Tag Archives: rural

Stepping up human centered innovation planning for financial inclusion

By | July 8, 2018

Two Ugandan analysts from the Financial Sector Deepening (FSD) programme in Uganda write on the need for more human centered product development approaches in the design and delivery of financial services for rural Ugandans, especially the rural poor. One of their suggestions caught my attention in particular: (iii) Third, to increase the introduction of new… 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 »

It’s way past the time to consider the Informal Economy as a distinct commercial environment

By | May 2, 2017

Regardless of continent, it is now high time we accepted the informal economy (unformal or unrecognised or unorganized sectors) as a commercial operating environment in its own right. The continued oversight is rapidly coalescing into a gaping void of hiccups and failures, by large companies, non profit institutions, and startups, alike. This issue goes far… Read More »

Creative ways to financial inclusion, inspired by observing practice

By | July 8, 2015

Needless to say, mobile money has been a wild success in scaling an expansive agent network for converting cash to e-money and enabling person to person money transfer. Speaking at a recent conference, John Staley, Chief Officer – Finance, Innovation and Technology at Equity Bank had this to say: “We should move the conversation from… Read More »

The importance of the agent/customer relationship for successful financial inclusion

By | June 2, 2015

The role of agent networks in East Africa’s mobile money and mobile banking roll-outs is widely documented; as an intermediary, a kiosk exchange point – accepting deposits for e-money/ withdrawals for cash and usajili (registration). “. . .as the first point of contact, human agents help bridge the gap between a high-tech service and low-literacy… Read More »

Loyalty cards to incentivitize vaccinations – service innovation from Kenya

By | February 28, 2015

We most commonly tend to associate loyalty cards with grocery shopping at our local supermarket chain – swiping the card for the occasional discount on milk or eggs. Now this same concept is being used in an entirely different context in order to lower the barriers for rural Kenyan mums to invest in the time… Read More »

In rural Africa, livestock and produce markets exemplify local, social, mobile ecosystem

By | November 21, 2013

Mama Mercy taking a call during our visit to her farm. Her new cow is brown & white. April 2013 Kenya If we can find and support the key enablers of the shamba’s day to day needs, I believe we could assist with increasing the pace of market reach and spread (new market creation). I… Read More »

Part 1: Why are we publishing our original research on rural economic behaviour in 5 parts online?

By | October 29, 2013

A recent article in The Economist on the economic value of owning cattle in rural India made me to realize just how little is understood about the rural economy.  Here’s a snippet: That is because most people find spending easier than saving. Immediate pleasures are easier to grasp than future joys—and so people make spending… Read More »

Reflecting on this blog’s genesis after 5 years

By | August 20, 2013

I started this blog in late December 2008, in earnest and every day during the first prototype fieldwork for The Prepaid Economy project, one of the iBoP Asia Project’s first batch of Small Grant winners from the ASEAN region. For the first 5 months of 2009, this blog was on the mainpage of my website… Read More »

Some concerns about ‘pay as you go’ lighting solutions in rural markets

By | February 9, 2012

Having just got back yesterday after immersion in an arid part of rural Kenya, it struck me after coming across yet another solar lighting solution with a pay as you go or prepaid business model that this may become a barrier for many subsistence farmers, most of whom are off the grid and so, are… Read More »