Category Archives: Literature review

Roadmap for reverse innovation – how to leverage context for disruption

Vijay Govindarajan and Amos Winter have an interesting article in the July/August issue of Harvard Business Review. They identify the barriers to successfully integrating reverse innovation from emerging markets into the product pipeline for mainstream consumer culture. Their key paragraph echoes the issues of people, pesa and place I’d written about earlier: Our research suggests […]

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The ILO’s ‘historic’ informal to formal guidelines and framework: What does it actually mean?

The big news this weekend is the International Labour Organization’s (ILO) first ever Recommendations and Guidelines on the informal economy. My first take away from all the documentation is that the informal sector is no more the enemy of good and, now, can finally be addressed with the consideration it needs and deserves. Here’s a […]

Also posted in Analysis, Base of the Pyramid, Ecosystem, Emerging Markets, Flexibility, Informal & Flexible, Mama Biashara, Perspective, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Research, Rural Economy, Systems, UCSD, Value | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

An Introduction to Human Centered Design for Policy Makers in International Development

I’m making available the article based on our work with the Dutch government a couple of years ago. Download PDF

Also posted in About, Africa, Assumption filter, China, Design, Frameworks, Innovation Planning, Perspective, Projects and Reports, Research, Rural Economy, Sub Saharan Africa, Systems, UCSD, User research | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Strategic Alliances can be an effective method of promoting innovation

Hybrid Organizations as a Strategy for Supporting New Product Development is the title of a research paper by Alison Rieple, Adrian Haberberg, and Jon Gander of the University of Westminster. A summary of their findings: This article focuses on strategic alliances, in which one firm (normally a large, multi-product corporation) obtains critical product-development resources, such […]

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M-PESA and the service innovation framework (review)

A former student of mine just mailed me this article “Extracting Key Lessons in Service Innovation” (pdf) by S.Wooder and S. Baker, recently published in the Journal of Product Innovation Management, January 2012 edition. Here is the abstract of the article: This paper describes how Sagentia—working with Vodafone, Safaricom, and other organizations—played a significant role […]

Also posted in Africa, African Consumer Market, Airtime, Alternative currency, Assumption filter, Banking, Base of the Pyramid, Cashless transactions, Consumer Behaviour, Design, Ecosystem, Flexibility, Frameworks, Informal & Flexible, Innovation Planning, Kenya, Marketing, Mobile platform, Perspective, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Strategy, Systems, Technology, Value | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Published! Pathways Out of Poverty by iBoPAsia Project

Innovating with the BoP in Southeast Asia. The iBoP Asia Project has published the complete set of small grants funding innovation projects for those at the Bottom of the Pyramid in the ASEAN region. One of the first projects to win the Small Grants competition in 2008 was The Prepaid Economy Project: Understanding BoP household […]

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African Traders in Guangzhou, China: Routes, Profits, and Reasons

While digging around for information after my recent flight where I was offered an upclose and personal look at increasing informal trade between Africa and China, I came across this research paper by Yang Yang from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. A snippet from the introduction: Based on my fieldwork in Guangzhou, this paper […]

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Senegalese research on innovation processes in their informal ICT sector

I came across some excellent research by Dr Almamy Konte and Mariama Ndong of Senegal. While I’m sure the original working paper in French must be far better than this drafted English translation, their key points are nonetheless something to make us sit up and listen, particularly with regards to innovation in the informal economy. […]

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Book Review – Stealth of Nations: The global rise of the informal economy

The first best thing that I can say, on Robert Neuwirth’s Stealth of Nations, is that I’m grateful to the author for writing the book. I’ve just finished reading it, after purchasing it at a premium from Kinokuniya in downtown Singapore. At least twice while reading I found myself wanting to bake cookies for the […]

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Welcome to Bazaaristan: global informal economy being recognized

Across the globe, 1.8 billion people — a quarter of the world’s population — work off the books each day. They are paid in cash for the goods they sell and the services they provide, and due to their ubiquity, there’s a word for these merchants in nearly every language. As Robert Neuwirth reports, in […]

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