MARKET & CAPACITY DEVELOPMENT
Working in the drylands, which are often remote and underserved, many of the obstacles to widespread penetration of promising interventions have to do with thin and underdeveloped markets and a lack of necessary capacities across the set of stakeholders available and interested in serving and investing in these communities. We learned early on that to give our innovations a chance, we needed to invest explicitly in market and capacity development. This has led to a three-pronged strategy for capacity development, awareness creation and advocacy that targets 1) intended beneficiaries/clients, 2) the sales and extension agents that interface directly with the client, 3) policy makers, development and industry partners.
Market development and business models
We are motivated by the intention to ensure that our research - and the technologies and innovations that we identify as solutions to the limiting constraints we uncover - deliver impact at scale. As such, we go beyond the typical confines of research and product development in a quest to ensure that our solutions are sustainably widespread and deliver value that support widespread provision. As the dryland context that we focus on is relatively remote and infrastructure deficient, so to are the markets and value chains under developed.
We invest in building partnerships, processes and tools to crowd-in public and private investment in market development for the technologies we champion. Among other efforts, we carry out commercialization strategy studies, support private partners in developing appropriate agency models and introduce cost-efficient service delivery processes leveraging digital platforms to create sustainable markets.
Supporting private companies with R&D for related operations
and agency in the drylands
Convene private, NGO and government stakeholders to
Regional Pastoral Livelihoods Resilience Project (RPLRP)
Cultivating strong relationships with key partners has been critical to the scale and adoption of IBLI in Kenya & Ethiopia and to building credibility, salience, and trust towards the IBLI product.
Our role in providing intensified, comprehensive support to private sector actors (insurance & re-insurance companies) has resulted in their increased commitment to invest in commercialization of IBLI both through contribution to human and financial resources on their part as well as the identification of alternative in-kind and financial support from other sources.
We have been involved in supporting recruitment and training of insurance agents and helped the implementing companies—Takaful Insurance of Africa and APA Insurance—improve their transaction processes as well as increase IBLI uptake.
Capacity development and extension
Education, extension, and awareness creation is the generation of a critical mass of informed demand. Informed demand is a prerequisite to a sustainable IBLI/KLIP program. When pastoralists are aware of the service and value that IBLI provides, they demonstrate a willingness to make voluntary contributions to receive coverage. For this to be done, we developed a three-tier strategy targeting pastoralists, extension workers and sales agents, and policy actors.
Our efforts at developing impactful extension and capacity building tools taught us just how complex and critical it is to get the messages right. As such we set out to find means of leveraging the digital technology to test and implement innovative education, extension and awareness creation tools such as mLearning (mobile learning) and e-learning modules. Initial prototypes and testing of mLearning tools appear to be even more promising and could revolutionize not only the delivery of extension for IBLI, but more broadly across extension needs in the area.