Tag Archives: informal

Importance and value of Africa’s informal food markets

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 […]

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More or Less: the flexibility of the informal

One of the things that stood out for me during the recent household consumer behaviour study was the lack of weights and measurements used to sell foodstuffs and commodities in the market. There were no weighing scales at all, unless they themselves were for sale. Instead, some form of “socially accepted” measure was used to […]

Posted in African Consumer Market, Business Models, Consumer Behaviour, Culture, Economy, Emerging Markets, Flexibility, Frameworks, Informal & Flexible, Innovation Planning, Marketing, Perspective, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Research, Sub Saharan Africa, User research, Value | Also tagged , , , , , , | 1 Response

Mapping the path to prototyping an adaptable user centered design process

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 […]

Posted in Assumption filter, Design, Flexibility, Innovation Planning, Perspective, Process, Research, Systems, UCSD, User research | Also tagged , , , , , | 1 Response

Tap lock: Design that mirrors need

These are jua kali manufactured locks for taps, where the padlock goes on the little handles shown and the contraption protects your faucet from either being stolen for scrap metal value or your water being used by unauthorized people. It was seen in the market in Nakuru, Kenya. This is a conceptual design for a […]

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Bridging the gap: boundary spanners in the informal economy

My recent diversion into exploring the increasing visibility of the informal economy in the developed world has been providing much food for thought on the perceived boundary between the formal and the informal. More so, than in Europe, does the need exist among the most economically challenged across the still developing world for ways and […]

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The Informal Economy Symposium, Barcelona on October 12th 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 […]

Posted in Africa, Airtime, Alternative currency, Assumption filter, Banking, Base of the Pyramid, Business Models, Cashless transactions, Culture, Economy, global, Indigenous & Traditional, Informal & Flexible, Mobile platform, Research, Strategy, User research, Value | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Financial Inclusion survey and the informal economy

Gallup conducted the survey on behalf of the World Bank and their comprehensive synopsis available online (with links to the full report) offers a few more charts in addition to the map above. These look at bank account ownership among adults in different regions comparing rural to urban, genders as well as the reasons stated […]

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Kenya’s Kadogo Economy

Charcoal seller Margaret Nyambura, a widowed mother of four, used Sh100 we had given her to shop for food and household goods that would last her family three days. Her priority was cooking oil and maize flour, which cost her Sh20 and Sh10 respectively. Each was measured in portions to fit her money. She bought […]

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Island Life

Shankar Jadhar’s friends describe him as an “all-rounder”. The 40 year old Dharavi resident is married with 5 children and lives close to the traffic island which he has laid unofficial claim to, from where he conducts his business.

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