MISSION & PILLARS
To execute on our two core strategic objectives and support our mission, we have developed a program, and a set of related expertise, that champions evidence-based science, emphasizes technological innovation, builds capacities, and works to influence favorable policy and institutional development. At the heart of our work sits our rich suite of partners across public, private and non-profit sectors, who greatly enhance and facilitate our work.
Our program is built around 4 key pillars:
We believe that creative innovations and technological solutions offer an accelerated and cost-efficient means to delivering productivity and welfare enhancing services to the drylands. We have focused our efforts around solutions that leverage remotely sensed information and exploit the growing potential of digital and mobile-based platforms. These technologies help us build tailored solutions, such as IBLI and digital micro-tasking application for crowdsourcing data, that release the key limiting constraints dryland populations face. They also allow us to generate data and disseminate information more effectively and to monitor and assess and range of activities and outcomes more efficiently.
The solutions we develop must be problem-driven and based on a rich understanding of the context in which they will be delivered; and they must deliver enduring value. This requires investments in both qualitative and quantitative approaches to evidence generation and analysis. We have developed a robust infrastructure around monitoring, evaluation, and learning to ensure that our understanding of the challenges we aim to tackle is accurate, that our solutions are offering positive impacts, and that we generate regular and precise feedback to continually improve on solutions and guide their deployment to sustainable scale.
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, and 3) policy makers, development and industry partners.
Once we have good evidence that our targeted solutions are having a positive impact and are gaining traction among clients and stakeholders, the next step is supporting their adoption at scale. Particularly for the underserved drylands, and for relatively novel innovations such as IBLI or disruptions in the processes and platforms of collecting data and transforming it into actionable information, scaling up requires considerable efforts in institutional and policy design. Our contributions in this domain include the marshaling of evidence to support incentive-compatible environments to generate the investments required to reach scale, and the convening of the partners required to design and establish the related institutions and policies.