school results to different impact numbers To solve this ambiguity we offer continuous data collection for M&E. We map out schools by distribution needs vs actual dispensation to help in stock management and distribution and overall help in assessing the effectiveness of these interventions.

Who does your solution serve, and in what ways will the solution impact their lives?

According to the Kenya Bureau of Statistics, Population census 2019, there are roughly 9.6 million girls between the ages of 9-18 years. We include girls who are hearing impaired, those who experience learning difficulties due to multiple reasons and those who are physically impaired. We are currently working with an organization that works with individuals who are visually impaired to design a system that is also inclusive. Our aim is to provide a positive menstrual experience through ease of access regardless of ability. 

How are you and your team well-positioned to deliver this solution?

Our design allows for girls with different type of abilities to access sanitary pads in a dignified way. Our system does not heighten social- economic differences in schools. We tie in user uptake and dispensation rates with human centered design to assess behavioral changes this means the girls are at the center of the decision making on how many pads they want, what type of sanitary pads they prefer and how they want to discuss issues relating to their menstrual health especially in school. As a result we have a lot more confident girls who are assured of their monthly provision in schools thus eradicating menstrual related stress such as looking for their own provisions or having their limited provision work for their menstrual cycle.

Which dimension of the Challenge does your solution most closely address?

Improve the SRH outcomes of young people and address root cause barriers to SRHR care.

In what city, town, or region is your solution team headquartered?

Nairobi, Kenya

In what country is your solution team headquartered?

  • Kenya

What is your solution’s stage of development?

Growth: An organization with an established product, service, or business model that is rolled out in one or more communities

How many people does your solution currently serve?

We measure general population accessibility to sanitary pads through number of cards we have issued out. User uptake which is within the girls who have cards how many are using the innovation and dispensation which is the actual count of how many sanitary pads our machine has given out. As well as the schools we have managed to install the pad ATMs in.

When we were doing coin based machine we provided access to sanitary pads through our machines to over 200,000 women per month. Those were women using the facilities that had our sanitary pad dispensers. Over the 4 years we had user uptake of about 4% that is 8,000 women per month and a dispensation rate of 8,000 pads per month as it was emergency situation the ratio was 1:1.

Since we pivoted and introduced the pad ATM we have issued out 764 cards and dispensed over 15,000 sanitary pads. Currently we have a user uptake of about 60% in the two schools we are currently in.

Who is the Team Lead for your solution?

Munira Twahir

More About Your Solution

What makes your solution innovative?

Our solution is innovative in that we utilize a dispensing machine and IoT technology to manage SRH programs. This results in a reduction of resource wastage and real-time efficiency improvements. This innovation leads to more accurate and standardized reporting, ultimately instilling greater confidence among stakeholders. Additionally, providing autonomy for individuals to manage their own SRH thus it will enhance beneficiary/end user confidence, as there will be fewer third-party interactions

What are your impact goals for the next year and the next five years, and how will you achieve them?

SDG 3: Good Health and Well-being:
Target 3.7: By 2030, ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health-care services, including for family planning, information and education, and the integration of reproductive health into national strategies and programs. 

SDG 4: Quality Education: 

Target 4.7: By 2030, ensure that all learners acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development, including, among others, through education for sustainable development and sustainable lifestyles, human rights, gender equality, promotion of a culture of peace and non-violence, global citizenship and appreciation of cultural diversity and of culture's contribution to sustainable development. 

SDG 5: Gender Equality: 

Target 5.6: Ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health and rights as agreed in accordance with the Program of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development and the Beijing Platform for Action and the outcome documents of their review conferences. 

SDG 17: Partnerships for the Goals: 

Target 17.17: Encourage and promote effective public, public-private, and civil society partnerships, building on the experience and resourcing strategies of partnerships.

Our business is built on the foundation of strong partnerships that will lead to increased access to SRH and MHM products and information. One specific target group being school going girls who could be potentially disadvantaged without this timelyintervention.

Describe in simple terms how and why you expect your solution to have an impact on the problem.

We help our clients understand the impact of their intervention through our reports. Furthermore the frequency of data we give our clients allows them to adjust much more quickly within the program unlike other methods where M&E reporting is done at the end. There is no existing machine that operates like ours as most technically advanced dispensers look at multiple payment options and are neither cashless nor anonymous. We have also reduced the school administration burden in ensuring the success of the sanitary pad program. Currently teachers are meant to take stock and have a system of issuing out the sanitary pads. With our system they are just in charge of refilling the dispenser which has eased their work load.

In which countries do you currently operate?

  • Kenya

In which countries will you be operating within the next year?

  • Kenya
Your Team

What type of organization is your solution team?

Hybrid of for-profit and nonprofit

How many people work on your solution team?

4 Full-time

2 Contractors

How long have you been working on your solution?

10 Years

What is your approach to incorporating diversity, equity, and inclusivity into your work?

Inteco has always been and still is an equal opportunity employer. We are committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all members of staff, clients, volunteers, subcontractors, vendors, and clients.  We do not discriminate on the basis of race, colour, religion, gender, gender expression, age, national origin, disability, marital status, sexual orientation.

Your Business Model & Funding

What is your business model?

We are a B2B company that charges our client base an annual subscription fee per machine. This encompasses the installation, maintenance, repair and technical support the school will need. We give a total of 8 reports per annum in the following areas: sanitary pad dispensation, user uptake and behavioral observations relating to the program. We require our clients to sign a minimum 3-year contract so as to not disrupt the distribution of sanitary pads to our locations. Our fees do not include sanitary pads but, we have a network of sanitary pad suppliers who we work with.

Do you primarily provide products or services directly to individuals, to other organizations, or to the government?

Organizations (B2B)

What is your plan for becoming financially sustainable?

Our primary revenue model is the sale of equipment, which comes with a two-year warranty. Additionally, we have a secondary revenue model where youth partners/ community stakeholders can work as sales partners to facilitate direct sales or support to our equipment to institutions. In this case, we employ a revenue sharing model. We believe in the long run through larger stakeholder partnerships along the value change we will have a created a market place business model.

Solution Team

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