Thanks for your feedback and comments! Please let us know if you have any additional questions.
In response to your question, workers are tested in two ways: upfront through a practical test at the end of a week long road repair training and over time by collecting data on their efficiency in repairs. We will be looking at the amount of road an individual repair per day, weighted based on road severity though IRI, and the rate of deterioration of the roads they have repaired, slower deterioration meaning a higher score. These data will be used to build profiles on workers and be a part of the evaluation when allocating future repair contracts.
On base pay, we will set a wage floor based on local input to make sure that workers will make a livable wage. In Uganda, a typical wage for manual work is about $3-4 per day. For our first project, workers received $6 per day plus food and water.
On your question on biggest challenge for our startup: There are many different stakeholders in infrastructure governance and repairs and the sale cycle for each segment require more evidence and patience.
Our primary customer segment are local governments and their pain points are they need better road intelligence and lower cost repairs to serve more of their communities. The challenge we have encountered are they are hesitant to adopt new technologies and need to see case studies before they will purchase.
Our next customer segment are funders such as foundations and development agencies. They don’t dispute the impact of of roads and have previously funded road improvements. Their hesitation is they need more data from a larger scale implementation to validate our model creates the same social impact they’ve seen.
Our third customer segment are businesses and NGOs that have local operations. Large agriculture and natural resource companies have paid for road repairs before given the closed loop of their operations. For other companies, they need evidence that show sustained road improvements tie to lower cost operations and better supply chains.
We believe these concerns can be addressed with one larger scale implementation of our software for road repairs. Specifically, road condition data will be collected to create the vital link to social impact and roads will be repaired so local government and communities can see the immediate impact.
To get ahead of the question of financial sustainability, we see grant funding as critical in the beginning to validate our model. On an operate basis though, stakeholders have expressed willingness to pay and it is a matter of grabbing a piece of their budget.