2024 F.M. Kirby Impact Prize Finalist Spotlight: SOIL

We are thrilled to share why we are so excited about each of the five finalists for the 2024 F.M. Kirby Prize for Scaling Impact. Here, we share what we’ve learned about SOIL (Sustainable Organic Integrated Livelihoods).  

The Problem SOIL is Working to Address 

SOIL (Sustainable Organic Integrated Livelihoods) has worked in Haiti over the past 14 years to address the most basic sanitation – and related safety and human dignity – rights for the country’s most vulnerable urban communities.  SOIL provides container-based toilets, demonstrated to withstand weather events in that region, to families who lack access to sanitation in the city of Cap-Haitian.  As part of a holistic approach, SOIL then creates compost from the waste which is used to enrich the severely depleted soil throughout the region; the compost process also reduces CO2 emissions.  

SOIL employees checking in on a customer. Photo courtesy of SOIL.

Why We’re Excited About SOIL’s Impact Potential 

By the end of 2023, over 15,000 people in Cap-Haitian were accessing SOIL’s container-based toilets in their homes. This access to sanitation through the toilets has been especially impactful for women; the percentage of customers who reported feeling safe from physical and sexual assault when using their primary sanitation option increased from 31% to 90% with the container-based toilets.  SOIL reports producing 18.95 metric tons of compost per month from the toilet waste, and calculates the CO2-eq offset from this process as 2,096 tons per year.  We’re excited about SOIL’s continued impact potential for several reasons, including: 

  • Demonstrated resilience and adaptability.  SOIL has operated in Haiti over the past 14 years, continuing to serve communities and adapt its approach as the country has faced political and climate-related crises. We have confidence in their commitment and ability to continue to create impact as changes continue across the country. 
  • Holistic approach. SOIL addresses several different challenges through its work: lack of access to sanitation, gender equality and safety, poor soil quality, and CO2 emissions.  We were impressed with the amount of value that SOIL creates through leveraging each piece of its model to address another challenge. 
  • On-ramp to more permanent sanitation solutions. Through surveys of customers who stopped using SOIL’s container-based toilet service, SOIL learned that many of these customers left because they decided to upgrade to a more permanent sanitation solution in their homes. SOIL and other partners working in sanitation are excited to see that the use of container-based toilets can be an on-ramp for families to then seek out improvements in their sanitation infrastructure. 
SOIL Employees transporting waste from container-based toilets. Photo courtesy of SOIL.

The Plan to Achieve Impact at Scale 

Over the next five years, SOIL plans to expand its service to a new region of Haiti, serving a total of 48,000 customers. 

To achieve these goals, SOIL is planning to deploy the following strategies: 

  • Expand to a new region.  At the request of government partners, SOIL is planning to bring its service to the city of Les Cayes, while continuing to expand service in Cap-Haitian.   
  • Leverage new partnership opportunities. SOIL has built strong relationships with bilateral and multilateral development partners also working in Haiti, and is exploring formal partnerships to support scale. 
A SOIL customer. Photo courtesy of SOIL.

What’s Next for the Kirby Impact Prize? 

CASE will announce the winner of the 2024 F. M. Kirby Prize for Scaling Impact in early Summer 2024.