Building Health Globally - one household at a time

Building Health Globally - one household at a time

Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
$100,000 - $250,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

In the world, 1 in 6 live in slums, 35% lack access to improved sanitation, 60% of the poorest people die from infectious disease and 67% of child deaths are from preventable infectious diseases. ARCHIVE supports the idea that promoting better housing and living conditions is key to improve health among disadvantaged groups. As this relation is mostly not addressed, ARCHIVE has not only spread this message, but also worked together with local communities severely affected by the infectious diseases, such as malaria, tuberculosis and diarrhoea. For this, ARCHIVE marries the immediate and long-term community needs with innovative design and construction techniques. Local residents participated in the project development as well as receive training.

About Project

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

NGOs like Architecture for Humanity (AfH) ‘promote architecture and design to seek solutions to global social and humanitarian crisis’. This is clearly a much broader focus than that of ARCHIVE who singularly concentrates on improving health through innovative housing design. Unlike AfH, ARCHIVE is not a post-disaster organisation, but prioritises medium and long-term development. Our Haiti project considers the consequences of the earthquake but it was conceived before the earthquake. Health Habitat in Australia works to improve Aboriginal housing conditions that improve health but their work prioritises Australian indigenous people. ARCHIVE’s innovation stems from: 1) Investment in design and use of engineered building materials to create healthier housing environments; 2) Use of global design competitions that fuse community needs, health technologies and professional expertise across different disciplines and 3) Twofold strategy to prevent illness and improve housing simultaneously – in a cost and time effective manner. Combined no other organization works globally which this specific mission. ARCHIVE spans designing/building, for instance, through stoves to reduce indoor smoke, concrete floors to reduce anemia/asthma, windows to combat malaria and toilets to prevent cholera. At ARCHIVE, the infection control happens at home.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

ARCHIVE institutes 1) Disease prevention (e.g. Tuberculosis and Malaria) projects in developing countries and; 2) Community awareness projects in developed countries. For the first, architectural design competitions are promoted to solicit a range of approaches for building houses that combat disease while encouraging participants to form multi-disciplinary, multi-regional teams. The design brief is provided by ARCHIVE in consultation with future inhabitants from the target community and the latest public health recommendations. Designs are judged by experts and community representatives. Winning entries are built using sweat equity whereby communities are trained in construction techniques. For the second, work is conducted with the most vulnerable, such as refugee and migrant communities with the highest tuberculosis (TB) incidence in England. Partnering with the local government, public health services and NGOs, we build awareness about minimizing the spread of TB in the home through workshops, conferences and events. It is aimed to make TB a major issue in the public sphere and to empower residents to take simple preventative action.
About You
About You
First Name


Last Name


About Your Organization
Organization Name


Organization Phone


Organization Address

New York, NY

Organization Country

, NY, New York County

Country where this project is creating social impact

, AR

How long has your organization been operating?

1‐5 years

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What stage is your project in?

Operating for 1‐5 years

Tell us about the community that you engage? eg. economic conditions, political structures, norms and values, demographic trends, history, and experience with engagement efforts.

One of the sites ARCHIVE work is Haiti, which has the highest per capita TB burden (TB incidence is 306/100,000 of the population) in the Latin America and Caribbean region. After HIV/AIDS, TB is the country’s highest infectious cause of mortality in both youth and adults (6,814 deaths in 2007). In January 2010 an earthquake (magnitude of 7.0) struck the country, leaving 300,000 dead and over 1.5 million people homeless. On the 6-month anniversary of the earthquake, ARCHIVE along with UN Special Envoy to Haiti launched a global open innovation project to draw attention to and solicit designs for housing strategies that could minimise the risk of TB transmission in Haiti. ARCHIVE has since then successfully been engaging hundreds of community members, through workshops and dialogues about the link between living conditions and health. Its work is implemented though close partnership with a local community based organisation that has a 10 year history of engagement with local population. The ARCHIVE’s founder and director was also born in Jamaica – the nearby country and exposed to many of the same cultural, climatic and socio-economic and political challenges faced by Haiti. Combined, these allow ARCHIVE to work sensitively and methodically in delivering its work.

Share the story of the founder and what inspired the founder to start this project

Peter has seen it and lived it. Born into a low-income Jamaican community, he saw how houses nearby were built on low-lying dry riverbeds and thus vulnerable to flooding and water-borne disease. Living in a 5-sibling household with poor housing conditions, he saw how housing led to his father to contract the rodent borne disease Leptospirosis. When at the age of 8, he said to his father that he wanted to be like that man across the street hand-mixing concrete to build his house. His father replied: ‘No son you mean you want to be an architect’. After the disease left his father paralysed and housebound for 7 years until his death, Peter saw that their house failed in both cases – the ability to prevent disease and to alleviate the disease burden. He knew that for many other Jamaicans the challenge was worse. As a caregiver for his dad during his illness, he saw how simple improvements may have drastically improved his health and spared his life. Subsequent travel to slums in Brazil, Morocco, Vietnam and Mozambique has shown him that this is not Jamaican challenge but a global one. As an architect that has practiced on 5 continents and designed projects ranging from $3000 to $3 billion, he was certain that he was well positioned to understand and lead an ambitious effort in preventing disease through housing improvement. Working for institutions such as the World Bank on housing and the UNAIDS Secretariat on heath disparities, he honed his critical understanding of these issues. However, what he wants above all is to make a real difference in people’s life.

Social Impact
Please describe how your project has been successful and how that success is measured

The project in Haiti sequentially includes the following: i) Baseline Study: Assessment and documentation of - health risks in the community as well as the variety of building styles/practices observed; ii) Open Innovation Campaign (OIC): Assembling 1600 health and design professionals globally from approximately 20 countries to produce innovative approaches for the way in which Haitians could improve their living conditions while minimizing risks to diseases such as TB; iii) Construction (intervention): Building five housing units for the purpose of studying their performance before scaling up, and; iv) Evaluation: Use of questionnaire to be completed by community worker and housing occupants. This questionnaire records and assesses the risks associated with environmental parameters such as, high indoor humidity, low ventilation, presence of indoor smoke, etc. These parameters are key ingredients that are adjusted to minimise the risk of TB transmission.
Since the project’s commencement, we have met and trained hundreds in Haiti from the private, public and third sectors about how these design principles achieve desired results. Our local partner's Director, Esther Boucicaut was an integral part of the judging process and she asserted, “In Haiti, HIV+ individuals are rejected by society and even their families making many homeless. This makes them even more susceptible to infectious diseases like TB - already a serious problem among our members. ARCHIVE's housing project will improve our members' living conditions and provide them with a crucial base from which to rebuild healthier lives.”

How many people have been impacted by your project?


How many people could be impacted by your project in the next three years?


Winning entries present a strong plan for how they will achieve growth. Identify your six-month milestone for growing your impact

The project will be scaled up to an integrated community that includes an agricultural project, health clinic, vocational school and orphanage. Once completed it will provide services for 30K people.

Task 1

Consult/assess the community’s capacity to ensure the project can effectively be designed, developed and delivered by them; identifying both the gaps and strengths.

Task 2

Commence training for community members to qualify as social health workers and builders. Conduct participatory design workshops with community to solicit their design input on facilities. eg. clinic

Task 3

Conduct stakeholder analysis: Consultation with key external (international) and internal (local) groups/individuals to confirm their role in the project.

Identify your 12-month impact milestone

Complete design of facilities and achieve 30% completion on institutional facilities. Commence baseline study in Cameroon for similarly modelled project.

Task 1

Training of teachers, health/care workers, builders and farmers

Task 2

Conduct inter-ministerial workshop with Ministry of Health and Housing to outline plans for scaling up program through public support.

Task 3

Create field office/desk in Haiti and Cameroon

How will your project evolve over the next three years?

We will demonstrate the replicability and global application of our approach by working on 4 health challenges in 4 regions. We will continue to focus on infectious diseases by addressing key challenges that are endemic in geographic regions. The will be: Latin America – Chagas; South Asia – Diarrhoea-related illness; Caribbean – Tuberculosis; West Africa – Malaria. These will all begin with pilot programmes and will include the participation of public and private sector partnerships. The project delivery will be done through local community groups.

What barriers might hinder the success of your project and how do you plan to overcome them?

Internally, ARCHIVE has been slower than it would have liked in developing a cost generating structure to decrease the organization’s reliance on restricted grant-funding. ARCHIVE is now investing resources in the developing a for-profit arm which generates a surplus sufficient to cover its operating costs and project deliveries. The strongest part is that this also involves improving health among the most disadvantaged. ARCHIVE has completed the market research and due diligence has began discussions with prospective clients. Externally, ARCHIVE risks being perceived as an architectural non-profit organization working solely in the design arena, while its mission is a full service delivery which includes needs assessments (to be used by governments and private/third sector groups), design, construction, training, awareness/education and health improvements. To deal with this risk, ARCHIVE will focus its communication strategy around the benefits to be gained by its holistic approach.

Tell us about your partnerships

The successful delivery of ARCHIVE’s work depends heavily on fruitful partnerships between public, private and third sector organisations. Design, development and delivery of projects are carried out at the local (community) level and often facilitated by community based organisations. Private sector companies – whether internal to the country location or external – are important to provide co-financing, training or other in-kind support as needed. In many instances, ARCHIVE leverages their support to provide materials at significantly reduced costs. Public agencies are important to maximise the impact of the projects. ARCHIVE works to ensure that its programs are consistent with National Strategies (where they exist) or to advocate for the development of strategies which demonstrate the cost-effectiveness of improvement in living conditions that target health.

Explain your selections

ARCHIVE’s current revenue strategy involves 1. Encourage individual donations through fundraising campaigns and events; 2. Foundations: Restricted and unrestricted grants to cover project and operating costs; 3. National Government: to implement public service programs. We’re currently receiving funding from the UK government to deliver health outreach programs to low-income communities. 4. Other: Corporations have supported our work as part of their philanthropic effort. 5. Customers: In the near future ARCHIVE will launch a for-profit arm which will require payment for consultancy services. These customers are intended to be largely from the private sector.

How do you plan to strengthen your project in the next three years?

By 2015, ARCHIVE would have begun its for-profit arm (provisionally “Arch Ventures”) to be launched in 2012 and where 100% of profits will be used to offset the delivery of ARCHIVE’s work. Profits will cover around 70% of running costs and approximately 30% of project implementation while balances are to be met by continued project grants and fundraising. ARCHIVE will continue to diversify its revenue stream, becoming even less dependent on individual/organizational donations and more reliant on earned income. Organizationally strategy will be focused around retaining core team members that can be involved in project design through to evaluation. A greater emphasis will be placed on demonstrating the cost effectiveness of our approach to communities and governments. This may require even more robust work with researchers and evaluation consultants to even more clearly prove the impact investment effectiveness.

Which barriers to health and well-being does your innovation address?
Please select up to three in order of relevancy to your project.


Lack of physical access to care/lack of facilities


Health behavior change


Incentives for unhealthy living

Please describe how your innovation specifically tackles the barriers listed above.

PRIMARY:Our current project locations include Haiti and Cameroon. Each location addresses disease prevention by highlighting a specific disease, such as Tuberculosis (TB) and Malaria respectively.SECONDARY: Our work in the United Kingdom focuses on advocacy and outreach which is important in complementing our hands on delivery in developing countries. In Haiti, we are currently designing and, soon after, constructing a health clinic to serve the needs of a wider community. Such a facility complements rather than competes with the role of housing in preventing and combating disease.TERTIARY: We were invited by the European Centre of Disease Control to assist in drafting policy on TB in Europe. We were the only advocates for housing/living conditions as part of an infection control strategy.

How are you growing the impact of your organization or initiative?
Please select up to three potential pathways in order of relevancy to you.


Grown geographic reach: Multi-country


Enhanced existing impact through addition of complementary services


Influenced other organizations and institutions through the spread of best practices

Please describe which of your growth activities are current or planned for the immediate future.

PRIMARY: Our current project location includes Cameroon and Haiti. Each location addresses disease prevention by highlighting a specific disease such as Malaria and Tuberculosis (TB) respectively. SECONDARY: Our work in the United Kingdom focuses on advocacy and outreach which is important in complementing our hands on delivery in developing countries. In Haiti, we are currently designing and soon after constructing a health clinic to serve the needs of a wider community. Such a facility complements rather than competes with the role of housing in preventing and combating disease. TERTIARY: We were invited by the European Centre of Disease Control to assist in drafting policy on TB in Europe. We were the only advocates for housing/living conditions as part of an infection control strategy.

Do you collaborate with any of the following: (Check all that apply)

Government, NGOs/Nonprofits, For profit companies, Academia/universities.

If yes, how have these collaborations helped your innovation to succeed?

GOVERNMENT: United Kingdom National Health Service is a current partner for delivering our TB and housing outreach project. They provide guidance and resources for community members to access diagnosis. In Cameroon the National Malaria Control Program ensures our work fits within their delivery strategy.NGOs: These groups are important in filling gaps/expertise that ARCHIVE lacks. In Haiti, we work with organizations that are agriculture specialists, water purification experts and community mobilizers. FOR PROFIT: Receive and install sound/effective business practices, including project planning, monitoring and assessment of effectiveness. Academia provides researchers to keep our work credible. Each project is based on new known research about the impact of design on health improvement.