Category Archives: Projects and Reports

From Flat to Fragmented: Observing the Impact of Sudden Jump in Complexity on Startup’s Development Journey

By | February 24, 2020

With increasing diversity of factors that impact the product development journey comes increasing complexity in managing the product development process. For startups in particular, there is little difference between the startup’s development journey and the product development journey. Consider the phases of the startup development journey as illustrated by StartupCommons below: Validation and Growth phases… 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 »

Fundamental Elements of Informal Sector Commercial Activity

By | July 28, 2017

There are two key elements which underpin the dynamics of any business or commercial enterprise in the informal sector. These are Time and Money. A generalized framework can be diagrammed, as shown above, where the dotted line denotes the degree of uncertainty and volatility of an individual’s cash flow patterns – whether from a variety… 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 »

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 »

A Comprehensive Analysis of the Literature on Informal Cross Border Trade in East Africa

By | July 21, 2017

Download the comprehensive literature review (PDF) on informal cross border trade, in the context of the informal economy of the East African Community, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and South Sudan. This paper was supported by TradeMark East Africa during the period November 2015 to January 2016. A short extract from the preamble is given… Read More »

Launching Our Digital Documentation Project: Ibadan’s Tailors, Traders, and Textiles by Nigerian/British artist Folake Shoga

By | April 14, 2017

After months of hard work, I am very honoured and proud to announced our new digital documentation project by my friend Folake Shoga, a Nigerian/British multidisciplinary artist with more than three decades of experience. She went on a journey of discovery through the twists and turns of the informal value web that holds together West… 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 »

Borderland Biashara: Mapping the Cross Border, National and Regional Trade in the East African Informal Economy

By | June 10, 2016

And, we’re back! With apologies for the long delay in posting on the blog, we’d been busy wrapping up our groundbreaking design research for development programming project for Trade Mark East Africa this past month or so. As you can imagine, the last few weeks of any project suck all the bandwidth out and leave… Read More »