Category Archives: Frugality

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 »

Closing the Circle: Can integration of the flows in the post consumption ecosystem of Global North & South aid resilient recovery for all?

By | November 30, 2020

It was in July 2009 that I first attempted to visualize the significantly large subsector of informal recycling that fed the informal industrial ecosystem with re-processed ‘raw’ materials for their manufacturing output. The first draft was based on what I’d seen and documented in The Philippines, and in India, during the fieldwork for the ‘prepaid… Read More »

The Informal Industrial Ecosystem: An Introduction to REculture

By | September 10, 2018

This article introduces and explains some things I’ve been seeing in the informal industrial ecosystem in the developing world context for almost a decade now. First noticed in 2009, I then named it REculture, a neologism to capture the vast and complex ecosystem I saw in the revenue generating facility of recycle, replace, repurpose, reuse… Read More »

The Resilience of Innovation under Conditions of Scarcity

By | February 20, 2018

Innovating beyond the traditional tin lantern – a simple wick attached to the can – Kouassi Bafounga cuts shapes from tin cans and fixes them together with glass, string and a little petrol to produce storm-proof lanterns. Last year, Bafounga was one of 11 winners in a “Fab Lab” innovation competition run by the French… 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 »

How to Spot Signals of Local Purchasing Patterns in the Market

By | September 20, 2016

This photograph is taken from a regular news item from a Liberian newspaper announcing the opening of a new petrol station in the town of Ganta. What caught my attention is the size of the LPG cylinders being promoted. On the left is the 6kg and on the right is an even smaller size that… Read More »