Articles by Kat Harrison
A Pandemic Response Based on Listening: Leveraging Customer Interviews to Understand COVID-19’s Impact in the Developing World
As COVID-19 spread around the world early this year, there was a flurry of data about its impact. But nearly all of it was gathered via online surveys, which omitted the 50% of the global population that lacks internet access. 60 Decibels responded by launching phone surveys with over 10,000 people in 13 developing countries to discuss their challenges and unmet needs. Kat Harrison discusses what they found.
Expanding Impact and Emerging Risks in Off-Grid Energy: 10 Customer Insights – And Five Calls to Action
Social impact measurement is often a balancing act between generating rich, meaningful insights – and getting lost in the details. 60 Decibels aims to strike that balance with its first impact performance report, “Why Off Grid Energy Matters,” based on over 35,000 interviews with customers of 49 off-grid energy companies in 17 countries. Kat Harrison and Sasha Dichter explore some highlights, ranging from hyper-specific insights on customer impact, to sector-wide risks and gaps.
The team at 60 Decibels recently set out to understand the motivations of customers served by off-grid energy firms in Africa. Researchers quizzed customers in Kenya, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia about their attitudes and behaviours toward new products to find out who were the early innovators, early adopters or tech laggards. Kat Harrison and Hassan Nasser of 60 Decibels explain the research and how firms can convert ambivalent customers into product ambassadors.
For the last ten years, Acumen has been investing in off-grid energy companies in the developing world. In its new Energy Impact Report, the impact investing nonprofit talked directly to thousands of customers about their experiences - good and bad - with these companies’ energy products. Acumen's Kat Harrison discusses the survey's revealing results.
We spent the last year at Acumen collecting impact data on companies across our portfolio using our Lean Data approach, which harnesses the power of technology to give voice to low-income customers and allows us to provide quality customer feedback to drive business decisions for our investees. From these surveys, our entrepreneurs will get real insight into their customers: who they are, how and where they utilize energy, how much energy they use, and what they spend on a weekly or monthly basis, among other valuable feedback.
Checking Out Solar at the ‘Light Library’: SunnyMoney designed a distribution model allowing customers to test products before buying
Over the years SunnyMoney, SolarAid’s social enterprise and one of the largest sellers of solar lights in Africa has been inundated with requests to use and test the lights to help build trust and demand without undermining a sustainable market. In response SunnyMoney designed the Light Library, a distribution model that gives would-be customers that opportunity.
How do you influence what choices low-income people or those living at the base of the pyramid make? And how can you give them the information to make informed decisions?
SolarAid faced the same challenges that many organisations do when bringing a new technology to a low-income market. Here’s how we dealt with them.