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.
The Public Option: How Smart Tariff Subsidies Can Boost Minigrids and Solve Africa’s Rural Energy Access Dilemma
The World Bank estimates that minigrids can provide electricity for up to 500 million people by 2030, and that the cost of minigrid electricity per kilowatt hour will decrease by two thirds in the same period. But as Daniel Kitwa at the Africa Minigrid Developers Association points out, these goals can only be realized through effective public policy, scale and innovation. He explains why a smartly designed subsidy program to reduce the cost of minigrid power for rural customers is the critical missing piece in these efforts.
Doing Good by Doing Business: How B1G1’s Innovative Giving Model Is Mobilizing Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises to Make a Social Impact
B1G1 (Buy1Give1) is a global business giving initiative that makes it easy for enterprises – particularly small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) – to support charitable causes around the world. NextBillion spoke with founder and CEO Masami Sato to discuss how B1G1 developed its innovative model, how its approach differs from the model popularized by companies like TOMS Shoes, and why it’s important to mobilize the power of SMEs to build upon the impact of traditional charitable giving.
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.
At the end of each year, NextBillion selects 12 of our most-read articles from the previous 12 months, then invites readers to vote for the piece that impacted them the most. We've tallied up the votes, and as 2021 begins we're happy to announce our three most influential articles of 2020. We'd like to thank all the guest writers who contributed articles to NextBillion last year, to congratulate the winners and other contestants in this contest, and to thank everyone who took the time to vote. Best wishes for a safe, happy and prosperous 2021.
Documenting a Historic Year in Emerging Markets Business: Vote for the Top NextBillion Article of 2020
Like many of you, we're not sorry to see the end of 2020. But as we look back on this historic, tragic year, NextBillion would like to take a moment to appreciate the extraordinary work done by enterprises, NGOs, researchers and others in the emerging markets business sector. They have risen to the occasion in ways that can best be described as heroic – while sharing their insights in nearly 100 COVID-19-focused articles on our platform. Several of these pieces are included in our "Most Influential Article of the Year" contest, which launches today. We invite you to read these articles and vote for your favorites – the contest runs from Dec. 21 to Jan. 2.
- Agriculture, Coronavirus, Energy, Entrepreneurship, Finance, Impact Assessment, NextBillion Originals