Tag Archives: informal

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 »

More or Less: the flexibility of the informal

By | July 27, 2013

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… 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 »

Tap lock: Design that mirrors need

By | November 5, 2012

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… Read More »

Bridging the gap: boundary spanners in the informal economy

By | September 14, 2012

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… 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 »

Financial Inclusion survey and the informal economy

By | April 30, 2012

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… Read More »

Kenya’s Kadogo Economy

By | May 26, 2011

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… Read More »