Akvo annual reports
Akvo 2012 Annual Report.
Download the Akvo Annual Report 2012 (PDF 3.6 Mbyte)
I became chairman of Akvo late in 2012, at a time when the organisation began to enter an altogether new phase of its development. Akvo was launched in summer 2007, but its roots run deeper. It represents a fusion between those who have long sought a much brighter, dynamic future for international development cooperation, and those who are committed to open information technology.
A solid foundation of service revenues
Unlike many of today’s most familiar online services such as Google or Facebook, which rely on advertising income to fund their development, Akvo’s software is built on a solid foundation of service revenues, supplemented by strategic grant investments. This combination means we can respond more directly to ease development aid into a new phase. By the end of 2012, our systems justified at least €150 million worth of development cooperation projects, and were starting to open a new window into billions more. We do this by providing a layer of digital services that make it easy for our partners to rapidly scale up new programmes and initiatives. This report sets out some of those in more detail.
Akvo’s work on the face of it is harnessing computer software to empower a new generation of international development co-operation. But our real advantage is the ability to build trust with established networks of partners and finance, and bring that work online – the project data, stories and updates – in ways that are easy to understand and share.
In March 2012, an agreement was finalised with US NGO Water For People for Akvo to assume responsibility for the product development, global support and rollout of FLOW. This smart phone tool was conceived to map infrastructure such as water points, using phone surveys featuring geographically referenced data and photos, managed via web dashboards, with significant field imple - mentations in place.
A dedicated software development team was quickly put in place, and major new investments secured from organisations including Cisco Inc, the Hilton Foundation and the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. By the end of the year, a new product – Akvo FLOW 1.5 – was ready to be introduced to existing and new users.
A more responsive software development process
As Akvo went from having one core product to three, we restructured our software development team to focus on distinct product lines – Akvo RSR, Akvo FLOW and Akvo Openaid. For the first time, product managers would decide how to evolve their tool, and this has made the software development process more responsive to internal and external needs. Our partnership team, which had pre- viously handled business development and programme operations, restructured too, with a new partner operations function emerging.
New hubs, new Track Days
Since establishing its new home at the AmLab building in Amsterdam in October 2011, Akvo has thrived in the creative atmosphere of this historic location. 2012 saw the launch of Akvo Track Days, unique one-day events for existing and potential partners to meet our team, get hands-on experience of our tools, get inspired about how they can be used and share experience with each other.
We continue, too, to build a network of international hubs to support our expansion. Akvo’s East Africa hub opened in spring 2012 in the exciting atmosphere of the Nailab incubation lab in Nairobi and by year end was ready to spin out to its own new location. In December we also established a new hub in Washington DC, at the OpenGov Hub, right next door to the World Bank. This location is filled with new organisations working to bring open data and new approaches to international development and we look forward to a fruitful time there.
I’m grateful for the support and wisdom former chairman Mark Nitzberg has provided to the Akvo team during 2012 and I’m pleased he will continue to serve on Akvo’s supervisory board. His insight into the workings of a technology firm will remain invaluable.
Training and support
Akvo’s core staff now numbers close to 30, with most working directly on software development and partner support and training. Our work involves introducing web and mobile services in places where there has never been such infrastructure before. This is no easy task, even with technology trends going our way – and tools that are designed to be really simple. Our partner team plays a central role in supporting people through this process.
Our work over the coming year will focus on helping teams of people use Akvo tools to do great things. We’ll work hard to support all our partners, as they bring to life their efforts to improve the living conditions of many millions of people, still living in chronic poverty around the world.
Aalt Leusink, Chairman of the board, Akvo Foundation March 2013
Akvo 2011 Annual Report.
Download the Akvo Annual Report 2011 (PDF 1.8 Mbyte)
Akvo 2010 Annual Report.
Download the Akvo annual report for 2010 (PDF 1.5 Mbyte)
Akvo 2009 Annual Report.
Download the Akvo annual report for 2009 (PDF 1.4 Mbyte)
Akvo 2008 Annual Report.
Download the Akvo annual report for 2008 (PDF 1.4 Mbyte)