Category Archives: User research

Lessons for development from the demand driven investment strategies of the informal sector

This shopkeeper in Laare, Kenya provided me with deep insight on how investments in expensive inventory are managed in a heavily cash based economy. He runs a consumer electronics store stocking everything from solar panels, music systems, spare parts and batteries, through to mobile phones and accessories. His purchasing decisions are based on visible consumer […]

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Leveraging Disability as Competitive Advantage: The Wheelchair Cargo Movers of Uganda

Only in Busia do wheelchair owners from all over Uganda congregate as it is to their economic advantage to do so. Documented, and observed were the handicapped professionals who crossed the border numerous times a day ferrying goods. In the past 25 years, the Busia tricyclists have created a strong community with initiative and resourcefulness […]

Also posted in Base of the Pyramid, Biashara Economics, Distribution, East African Community, Economy, Income, Migrant worker, Perspective, Research, Systems, Uganda | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Response

Household energy consumption behaviour in East Africa: Lighting & Conclusion (3 of 3 Parts)

  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 […]

Also posted in Africa, African Consumer Market, Analysis, Base of the Pyramid, Biashara Economics, Business Models, Consumer Behaviour, Design, Economy, Ecosystem, Frugality, Indigenous & Traditional, Informal & Flexible, jua kali, Kenya, Marchés africains, Marketing, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Research, Retail in Africa, Rural Economy, Scarcity, Strategy, Sub Saharan Africa, Technology | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Response

Household energy consumption behavioural study in East Africa: Cooking (Part 2 of 3)

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 […]

Also posted in Africa, African Consumer Market, Base of the Pyramid, Biashara Economics, Business Models, Consumer Behaviour, Culture, Design, Expenses, Frugality, Indigenous & Traditional, Informal & Flexible, jua kali, Kenya, Mama Biashara, Marchés africains, Marketing, Perspective, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Produits de grande consommation (FMCG), rural, Rural Economy, Scarcity, Strategy, Sub Saharan Africa, Systems | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Response

Introduction to rural household energy consumption behaviour in East Africa (1 of 3 parts)

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 […]

Also posted in Africa, African Consumer Market, Analysis, Biashara Economics, Business Models, Consumer Behaviour, Culture, Design, East African Community, Frugality, Informal & Flexible, Innovation Planning, jua kali, Kenya, Marketing, Mobile platform, Perspective, Platforms, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Projects and Reports, Research, Retail in Africa, rural, Rural Economy, Scarcity, Strategy, Sub Saharan Africa, Systems, Technology, UCSD | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Response

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

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 […]

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Time to acknowledge the social cost of mobile and apps driven disruption

From Lagos, Nigeria comes this moving human interest story that looks at the downside of modern technology and it’s impact on livelihoods. For those who must hustle to make a living, send the kids to school, or put food on the table, smartphone driven digitization of the services they used to provide are disrupting their […]

Also posted in Africa, African Consumer Market, Airtime, Base of the Pyramid, Biashara Economics, Business Models, Cashless transactions, Commerce en ligne (e-commerce), Consumer Behaviour, Economy, Ecosystem, Income, Indigenous & Traditional, Informal & Flexible, Mama Biashara, Marchés africains, Marketing, Mobile platform, Nigeria, Perspective, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Retail in Africa, Sub Saharan Africa, Technologie, urban | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Savings Groups : Observations on Economic Cooperation and Collaboration in Rural and Informal Conditions

Recently, I was interviewed on communal rural economic behaviour, particularly socially cooperative ones  such as informal savings and lending groups. The questions posed were: How has your opinion of savings group changed over time? Why in your opinion, are people in Africa and Latin America countries (developing countries) predisposed to forming savings groups? What is […]

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Is Your Product Ready for Africa? Why Kigali’s “Smart” Project Faces an Unforeseen Challenge

However, KTRN boss agreed that they share responsibility since they never conducted a profound market research to determine whether the gadgets are compatible with African weather. “We sincerely didn’t realize that the weather would affect the gadgets”~ Public Buses Wi-fi: Harsh Weather, Incompatible Gadgets Interrupt Kigali’s ‘Smart’ Project, KT Press, 16th October 2017 This isn’t […]

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Fundamental Elements of Informal Sector Commercial Activity

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 […]

Also posted in African Consumer Market, Analysis, Assumption filter, Base of the Pyramid, Biashara Economics, Business Models, Economy, Ecosystem, Emerging Markets, Flexibility, Frameworks, global, Income, Informal & Flexible, Migrant worker, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Projects and Reports, Research, Risk, Rural Economy, South Asia, Strategy, Sub Saharan Africa | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment