Blogs

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Blogs
May 2017

Making Markets Work for the Poor — Science, Art or Speculation?

As an adviser, trainer and all-round advocate of the “making markets work for the poor” approach to more effective development, I get asked a lot of questions about the approach. A typical first exchange runs like this: “Market facilitation. I get it. But what exactly should I do?” My answer: “It depends, but you need […]

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Blogs
March 2017

Creating value through financial inclusion: the trust element

‘’Mobile money ni nzuri sana kwa sababu ni ya siri na utaipata kwa simu ( Mobile money is very good because it is secret and is available on phone),” said Nyambura who finds mobile money easy and safe to use. She appreciated Mobile money which she confidently found to be secure and easy to use. In […]

Blogs
March 2017

It takes a village: Lessons from digitizing social school fees payments

Our work on the Kenya Financial Diaries made it painfully clear to us that school fees are incredibly expensive for low income families.  The lowest end public schools often ask about KSh 20,000 per year for a single student, when rural household incomes often average around KSh 6,000 per month.  Many families are able to […]

Blogs
January 2017

Studying shocks to identify opportunities for financial service providers

 “Maisha ni kung’ang’ana tu” (life is a struggle) Diversification of risk, not putting your eggs in one basket, hustling – whichever word or phrase you use, Robert, a boda boda (motorcycle taxi) rider, embodies this spirit. How do people deal with shocks in their lives? How do they survive when their income is not enough […]

Blogs
January 2017

The unusual dynamics of school fee payment (or non-payment) in a Kenyan school

As we trudged through Kivani Secondary School’s third term student attendance records, one absenteeism after another greeted us. Per our analysis in preparation for Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) with selected parents and guardians at the school, the average student missed about 13% of class time. I didn’t give it much thought then. But on this Wednesday […]