Innovation for Adaptation: How a New Fund Is Helping Service Providers Navigate the Challenges of COVID-19
The impact of COVID-19 has been amplified at the local level in Kenya and Rwanda, where non-profit service providers working with vulnerable populations are finding it more difficult to support their beneficiaries. Michael Kiema and Linda Ndungu Wambua at Instiglio explore learnings from the COVID-19 Adaptation Fund, which is providing funding to nine qualifying service providers to help them implement innovations that will support their efforts to serve beneficiaries during the pandemic.
A Tentative Recovery: Survey Data Shows Signs of Progress – and Warnings of Future Distress – Among Kenyan Farmers During COVID-19
It’s estimated that over 50 million people are in need of immediate food assistance in the Horn, East and Central Africa. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues into 2021, Kenyan farmers’ ability to weather this crisis is at the heart of the region’s recovery, say Venu Aggarwal and Kelsey Jarrett at 60 Decibels. They share data 60 Decibels has collected from thousands of Kenyan farmers, revealing both slight improvements since the early days of the crisis, and the danger of more severe, longer-term financial distress.
Ensuring That Women’s Financial Access Is Not Another Casualty of COVID-19: The Value of Agent Banking
As COVID-19 continues to ravage global economies, the existing gender-poverty gap is set to widen: UN Women projects that for every 100 men aged 25-34 in extreme poverty due to the pandemic, 118 women of the same age will be living in extreme poverty this year. Peris Mburu at FSD Africa explores why agent banking is a promising solution to this growing challenge – and how its benefits can extend beyond access to finance.
Financial Inclusion During – and After – COVID-19: Three Takeaways From a (Very Different) European Microfinance Week 2020
The 2020 European Microfinance Week encapsulated much about the financial inclusion sector – the good, the bad and the simply confusing – as it navigated the historic challenges of the past year. Sam Mendelson at e-MFP shares three broad takeaways from the event, representing three key priorities for the inclusive finance industry as it seeks to adapt to the COVID-19 crisis – without overlooking other essential priorities.
2020 MOST INFLUENTIAL ARTICLE CANDIDATE: COVID-19’s Impact on Indian Agriculture: How Data Should Drive Future Policies
The Indian agricultural economy is made up of complex market linkages connecting approximately 263 million agricultural workers to over 1 billion consumers. When COVID-19 locked down the economy, many feared the sector would be crippled, yet these networks seemed remarkably robust – at least at first. However, analysts at IDinsight share data suggesting that agricultural markets may not be as healthy as market figures suggest, and explore policy prescriptions that could strengthen the sector in the long term.
2020 MOST INFLUENTIAL ARTICLE CANDIDATE: Taking Cold Chains Off-Grid: How Solar Powered Cold Rooms Could Dramatically Reduce Food Waste in Sub-Saharan Africa
In sub-Saharan Africa, up to 50% of produce perishes before reaching end customers, largely due to a lack of viable cold chain solutions. Maria Knodt at Energy 4 Impact and Ruth Kimani at CLASP explore how solar-powered cold rooms can address this issue, and highlight some significant technical and business model challenges that could undermine their impact.
2020 MOST INFLUENTIAL ARTICLE CANDIDATE: Fighting Extreme Poverty During COVID-19: Two Proven Ways to Build Resilience in Times of Catastrophic Disruption
COVID-19 has disrupted life for practically everyone around the world, but people living in extreme poverty are particularly affected. And some estimate that the crisis could push over 80 million more people into extreme poverty. Muhammad Musa at BRAC International discusses two programs that could reduce this impact, improving the lives of marginalized communities both during and after the pandemic.
2020 MOST INFLUENTIAL ARTICLE CANDIDATE: Unity During the Pandemic: How the Social Enterprise Community is Coming Together to Survive COVID-19
The economic fallout from COVID-19 could increase global poverty by as much as half a billion people. And as Pamela Roussos at Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship points out, the pandemic is also delivering a heavy blow to the social enterprises that fight poverty around the world. She explores some new and innovative ways these enterprises, and the broader sector, are responding to the crisis.