When a project or product is “EnAccess certified,” it means the project is
• Relevant for use in the energy access sector
• Open Source
• Open to contributions
• Features an inviting setup for external contributions
EnAccess offers independent verification of Software, Hardware, Toolkits, or business models and will list all projects that successfully pass the certification process in our library. While the definition of “well documented” can be subjective, we strive to create consistency in all our project documentation packets and provide guidelines of best practices that are common in the industry and sector.
EnAccess Project Certification ensures the documentation provides clear, structured, and comprehensive guidance to users and contributors. It includes detailed installation instructions, API documentation, usage examples, and explanations of the project's architecture. Additionally, it offers contribution guidelines, code explanations, and updates that enable seamless understanding and engagement for developers.
EnAccess Project Certification stands out for its targeted focus on enhancing Open Source projects tailored for the Energy Access sector. EnAccess is the sole independent, non-profit organization dedicated to this specialized domain. The certification brings multifaceted advantages to both the project and its contributors.
From a public point of view, EnAccess Project Certification will certainly make your project more well-known and appealing to others in the sector, including potential funders, investors, or business partners, and will accelerate the reach your project can have. Open Source is most successful when there is an active, vibrant community that is contributing and using freely available information and tools. During the certification process, EnAccess will help improve your project and make it more accessible and scalable by receiving external contributions. The increase in visibility by having it listed in our library could evolve in numerous ways that will benefit your project and organization.
Internally, you’ll have the assurance that your project is at a very high level of quality. In the realm of Open Source, transparency and collaboration reign, and stringent code reviews are pivotal. But this also facilitates direct, not public, direct B2B partnerships around your product when our certification requirements are made. EnAccess Project Certification ensures adherence to elevated standards, reflecting the readiness of the project for external scrutiny and contribution.
The Open Source projects generally remain “owned” by the developing companies. In terms of maintenance, we generally assume the original project developers will take care of this part. However, there is not a clear rule when it comes to maintenance - currently, the projects are often (but not always) maintained by both the project developer and EnAccess. EnAccess is open to the approach of taking over “ownership” and maintenance responsibilities of meaningful Open Source projects for the sector if this has the chance to increase adoption and community growth. This is under no means a “must” if projects get certified by EnAccess.
This will be determined on a case-by-case basis. If, at the moment of certification request, the project meets most of our standards for documentation, ease of contribution, and relevancy for the energy access sector, there is the possibility that certification can be done for free. On the other hand, if EnAccess needs to invest significant time working with you to improve the documentation or actively contributes to improving the project, there will be a cost for this service. We always offer a free-of-charge quick scan to assess if the certification can be done for free or if there will be a cost.
Applications are reviewed on a first come, first serve basis. Once you’ve finished filling out the application, this is the process that takes place.
• Step One: When your application has been received by a real person, you’ll get an email confirmation that we have it in good order. This usually takes fewer than 3 business days.
• Step Two: The pre-evaluation team screens the project/product on key evaluation criteria for quality of documentation, accessibility, ease of contributions, general code quality (if applicable) and scores its scope and potential to impact the sector. This means we will need full access to your project/product details at this stage. If this access is not included in your submission (e.g. because it is not yet Open Sourced), we will need to be provided access. We are happy to sign an NDA at this stage if you desire. It can take 1-3 weeks for this discussion to conclude. If the project does not fall under the EnAccess mandate at all, you will hear a rejection at this time. If the proposal is very far from what EnAccess supports or the quality of the project/product is weak enough that achieving certification with a reasonable effort (from you and us) is very unlikely, you may be rejected more quickly.
• Step Three: If the pre-eval team thinks the proposal meets our certification criteria or could meet the criteria with a reasonable additional effort, you will receive a positive email from EnAccess asking to schedule a call to go over some details. This email may already come with a series of follow-up questions that you should be prepared to answer. At this point, we need to get your response before we move ahead. Assuming the back-and-forth communication happens rather efficiently, this part of the process can take one week. If the communication does not happen quickly, this part can end up taking longer. To move this step along, please respond promptly and completely to any emails we send.
• Step Four: If the follow-up communication from step three leads us to decide that your project/product has a very limited chance of achieving our certification criteria, you will receive an email with that information (this is a rejection to start the certification process). On the other hand, if we think your project/product has potential, you are moved on to the next round, and we get to work! This is the step where we inform you if there will be a cost related to the certification. In the circumstance that there will be a cost, we will provide a quote. You would have time to review and approve the cost.
• Step Five: SOW (Scope of work) written by EnAccess and signed by the developer/developer’s company. The SOW will list how many rounds of reviews will take place, the costs and payment milestones (if applicable), and everything related to the scope of work. It will detail the work EnAccess will commit to and also state the estimated efforts required from your side to achieve certification criteria compliance.
• Step Six: EnAccess begins the detailed technical review. At this stage, we will probably enter a period of back-and-forth communication via emails, calls, slack messages, or whatever works best for both parties as outlined in the SOW. Our technical review will include a comprehensive list of improvements and modifications.
• Step Seven: As part of our working process, you (or your development team) will need to implement the feedback that you receive per the details in the SOW.
• Step Eight: EnAccess makes a final review and approves or rejects the project for certification. Our final invoice(if any) is sent at this stage only if certification is achieved.
• Step Nine: Project certification is granted. If there is a final invoice to be paid, it will only be granted after this payment is received. EnAccess will list the project in our Open Source library and promote it throughout our network.