Abstract for: Understanding the Implementation Dynamics of a Technology Intervention Project

This paper presents preliminary work on modeling and understanding the implementation dynamics of a large-scale solar technology intervention project in rural India. The model focuses on project implementation rather than the intervention’s impact. The project aimed to provide solar lamps to a million school students by assembling the technology locally at assembly-distribution centers spread across rural India. This involved recruiting and training local people, regular supply of components to local centers, assembly of lamps at required quality, awareness campaigning, demand generation, sales, and diffusion/ uptake of the product in communities. These diverse elements were brought together in a cohesive system dynamics model to explore implementation. Three feedback loops – continuous quality improvement, demand stimulation and work fatigue – are identified and their roles in the dynamics of the project are discussed. An aggregate causal loop diagram is presented, based on which a detailed system dynamics simulation model was developed. The model is calibrated to project implementation data and used to discuss emerging dynamics. The contribution of the paper is in bringing together elements of supply & production, new product diffusion and project management dynamics, which can be also be used for understanding the roll-out dynamics of other large scale technology intervention projects.