Portfolio Tag Archives: informal economy

Borderland Biashara: East Africa’s Informal Trade Ecosystem

Trade Mark East Africa (TMEA) was established with the aim of growing sustainable, inclusive prosperity in East Africa through trade. They believe that this will require significant investments in working to expand, and potentially formalise, informal trade. We were requested to deliver insights to support the design of their second phase of operations, viz. To […]

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Strategies for Rural and Informal Markets

We identify opportunity spaces and define new products and services that can add value and enhance lives, not simply plug the gaps of unmet needs. Needs and wants are so many that every decision to spend money is a trade off on the risks of a return of maximum value. How and where can we […]

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People Centered Design for Policy and Development

In Autumn 2012, The Ministry of Economic Affairs and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the government of The Netherlands commissioned Emerging Futures Lab to explore, through dialogue, the current day process, challenges, and opportunities which lead to the design of international sustainable development programmes. Subsequent work throughout 2013 provided us with the unique experience […]

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The Farmer’s Perspective: Bridging the Last Mile to Market

The Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs contribute to PPPs with the intent of proliferating sustainable agricultural practices with farmers in developing countries, thus promoting sustainable and equitable growth. In search for opportunities to enhance the scale and spread of such practices, we were requested by both Ministries to conduct […]

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Emerging African Consumers

The African consumer market is unique and challenging. Informal markets where transactions are primarily in cash dominate the landscape. Connected consumers demand the best in the world yet infrastructural challenges and lack of market services create a vacuum of information. Observing user needs for product and service design is not enough, the entire ecosystem must […]

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Financial Innovation for the Informal Economy

Financial innovation for the informal econonomy requires a comprehensive understanding of the entire ecosystem. It means taking a broader perspective than diving in to develop another mobile money solution or clever app to track expenses. Whether its taking a closer look at a rural region’s highly interdependent economic behaviour or mapping the value chain from […]

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Household Finances in Rural & Informal Markets

What insights can we derive from observing and understanding how those at the BoP currently manage their household budgets to inspire new transaction models or pricing strategies for businesses wishing to serve the poor more effectively, yet profitably? Selected in 2008 Small Grants competition conducted by iBoP Asia Project to conduct exploratory research in rural […]

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Household Energy Consumption Behaviour

Exploratory user research on energy consumption behaviour using design ethnography methods was conducted in Makueni district of Kenya. This immersion exercise focusing built upon existing knowledge of Base of the Pyramid (BoP) informal cash based markets, operating environment, consumer behaviour and rural purchasing patterns and household financial management. Sampling was done based on two attributes […]

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Exploratory User Research

When we’re looking at an entirely new and different operating environment from that which we’re immersed in, exploratory user research allows us to map the landscape, understand the local context and conditions, and identify potentials for innovation. It is after this understanding phase that we can select promising opportunity spaces to explore further or decide […]

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Human Centered Design Planning

The human centered approach for solution development is an iterative observation and learning process that informs and inspires innovation from the perspective of people and their lives as opposed to the ‘spaghetti on the wall’ hit or miss approach. We decided to unpack the common UCD process into a simplified linear diagram only for clarity […]

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