Tag Archives: flexible

When would you buy life insurance for a week? New products for the informal market

By | January 11, 2016

A South African company has figured out the back-end technology required to provide easily accessible prepaid or pay-as-you-go insurance products that can be serviced via your smartphone. Their solutions are designed for the unbanked, informal trader, typically living on an average household income of US$8 a day. At first glance, I wondered who on earth… Read More »

Importance and value of Africa’s informal food markets

By | March 3, 2015

There’s a new book released by the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and partners — Food Safety and Informal Markets: Animal Products in Sub-Saharan Africa—that probes the complicated world of traditional or ‘informal’ markets in livestock products. Here are some unexpectedly juicy findings: Research by ILRI and partners shows that in most developing countries, more… Read More »

Mapping the path to prototyping an adaptable user centered design process

By | November 9, 2012

We’ve all seen the classic User Centered Design (UCD) process diagrams, mostly linear, that attempt to communicate the steps yet unable to capture the iterative nature of the activity simply due to the limitations on how many circular arrows one can add without losing clarity. When I first began exploring the process deeply for application… Read More »

The Informal Economy Symposium, Barcelona on October 12th 2012

By | September 13, 2012

Our aim with this symposium is to explore the global scope, innovations and potential futures of the informal economy. Opening Keynote will be John Keith Hart, who coined the term “informal economy” and the day long symposium on the 12th of October will be closed by John Thackara.  There will be three panel discussions, as… Read More »

Published! Pathways Out of Poverty by iBoPAsia Project

By | September 1, 2012

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… Read More »

The underlying principle of flexibility

By | April 28, 2012

The Economist writes about the proliferation of mobile money across the African continent, high lighting some aspects of its rapid adoption by the local population – 96% of whom are on prepaid or pay as you go mobile subscriptions.  A new survey of global financial habits by the Gates Foundation, the World Bank and Gallup… Read More »

Informal payment plans offer flexibility and convenience

By | February 18, 2012

Rural electronics shops in the North Meru region of Kenya are full of colour television sets, home stereos and DVD players as increasing electrification of smaller and smaller market towns takes place. How do aspiring customers pay for these high value items on their variable income streams? Since shop owners tend to know the great… Read More »