Sydney-Johanna Stevns

Sydney-Johanna Stevns

Country: Chile
Organization: La Fundación para la Innovación Agraría (FIA) Santiago, Chile

I worked with an organization called La Fundación para la Innovación Agraría (FIA) (or in English, the Foundation for the Innovation of Agriculture) in Santiago, Chile. The mission of FIA is to support a culture of innovation in agriculture that improves the competitiveness of sustainable and inclusive farming.

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Dristy Shrestha

Dristy Shrestha

Country: Tanzania
Organization: BRAC Tanzania

DRISTY: "BRAC is the world’s largest non-governmental development organization measured by the number of employees and the number of people it has helped. It is dedicated to empowering people and communities living in poverty, illiteracy, disease and social injustice through its various programs in areas ranging from microfinance, agriculture and food security, education and more. It currently operates in 11 countries across the globe

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Angga Martha

Angga Martha

Country: Indonesia
Organization: Center for Indonesia’s Strategic Development Initiatives (CISDI)

The Center for Indonesia’s Strategic Development Initiatives (CISDI) is an institution that serves as the center for national development strategy analysis in Indonesia. It involves creating innovations and strategic initiatives that will help accelerate the implementation and achievement of the 2030 Global Goals on Sustainable Development (SDGs) as a whole and specifically the implementation of development interventions in the area of health and youth engagement.

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Sai Kumaraswami

Sai Kumaraswami

Organization: iSTAR Skill Development
Country: India

iSTAR is an education technology firm that addresses the skilling needs of people and addresses the problem through a public –private partnership. It provides end to end services in higher education management including content and program development, curriculum design, delivery, assessment, recruitment and consulting services. Its mission is to create sustainable livelihoods through intensive skills training across multiple sectors including banking and financial services, retail, IT and IT enabled services.

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Nashwa Khali

Organization: Vodafone Farmers Club / Groupe Spécial Mobile (GSMA)
Country: Ghana

NASHWA: GSMA1, working with a wide range of mobile network operators and civil society organisations, is launching a series of nutrition-focused m-health and m-agriculture initiatives in South Asia and sub- Saharan Africa, called mNutrition. The objective of mNutrition in mAgri is to create and scale commercially sustainable mobile services enabling smallholder farmers to improve their nutrition, yields and incomes. The product to be delivered and evaluated is the Vodafone Farmers’ Club. The service is a bundled solution offering agricultural information in addition to voice and SMS services. In order to measure the causal impact of the Farmers’ Club product, the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) will conduct an external impact evaluation of the mAgri programme in Ghana in November 2016. A randomized encouragement design will be implemented. Specifically, some communities will be randomly assigned to receive additional marketing and promotion of the Farmers’ Club product and some communities will not be assigned to the additional marketing and promotion. The additional marketing and promotion will consist of price discounts, advertisement scripts, and gender targeting.

Rationale for Intervention

The rapid expansion of mobile phone access to populations at the base of the income pyramid presents an unprecedented opportunity to expand coverage of nutrition and agriculture services to this previously overlooked segment of the mobile market. Mobile phones and computer centers are the most targeted channels to provide not only technical and scientific information on crop production and nutrition, but also to support the marketing of products that can help level the playing field between small producers and traders. Agricultural extension services delivered via mobile phones can in theory promote ‘nutrition-sensitive’ interventions by creating competent and efficient farmers who are able to increase productivity by making effective use of knowledge and information which is delivered to them.

Broadly speaking, nutrition-sensitive agriculture is aimed at improving the nutritional status of a population by maximizing the impact of food and of agricultural systems, while minimizing the potential for negative externalities regarding the sector’s economic and production-driven goals. In the last few years there has been a visible trend in agricultural policies and programs to become ‘nutrition-sensitive’ by leveraging agriculture to maximize nutrition impact. Yet there is an identified need to better understand the linkages between agriculture and nutrition, and to decipher the ways in which agriculture can contribute to improved nutrition. Despite the potential of mobile services coupled with agricultural change to improve nutrition and diet quality, very few studies exist that critically assess the application of mobile phone technology for nutrition in resource-poor settings.

Farmers’ Club

Farmers’ Club is a bundled solution offering farmers agricultural and nutrition information in addition to voice and SMS services. The target market Vodafone expects to attract is about 450,000 Farmer Club users by 2016/17 across 8 regions in Ghana: Eastern Region, Western Region, Ashanti Region, Central Region, Northern Region, Volta, Brong-Ahafo, and Greater Accra. Researchers from the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) are conducting a rigorous mixed-methods evaluation to estimate the impact of mNutrition and to understand how the context and the components of the mNutrition intervention shape its impact. To estimate the casual impacts of the product on farmer’s behavior, knowledge, nutrition, yields and income, a randomized encouragement design is being implemented where some communities are randomly assigned to receive additional marketing and promotion of the Farmers’ Club product and some are not assigned to the additional marketing and promotion. The additional marketing and promotion will consist of price discounts, advertisement scripts, and gender targeting.

The goal of the impact evaluation is to measure the causal impact of Farmers’ club on behaviors and outcomes linked to nutrition and agriculture. But before a full scale impact evaluation is rolled out; which is resource and time intensive IFPRI decided to do a pilot, which is the leg of the project that I was brought on to do. Essentially the purpose of the pilot was to test the assumptions of the evaluation and related encouragements before they are rolled out for the study and to test willingness to pay for the Farmer club product. As soon as I landed in Ghana I had three priority areas to work on:

  1. Build relationships with potential implementing partners and all the involved stakeholders; including Vodafone, The University of Ghana, and ESOKO2

  2. Collaborate with Vodafone to do user feedback surveys for existing Farmers’ Club customers. This would help the research team at IFPRI understand the rates of take-up of the service as well as the perceived benefits of subscribing.

  3. Set up the IRB3 protocol, as well as pilot evaluation that would allow us to answer the following research questions:

    •   How effective is the Farmer Club at increasing the knowledge and changing the behavior of farmers?

    •   What are the impacts and cost-effectiveness of the Farmer Club product on household’s dietary diversity, agricultural income, and production?

    •   Does targeting women increase impacts over and beyond the impacts of a non-targeted Farmer Club product?

  What is farmer’s willingness to pay for Farmer’s club?

The preliminary data gathered while I was in Ghana evidenced that Farmers’ Club positively enhanced the livelihoods and quality of life of smallholder farmers by improving access to information, financial services and supply chain solutions, delivered via mobile phone. Furthermore the mNutrition component of the intervention promoted behaviour change around key farming decisions and practices via mobile nutrition content.

Ananth Ganesa

Ananth Ganesa

Country: Sudan
Organization: World Food Programme

Ananth's internship was with the Vulnerability Analysis and Mapping (VAM) unit in Khartoum, Sudan. VAM collects and analyses data from thousands of households every year – particularly in rural, poor and food insecure populations – to provide WFP program managers and the broader humanitarian community with information, analysis and advice.

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Fumi Tataki

Fumi Tataki

Country: Rwanda
Organization: African Entrepreneur Collective (AEC)

Fumi: "The purpose of my summer internship is to earn an experience of working in Africa to find approaches to achieve economic development through business. By working as a mentor and consultant for clients of African Entrepreneur Collective (AEC) in Rwanda, I developed strong interest in working in human capital development for small medium enterprises (SMEs) in the future.  

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Justin Sullivan

Justin Sullivan

Country: Rwanda
Organization: African Entrepreneur Collective (AEC)
 

Justin travelled to Kigali, Rwanda as a Global Business Mentor for African Entrepreneur Collective (AEC) at Inkomoko, AEC’s pilot program. AEC’s model has already helped create more than 700 jobs, while contributing to the country’s economic and social development.  

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Nathaniel Rosenblum

Nathaniel Rosenblum

Country: Rwanda
Organization: African Entrepreneur Collective (AEC), Inkomoko

Nathaniel spent the summer working for Inkomoko, a business acceleratory run by the African Entrepreneur Collective (AEC) based in Kigali, Rwanda. AEC through Inkomoko works with hundreds of entrepreneurs in Rwanda to help them move from start up to fully‐fledged business. They are not specialized in a particular field, and rather reflect the growth spaces of the Rwandan economy

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Gaspar Rodriguez

Gaspar Rodriguez

Country: Chile
Organization: Corporación La Esperanza (CLE)

Corporación La Esperanza (CLE) offers free outpatient and residential drug rehabilitation services and prevention programs for youth, men, and women in underserved communities across Chile. Seven clinics provide a much- needed lifeline for over 500 patients every year. The goal of Gaspar's internship was to implement a cloud-based solution that allowed them to register and track the most quantitative and key data about their patients. 

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Alexander Kostura

Alexander Kostura

Country: Peru
Organization: AidData Center for Development Policy

Alexander spent the summer serving as an AidData Summer Fellow with the AidData Center for Development Policy. AidData is a research and innovation lab that aims to make development finance data more accessible and actionable. Specifically, AidData collects and analyzes geospatial (or geographic) data to answer the questions: Who is funding what? Where? And to what effect?

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Kai‐Moritz Keller

Kai‐Moritz Keller

Country: Kenya
Organization: Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI)

CHAI was founded in 2002 to help save the lives of millions of people living with HIV/AIDS in the developing world by dramatically scaling up antiretroviral treatment (ART). Kai-Moritz Keller worked within CHAI’s New Initiatives (NI) function on the ‘East African Local Manufacturers’ project.

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Robert Helbig

Robert Helbig

Country: Brazil
Organization: Konrad Adenauer Foundation (KAS)

Robert worked at the Konrad Adenauer Foundation (KAS) in Brazil, a German NGO dedicated to political freedom and economic development. Operating out of Rio de Janeiro and funded by the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, KAS has a track record of over four decades of training social entrepreneurs, as well as supporting transparency and socioeconomic development in Brazil. 

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Laura Cuéllar

Laura Cuéllar

Country: Colombia & Ecuador
Organization: Ayuda en Acción

Laura worked with Ayuda en Acción (AeA), a Spanish development NGO that has worked for over 30 years in enhancing the welfare of millions of people around the world. Perhaps one of the most interesting aspects of AeA is its model: rather than deploying its teams on the ground, AeA identifies local NGOs and supports them financially during an average of twelve to eighteen years. Throughout what it defines as “territorial development,” AeA identifies the community’s most urgent needs –from food security to production and/or commercialization barriers, gender issues, education, and social fragmentation– and designs a long-term integral and panoramic agenda to addresses them. 

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Ashley Anderson

Ashley Anderson

Country: Philippines
Organization: Millenium Challenge Corporation

As the very first summer intern for MCC‐Philippines, Ashley Anderson's main deliverable was to create a repository of social impact reports detailing the specific effects of select MCC programs on beneficiaries and their communities. In order to collect insights for the impact stories, she  arranged interviews with key stakeholders all over the Philippines.

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