Category Archives: Scarcity

Book Review: The Nutmeg’s Curse by Amitav Ghosh

By | August 17, 2022

Amitav Ghosh’s The Nutmeg’s Curse is a lucid, well-written synopsis that rapidly introduces the reader to the legacy of the colonial and imperial narratives that destroyed Indigenous ways of living with the natural environment and the living planet, for profit, trade, and glory. I was moved last night to bookmark various passages from Ghosh’s book… Read More »

Looking back at 2020 from Mama Mboga’s eyes: The Pandemic as Natural Disaster

By | December 4, 2020

I am moved today by my work to look back at this agonizingly long year of separations and losses and delays for peoples around the world. Uncertainty and complexity have both increased, and economic volatility has become the order of the day, regardless of the development status of the region or location. More people in… Read More »

Coronavirus side-effect: Transformation of China’s business models, logistics, and service delivery

By | February 29, 2020

Just the way the SARs epidemic kicked off China’s e-commerce revolution back in 2003, the ongoing COVID-19 containment strategies maybe triggering an even larger transformation of the Chinese economic ecosystem. I went looking today for the earliest signals of what might be underway. Rural China is facing the biggest challenge right now as the spring… Read More »

A Unique Path to Development Seen for the Informal Economy

By | January 30, 2018

Just recently I stumbled over this slim book < 60 pages that analyzed existing data sources in order to frame an answer to the research question they posed: How did the informal economy―markets and the private sector―develop in the absence of legal and administrative frameworks to support it? Some of the most intriguing insights extracted… Read More »

Household energy consumption behaviour in East Africa: Lighting & Conclusion (3 of 3 Parts)

By | January 29, 2018

  The following is extracted from a six month study during 2012 on household energy consumption behaviour in rural Kenya and Rwanda among the lower income demographic, that led to an understanding of some of barriers hampering the sales of client’s solar products in this market. This 3rd and final part will focus on fuel… Read More »

Household energy consumption behavioural study in East Africa: Cooking (Part 2 of 3)

By | January 28, 2018

The following is extracted from a six month study during 2012 on household energy consumption behaviour in rural Kenya and Rwanda among the lower income demographic, that led to an understanding of some of barriers hampering the sales of client’s solar products in this market. This 2nd part will focus on fuel usage and consumption… Read More »

Introduction to rural household energy consumption behaviour in East Africa (1 of 3 parts)

By | January 27, 2018

The following is extracted from a six month study during 2012 on household energy consumption behaviour in rural Kenya and Rwanda among the lower income demographic, that led to an understanding of some of barriers hampering the sales of client’s solar products in this market. This first part is an overview of household financial management… Read More »

Financial Behaviour Patterns Observed Among Households in Rural Informal Economy in Asia

By | July 24, 2017

This is the original working paper of the research conducted on rural household financial management, in developing country conditions, pioneering the use of methods from human centered design for discovery, during Nov 2008 to March 2009, aka the Prepaid Economy Project. It was peer reviewed by Brett Hudson Matthews, and I have incorporated his comments into… Read More »

How the African movable assets bill can unleash innovation opportunities for the rural economy

By | May 13, 2017

As Kenya joins Zambia and Zimbabwe in ratifying a Movable Property Security Rights Act, there’s a sense that the floodgates to innovation in access to finance might be taking place in rural Africa, south of the Sahara and north of South Africa. Kenya’s law also goes beyond the cows and goats and allows a borrower… Read More »

Innovation, Ingenuity and Opportunity under Conditions of Scarcity (Download PDF)

By | January 26, 2017

In July 2009, I was inspired by working in the Research wing of the Aalto University’s Design Factory in Espoo, Finland, to launch a group blog called REculture: Exploring the post-consumption economy of repair, reuse, repurpose and recycle by informal businesses at the Base of the Pyramid*. Within a year, this research interest evolved into… Read More »