Category Archives: UCSD

Less Technologically Advanced Societies are not necessarily backward or primitive: Assume at your own risk

By | December 26, 2019

This illustration by Jeroen Meijer of Jam Visueldenken of Amsterdam, The Netherlands, was created for our team during a workshop to capture the insights from a feasibility study on agritech we had completed for the Dutch government’s sustainable agricultural value chain development at Wageningen University’s Economic Research unit back in mid 2013. I’m pulling it… Read More »

The African Informal Sector: GDP Contribution vs Scale of Human Impact

By | February 26, 2018

The informal economy in sub Saharan Africa (SSA) tends to be measured as a share of GDP, counting its contribution to the national economy. By this metric, Nigeria has the most economically empowered informal sector, contributing over 60% to the GDP. On the other extreme, South Africa, has one of the smallest contributions to the… Read More »

Trading economics: a new theoretical system

By | February 3, 2018

From the Financial Times, a snippet from a guest post by Wang Zhenying, director-general of the research and statistics department at the PBoC’s Shanghai head office and vice chairman of the Shanghai Financial Studies Association, summarising the arguments in his new Chinese-language textbook on economics. “Trading economics” is one new theory emerging against this backdrop.… 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 »

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 »

TEDTalk video: Recognizing the value creation and economic contribution of the informal economy

By | November 24, 2017

My talk given at the TEDGlobal conference in Arusha, this August, went live on Ted.com at some point during the night a couple of days ago. At that very moment, I was on a Finnair flight from SIN to HEL, so with a wee bit of delay, here’s the link to the video of the… Read More »

Work in Progress: An Introduction to the Informal Economy’s Commercial Environment

By | July 27, 2017

This topic is being shared in the form of a collection of essays on the following themes, each becoming hyperlinked on completion. Do bookmark this page for regular updates. Introduction to Background and Context, some caveats apply Fundamental Elements of Informal Sector Commercial Activity Rural household financial management as a foundation Linkages and Networks span… Read More »

On the relationship between economics and design

By | July 12, 2017

This is an extract from the Introduction to John Heskett’s seminal paper, “Creating Economic Value by Design” The work of Herbert Simon, Nobel Laureate in Economics in 1978, is a rare exception of design being considered as a factor in economic theory. His starting point was acknowledging that the world we inhabit is increasingly artificial,… Read More »

A theoretical approach to Value for Money in aid & development: Optimizing research and design for ‘best fit’ iterative programming

By | July 11, 2017

Last year, I briefly touched upon this concept as an approach to cost effective programme design that was still flexible enough to provide room for iteration for best fit. Today, I want to explore the concept further to evaluate its potential as a framework for incorporating the concurrent shift in development thinking towards Value for… Read More »