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Alumni Fellows’ Projects Labs

 

Technical Support and Training to Local Bee-Keeping Enterprises in Kitui District, Kenya

Mwende Mwendwa

Independent Research Consultant

This project is primarily designed to address the challenge of international division of labor and more specifically the equitable distribution of global incomes. This project is primarily designed to address the challenge of international division of labor and more specifically the equitable distribution of global incomes.

 

 

The proposal aimed at finding ways to improve the technical skills and capacity of an existing rural community-based group involved in subsistence level income generating activities. The purpose of this is that the group may then achieve more commercial success in both local and international markets and in so doing achieve improved incomes. Ideally these incomes would eventually be competitive at a global level, as would the skill set, innovations and standards of quality of goods and services provided by the group.

The project commenced with the identification of a local community-based organization in Kitui District in the Eastern Province of Kenya, about 120 kilometers from the capital city Nairobi. This area has been well-known as a semi-arid/arid region, which is famous for its production of some of the country’s best honey. Despite having this economically viable in¬come source the area has been plagued by rural poverty due the adverse weather conditions experienced throughout most of the year.

By involving both local government and multinational corporations, the project will revolve around elevating this local community-based organization (CBO) from subsistence bee-keeping at an individual level, to packaging and marketing of the collective group harvests at a wider local and international market level.

The group selected for this project is the Yiike Wikwe Community Based Organization. I conducted a preliminary fact finding mission in March 2011, where I was able to get a general idea of the number of members in the group, evaluate the records of their harvests since they began bee-keeping in 2001 and visit some of the members hives. A data collection mission in May 2011, where I interviewed all bee-keeping members, who totaled 37 in number 25, or 68 percent, of who were women, followed this.

I was able to establish that there are three annual harvests in February, July and September, but that these were totally dependent on expected short rains in the preceding month. This was identified as one of the challenges faced by the group, in addition to funds for additional training, equipment such as bee-suits, centrifuge machines (for processing raw honey) and direct access to market without the use of middlemen who have traditionally affected the buying price of the raw honey and in so doing minimizing the profit potential of the group.

During this 3-day sensitization and data collection trip, I was also able to sit with the members of the group and find out from them what they are willing or able to contribute to their own growth. It was agreed that the CBO would pool together what resources they could and for these to be topped up by project partners where possible. My role would be to assist them in drafting project proposals for funding support as well as lobbying with access to market. This has been a challenging area as main language spoken by majority of the group members is Kamba. I also educated them that all proposals would be in the groups name with funding going directly to them for transparency purposes.

I then approached a local organization (Honeycare Africa Limited) that specializes in training of bee-keepers, at all basic, intermediary and advanced levels to get an idea of the cost implication involved in training this group and equipment needed. The total cost required getting the group of 40 well trained, with ample equipment and ready to compete in the market is an estimated €1,600.

The next steps I took were to aggressively lobby with the area local government for any kind of support they could give to the project in alleviating some of the challenges faced by the group. The local area MP was gracious enough to donate funds for the purchase of two bee-suits, which were presented to the group by myself in July 2011.

I have also succeeded in approaching the Traidcraft East Africa Regional Program offices. Traidcraft is an international organization that focuses on the eradication of poverty through trade and is currently engaged in bee keeping for livelihoods in East Africa. I was successful in meeting officers from the organization and sharing details of the project and brainstorming on what if any assistance they are able to provide. Further meetings to explore synergies are planned for the future.

I was successful in securing donor funding from the Kitui Constituency Development Fund, for the first round of technical training to be conducted with the group over a period of 6 days. The training is going to e conducted by a local organization named Honey Care Limited who has years of experience working with bee-keeping groups in the country and specifically in the selected community. The training is scheduled to take place in the second week of October.

 

Ensuring last Mile Telecom Connectivity, Profitably: Shared-Phones for the Base of the Pyramid

Harsh Vivek

Associate Operations Officer, South Asia Advisory Services, International Finance Corporation, The World Bank Group

The future of social entrepreneurship lies at the base of the pyramid (BOP). It is a future shaped alike by the collective actions of corporates, civil society, community-based organizations and micro-entrepreneurs. Large companies have to develop innovative business models that combine elements of commitment to development of the civil society and the business acumen of private enterprises. One such example of corporate-driven social entrepreneurship is the “Shared Phone” for the BOP.

 

 

Fixed-line telecom service is weak, and a relatively small percentage of people living in developing countries have access to one of today’s most transformative forces—a mobile phone. Bringing low-cost modern communications to remote locations at a large-scale would be a development breakthrough. With the right pricing and distribution strategy, it could be a business win as well.

Inspired by the IFC-financed Grameen Village Phone program in Bangladesh and its replications in India and Africa, innovative social enterprises have been developed to target the BOP. For instance, in India, a project has been implemented by a telecom company with 1,200 villagers in the state of Gujarat. Under the project, handsets bundled with SIM cards have been sold to rural, under-employed entrepreneurs for less than US$35. These entre¬preneurs then sell airtime on commission to others who cannot afford to have their own mobile phones. This model raises the village (social) entrepreneur’s incomes, increases rural access to telecom services, and the company’s market-share. The challenge for the companies and development thinkers, going forward, is to find in¬novative solutions to add value to this “last-mile service delivery highway” created through the shared-phone entrepreneurs to serve the vast untapped market at the BOP, profitably. Some of the key considerations that the project seeks to explore further are as follows: What are some of the value-added services that can enhance the service delivery of the shared-phones entrepreneurs? This is required to strengthen the business models for shared phone entrepreneurs and develop a consistent revenue stream. What are some of the market barriers (constraints) for shared-phones to scale-up? What are the lessons learnt from the on-ground experiences of current shared-phone programs in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa? This is required for developing solutions for successful replication and scale-up of the model in different countries and target segments.

The GES Youth Ministry

Asheesh Malhotra

Partner, Wipro Consulting Services

The Youth Ministry is building a next-generation leadership community that will bring together young leaders with a diverse set of skills and backgrounds to address the world’s most pressing challenges. The Ministry will draw its membership primarily from the Global Economic Fellows Program and the wider Global Economic Symposium (GES) network. The Youth Ministry will be integrated within the GES with the objective of deepening the GES’s intergenerational dialogue and extending its ability to engage in global problem-solving activities.

 

“The prime objective of the Youth Ministry is to drive youth engagement through all GES initiatives and to deepen the intergenerational dialogue initiated by the Global Economic Fellows with the GES Community.” (Asheesh Malhotra, The GES Youth Ministry)

The objectives of the Youth Ministry are to:

Deepen the intergenerational dialogue: With 40 percent of the world’s population between 15 to 39 years of age, it is crucial that the youth are engaged in, and help shape the discussion around global challenges. The Youth Ministry will initiate an intergenerational dialogue on global problem-solving with established leaders. The Youth Ministry will help ensure that the perspective of the youth are captured and integrated with the wider GES dialogue.

Empower young leaders to engage in global problem-solving: Today’s youth will be the generation most impacted by the consequences of current decisions. They are also in a unique position to shape these decisions and influence these decisions’ outcomes. The Youth Ministry will engage young leaders across the fields of business, policy, civil society and academia, and equip them with the professional networks and knowledge to address the world’s most pressing challenges.

Background: Spurred by the forces of globalization and technological advance, the world is becoming more interconnected and interdependent. This interdependence creates great opportunities and equally great dangers. Thus the need for cooperation is growing, both among countries and among decision-makers within countries. Yet often the means to achieve such cooperation are lacking and uncoordinated actions create growing inefficiencies. Inefficiency leads to a waste of human, produced and natural resources, harming the interests of business, government and society at large. In the face of this tension between increasing interdependence and uncoordinated actions, we need shared visions of the future. These visions are meant to motivate leading decision-makers to contribute voluntarily to the global good, act in their capacity as global citizens, focusing not on national or cultural interests, but on the global public interest. These visions cannot be developed by decision-makers acting in isolation. Rather, they must be developed together by leaders from business, policy-making, academia and civil society, and the purpose of the Global Economic Symposium (GES) is precisely to develop such visions and to monitor their implementation. The GES is an action-oriented solution symposium, not a discussion forum. Its focus is on proposed solutions to global problems.

The underlying aspiration is to find tangible steps to create a more prosperous, fairer and securer world for the next generation.

Integration in the GES structure: The Youth Ministry considers itself as an extension of the Global Economic Fellows Program. It is composed of Alumni Fellows, Global Economic Fellows and other members of the GES community, and is an integral part of the GES community. The prime objective of the Youth Ministry is to drive youth engagement through all GES initiatives and to deepen the intergenerational dialogue initiated by the Global Economic Fellows with the GES community.

In this role, the Youth Ministry interacts and collaborates with existing GES structures:

The Youth Ministry takes an active role in shaping the debate on how to address global economic problems and in formulating solutions. Members of the Youth Ministry have full access to the Virtual GES, the GES online platform gathering all speakers’ solution proposals. Through their contributions in the form of solution proposals and comments, members of the Youth Ministry communicate novel, potentially important ideas that will be discussed by panelists during the Global Economic Symposium. After the GES, all solutions that achieve sizable agreement among speakers are published in the book “Global Economic Solutions” that aims to stimulate further research, debate and policy initiatives.

Through the inclusion of one representative in the GES Advisory Board, the Youth Ministry beneficiates from participation in a key body of the GES. The GES Advisory Board provides guidance and advice to the Executive Team on several aspects, such as the development of the GES, new initiatives and the choice of themes and topics to be addressed in future symposia. The role of the Youth Ministry representative is to represent the interests and position of the younger generation within the Advisory Board, to inform all Youth Ministry members about important points of discussion and decisions made by the Advisory Board, and to support the involvement of the Youth Ministry in all new GES initiatives.

The Youth Ministry leads and supports projects that translate GES ideas and solutions into con-crete measures to tackle global problems. The Youth Ministry can initiate its own projects as a group and apply for the Global Action Program (GAP) or support (with advice, contacts, etc.) individual projects initiated by Alumni Fellows and Fellows. The GAP is a GES initiative that promotes concrete projects led by members of the GES community and that aim to translate solutions to global problems into concrete action plans and programs.

Role and responsibilities: Based on the different modes of interaction within the GES, the Youth Ministry carries the following responsibilities.

  • The Youth Ministry drives the intergenerational dialogue through all GES activities and structures.
  • The Youth Ministry proposes topics and adds the perspective of the next generation to all GES topics. Thereby the Youth Ministry helps shape the agenda of the GES and makes it reflect the interests of the next generation.

 

The Youth Ministry develops solutions to the global problems addressed in the GES, whereby it directly influences and directs the debate on the panels at the GES.

  • The Youth Ministry also actively translates Global Economic Solutions, the outcome of each GES, into concrete projects, plans and initiatives, that show how specific aspects of these visions can be implemented. It commits to implement these projects directly itself with support from the GES community and the Global Action Program and indirectly by promoting and supporting their implementation.
  • The Youth Ministry presents its activities and projects at the GES and seeks to find sponsorship for a sustainable establishment of itself as well as for the implementation of its own projects. To this end it has access to the full GES community and the active support of the GES and the Global Economic Partnership.

 

The Youth Ministry also actively translates Global Economic Solutions, the outcome of each GES, into concrete projects, plans and initiatives, that show how specific aspects of these visions can be implemented. It commits to implement these projects directly itself with support from the GES community and the Global Action Program and indirectly by promoting and supporting their implementation. The Youth Ministry presents its activities and projects at the GES and seeks to find sponsorship for a sustainable establishment of itself as well as for the implementation of its own projects. To this end it has access to the full GES community and the active support of the GES and the Global Economic Partnership.

 

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