29 July 2014 | Posted By: Ilana Martin

iDE: Improving Nutrition, Expanding Food Security

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As the global community continues to feel the pressure of feeding the 1.2 billion people who do not consume enough to meet their basic nutritional needs, it is important to keep in mind that more than 70% of the world’s poorest people are smallholder farmers who have the ability to feed themselves and others – if they have the right skills and technologies. Treating smallholder farmers as entrepreneurs rather than beneficiaries of aid gives them the opportunity to break the cycle of poverty and better provide for their families.

Paul Polak, who founded iDE over 30 years ago, recognized this fact and realized that the greatest positive impact he could have on global health was to help poor rural households increase their annual incomes. Since iDE’s conception in 1982, the organization has focused heavily on affordable irrigation technologies, sustainable land management and growing practices, crop diversity, market development, and nutrition education. iDE connects low-income farmers to affordable irrigation technologies and agricultural information to help farmers improve soil management and grow more profitable and nutritious crops with higher yields. iDE also works to strengthen low-income farmers’ access to markets, which results in greater profits and higher annual income. With this approach, iDE has helped more than 2.8 million people achieve financial security and significantly improve nutritional intake.

A prime example of iDE’s approach in action is its collaboration with several non-profit organizations under the European Union-funded Agriculture and Nutrition Extension Project (ANEP), to help 60,000 households in Bangladesh improve food security and nutrition. This initiative emphasizes nutrition education, cultivating foods high in vitamins and micronutrients, strengthening connections between rural producers and urban consumers, and educating farmers on nutrient management and pesticide usage. iDE’s comprehensive approach will continue to ensure greater financial stability and nutrient-rich diets for low-income families.

23 June 2014 | Posted By: Ilana Martin

iDE Cambodia hits 100,000 Toilet Sales in 2 Years!

Sanitation Marketing pumps up the local economy and delivers health benefits.

DENVER— In rural Cambodia, 4 out of 5 people did not have access to hygienic sanitation as recently as 2010.1 Despite efforts to improve it, increase in sanitation coverage has lagged for decades—until now. iDE Cambodia is proud to announce the sale of 100,000 hygienic latrines in two years through stimulating local private enterprises to sell toilets to customers. This milestone will provide access to sanitation for an estimated 470,000 people.iDE has been at the forefront of the market-based approach for over 30 years.

 

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“The huge achievement of 100,000 latrines sold in Cambodia’s rural areas is due to a tightly run staff who deeply understands the customer’s needs. Our team is dedicated to finding the right sales strategies, inspiring sales agents and working with local authorities.” —Ly Saroeun, Deputy Program Director, iDE Cambodia

This project, called Sanitation Marketing Scale Up (SMSU), takes place in seven Cambodian provinces. iDE launched a pilot project in 2009 to establish feasibility. The official scale up began in September of 2011. The 100,000 milestone was reached during the scale up period and does not include the latrines sold during the pilot phase. Total latrine sales including the pilot is 118,000, and counting.

The three-year Sanitation Marketing Scale-Up (SMSU) project is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Stone Family Foundation, and technically supported by the Water and Sanitation Program (WSP) of the World Bank. The project is supported by the Ministry of Rural Development.

— PROJECT HIGHLIGHTS —

 

Creating Demand. The development of persuasive sales messages, such as “Easy to buy. Easy to build. Easy to use.” is an example of how iDE staff coaches members of the sales force to use the right selling strategy. Product design also plays a critical role in creating demand. During the pilot, iDE developed the award-winning Easy Latrine to be aspirational, accessible and affordable.

 

Ripple Effect. The project has benefited all sanitation businesses in the project area by increasing overall demand for latrines while demonstrating a business model to capture that demand. These new opportunities create a one to one ripple effect. For every latrine sold through a small business trained by iDE, another latrine is sold through a non-connected business that is inspired to join the newly invigorated latrine market.3

 

Economic Impact. The average latrine sells for 41.50 (US dollars). This price equates to $4,500,000 in revenue—a boon for the 199 small businesses that are engaged by the project, thereby feeding the local economy. On an individual level, a latrine saves each household $283 on average over a period of five years.4

 

Moving Toward 100% Coverage. In the seven Cambodian provinces where the project is taking place, there is currently an average of 40% coverage, an increase of 11% over the two years since scale up began.5

 

Reaching the Poor. Coverage for the poor increased 6% overall. In Kandal province alone, 18% of project-linked sales went to poor households, nearly doubling poor coverage in that province from 15% to 29%.6

 

About iDE

iDE is an international non-profit organization dedicated to creating income and livelihood opportunities for the rural poor. For more than 31 years, iDE has created innovative solutions to development problems. iDE currently works in 6 countries in the water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) sector and focuses on creating markets around aspirational and effective WASH products and services that reduce diarrheal disease among poor households. iDE has impacted more than 20 million people globally to date through its agriculture and WASH interventions. www.ideorg.org

 

Learn More:

Infographic: “How do you sell 100,000 latrines in 2 years in rural Cambodia?”

100kinfographicsm.jpg

 

Understanding Willingness to Pay for Sanitary Latrines in Rural Cambodia:

Findings from Four Field Experiments of iDE Cambodia’s Sanitation Marketing Program

IDinsight Policy Brief: Microfinance Loans to Increase Sanitary Latrine Sales. Evidence from a randomized trial in rural Cambodia

Water and Sanitation Program: Field Note. Sanitation Marketing Lessons from Cambodia: A Market-Based Approach to Delivering Sanitation

 

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 1 WHO/UNICEF, Joint Monitoring Programme for Water Supply and Sanitation, Estimates for the Use of Improved Sanitation Facilities, Cambodia, Updated March 2012.

2 According to the General Population Census of Cambodia the average family size is 4.7 people. http://www.stat.go.jp/english/info/meetings/cambodia/pdf/pre_rep1.pdf

3, 5, 6 As part of our regular M&E activities under SMSU, iDE has conducted annual latrine coverage censuses for all project connected provinces allowing us to estimate district-wide latrine coverage with a precision of ±10%, province-wide coverage ±5%, and program-wide coverage ±1%.

4 Christopher Root, Household Financial and Economic Impacts of Latrine Use in Cambodia, March 2010.

10 June 2014 | Posted By: Ilana Martin

Business Fights Poverty Design Expo 2014

3. Design Expo Website, E-Newsletter, Blog Banner 1

 

iDE is excited to announce that we will be taking part in the world’s first online Design Expo – a one-week, online celebration of product, service and business model design that transforms the lives of the world’s poor. The Expo is being hosted by Business Fights Poverty, in partnership with International Development Enterprises from 9 to 13 June 2014.

The week will include a vibrant mix of Google Hangouts with topic pioneers, online discussions with subject experts, blogs on the latest design thinking, a Twitter Jam, and an online exhibition zone showcasing the best product and service designs.

Each day of the week will focus on one of 5 sectors: Energy (9 June), Health (10 June), Communications (11 June), Livelihoods (including enterprise, finance and agriculture) (12 June) and Water & Sanitation (13 June). The online exhibition will also be structured around these 5 sectors.

 

iDE will be presenting on Delivering Water and Sanitation on June 13 (Friday).

 

This is fantastic recognition of the social impact iDEis achieving on a massive scale.

 

We would love for you to join the Design Expo, spread the word and invite your friends!

30 May 2014 | Posted By: Ilana Martin

La Lay Ha: Smiles Grow with the Rice in Vietnam

La Lay Ha_VietnamShe slides down the muddy hill, constantly pointing things out and saying them in her native Paco language.  At the bottom of the valley she hops the bamboo fence in her black silk skirt, turns, and smiles.  This is her rice field and she is proud that she alone can feed her family.

La Lay Ha is a 34 year old widow with three children.  They live near the Vietnam border in a hamlet called Ang Cong.  Years ago, she was unable to grow enough rice to feed her family and would buy it to prevent a shortage.  She says that rice is very important and it must be guaranteed for her family.  She cannot focus on anything else until it is secured.

In 2010, she learned about a more effective strategy to fertilize her rice crop called fertilizer deep placement (FDP) and decided to try it because of the training accompanying the product provided by iDE. Nervous at first, she applied the product to a portion of her rice land.  After the first crop was a success she applied FDP to all of her land and doubled her rice yield.  Today, the same land produces enough rice to last an entire year for her family and the excess is given to neighbors.  Since she no longer has to purchase rice, the money is spent on her children to supply them with clothes and books for school.

Ms. La encourages other families to follow her and use FDP.  She says to buy a product you believe in, and this fertilizer is very easy.  Her advice is “Transplant correctly, use FDP and wait until the end of the crop.  Simple.”  Her neighbor Mr. Ho laughed when he first saw her planting rows and fertilizing.  Now he uses FDP through the iDE program and is also a success.

Spending less time worrying about rice gives Ms. La time for other things.  She is head of the Women’s Union in the village, teaches family planning, and volunteers for another organization.  “Now many people want to work with me,” she says, and her smile broadens.

28 April 2014 | Posted By: Ilana Martin

Focused on the Human Element

Why does one product work in one country, but an exact replica doesn’t sell in another? What aspects of your toilet do you care about? Is it culturally appropriate? Why or why not?

To answer these questions and many more, iDE uses the Human Centered Design (HCD) methodology to develop products and business models, explore new markets, and solve problems. By placing the users at the core, HCD helps us to create solutions that are truly designed for people, so they have a higher probability of success. Funders and users of HCD find it is the most cost effective methodology to find a working solution that will have the potential for growth and sustainability.

Why does it matter?

Each HCD process is specific to the context in which it is applied so that, regardless of the size or duration of a project, iDE can be sure that the most appropriate solutions are being offered to the rural poor. Dedicating the time to complete HCD research ensures that all actors on the supply and demand side are being heard, their issues addressed, and that only technologically feasible and economically viable solutions are carried forward. This saves iDE and our donors time and money. Being an HCD innovator has allowed iDE to improve the lives of millions of people around the world, offering them desirable and affordable products to address their unmet water and sanitation needs.

How does it work?

IDEO HCD chat

 

Each HCD process is specific to the context in which it is applied so that, regardless of the size or duration of a project, iDE can be sure that the most appropriate solutions are being offered to the rural poor. Dedicating the time to complete HCD research ensures that all actors on the supply and demand side are being heard, their issues addressed, and that only technologically feasible and economically viable solutions are carried forward. This saves iDE and our donors time and money. Being an HCD innovator has allowed iDE to improve the lives of millions of people around the world, offering them desirable and affordable products to address their unmet water and sanitation needs.

 

Hear: Through in-depth interviews with the target market, potential influencers, and decision makers, the hearing phase helps gather stories and conduct field research. Interviewers lead conversations without judgment or predetermined answers to uncover the context in which individuals operate.  This ‘Deep Dive’ produces user insights and design principles that guide the project. Create: The design team works together in a series of interactive idea generation and rapid prototyping rounds to translate what was heard from people into useable solutions. The process moves between concrete data to more abstract thinking for identifying themes and solutions. This fosters efficient designing as the team is able to test all solutions but only feasible solutions are carried beyond the ‘product and business model prototyping’ phase. Deliver: Through feasibility and viability assessments, a model for financial sustainability and an innovation pipeline are developed. These help to develop pilots, measure impact, and create a learning plan. The Deliver phase complements existing implementation processes, but results in a tailored implementation plan. This ‘sales test/pilot’ phase ensures an appropriate solution is created.

 

iDE is both an leader and innovator in applying the HCD methodology to water and sanitation initiatives. With funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in 2009, iDE collaborated with design firm IDEO, the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW), and Heifer International to create the HCD toolkit for individuals and organizations working to find sustainable solutions to community problems. The toolkit won the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) and BusinessWeek Magazine’s 2009 IDEA Gold Award.

textHCD diagram

| Posted By: Ilana Martin

Drill Deeper: Finding Income in a Well

2.2014 Manual Well Drilling Ethiopia (28)For most smallholder farmers, access to water can be challenging. The dry season usually lasts for nine months, leaving only three months for the rain. Therefore, many subsistence farmers grow a year’s worth of their staple crops, like rice or wheat, during the three-month rainy season. They are so focused on making sure they have enough of their staple crops to last a year that they don’t use much of their farmable land to grow fruits or vegetables. However, if farmers can access water to grow crops during the dry season, they can grow high-nutrient crops to eat at home or sell in the local market. In order to do this, farmers need to be able to access water from the ground to irrigate their crops. Our solution to accessing underground water is through manual well drilling. This system uses human strength to pound hollow iron rods into the ground until the drillers find a reliable water source. Once the well is dug, a pipe is installed with a treadle pump fixed on the top. See the process for yourself.

Through manual well drilling, farmers have the ability to increase incomes, improve food security, and access water for livestock and domestic needs. This technique is widely used throughout Asia and Central and South America but is less common in Africa. The success of this technique largely depends on the geological features of the region, which limits the area where it can be used. The ground must be suitable and have shallow aquifers to ensure water levels can be sustained.  Well depths can vary depending on each location’s geographical structure, affecting the ease with which a pump can be installed to access the water underground.

2.2014 Manual Well Drilling Eithiopia Rapid shot (35)Not only does manual well drilling help farmers to access much needed water from the ground; it also creates local businesses and jobs. iDE helps to train village-based entrepreneurs to drill a well and how to access the proper depth (depending on the soil composition), install a pump, and provide the farmer with future well-related services. Drillers become certified through iDE and employ two helpers each time a well is needed. More than 100 drillers have been trained, certified, and established as independent contractors. This approach to manual well drilling is beneficial to the local economy because it helps to provide life-enhancing services to local farmers and creates local jobs. In just a few years, iDE’s manual well drilling activities in Ethiopia have created over 400 jobs in rural communities.

21 April 2014 | Posted By: Ilana Martin

iDE Selected to Participate in the 6th Annual American Express Leadership Academy

Emerging Leaders from 10 Social Sector Organizations to Build Personal, Business and Leadership Skills at 2014 Leadership Academy

(GLENDALE, Ariz.) April 10, 2014 — Having increased the leadership skills of 150 managers from over 50 international nonprofit organizations in the Academy’s five-year history, Thunderbird School of Global Management is once again teaming up with American Express to offer the 6th Annual American Express Leadership Academy, May 4-9, 2014, at the Thunderbird campus in Phoenix, AZ.

This year’s Academy will focus on enhancing the leadership skills of representatives from 10 international social sector and nongovernment organizations including TED Conferences, BRAC, Charity: Water, Feed My Starving Children, Free the Slaves, iDE, Make-A-Wish International, Pencils of Promise, Project C.U.R.E. and Special Olympics International. Participants will develop new strategies and skills to assist them in operating more productive and successful nonprofit organizations.

“The selection process for the Academy is rigorous,” states Doug Hoxeng, Ph.D., Thunderbird program director for American Express Leadership Academy. “The application process includes executives reviewing their strategic challenges and proposing a project for their ‘emerging leader’ participant team to further develop at the Academy. Each team project must have the potential for significant results within their organization and benefits for those they serve. Our faculty help make that happen by providing thought leadership to each organizational team to turn insight into action.”

In an effort to reach more leaders, American Express will live stream a Leadership Academy session, “Funders Panel: An Inside Perspective” on Wednesday, May 7, from 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. EST. The panel will feature private and corporate funders discussing emerging issues and best practices related to engaging grant makers. Live stream viewers can join the conversation and submit questions that can be addressed by the panel on Twitter by using the hashtags #AmexLeads and/or #SocEntChat. Register at www.thunderbird.edu/AMEX-live with the access code Amex2014.

The Academy is tailored to fit cultural nuances and different nonprofit niche needs, with the consistency of core elements. The program is practical, interactive and can be immediately implemented into the workplace. Participants will engage in team exercises, case studies, class discussion and leadership style assessments. The Global Mindset Inventory assessment is used to measure the Global Mindset profile of the participants. Following the Academy, participants work with their organizations’ senior leaders to implement what they learned.

Mary Teagarden, Ph.D., academic director of the Academy adds, “American Express and Thunderbird are committed to developing emerging social sector leaders for achieving real impact, not only within their own organizations, but also in their greater social sector community. The Academy helps participants grow as leaders and inspires them to spread their learning to others for creating sustainable change.”

Leading up to the American Express Leadership Academy, American Express, Ashoka, The Center for Creative Leadership (CCL) and Thunderbird will co-host a live Twitter chat on Thurs., April 24, 2014 from 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. EST entitled “Fundraising for Impact.” The chat will discuss best practices in fundraising and provide participants with the opportunity to learn more about key trends and chat with top nonprofit leaders from across the globe. You can send questions to the moderator, @changemakers, for discussion. You can follow the conversation on Twitter by using #AmexLeads and #SocEntChat hashtags.

Thanks to the success of the preceding five Academies, the upcoming 6th Annual American Express Leadership Academy is the first in a three-year grant awarded to Thunderbird by American Express Philanthropy.

About Thunderbird School of Global Management

Thunderbird is the world’s No.1-ranked school of international business with nearly 70 years of experience in developing leaders with the global mindset, business skills and social responsibility necessary to create real, sustainable value for their organizations, communities and the world. Dedicated to preparing students to be global leaders and committed global citizens, Thunderbird was the first graduate business school to adopt a Professional Oath of Honor. Thunderbird’s global network of alumni numbers 40,000 graduates in more than 140 nations worldwide. The school is sought out by graduate students, working professionals and companies seeking to gain the skills necessary for success in today’s global economy. For more about Thunderbird, visit http://www.thunderbird.edu. 

About American Express: Developing New Leaders for Tomorrow

One of American Express’ three platforms for its philanthropy is Developing New Leaders for Tomorrow. Under this giving initiative, which recognizes the significance of strong leadership in the nonprofit and sectors, American Express is making grants focused on training high potential emerging leaders to tackle important issues in the 21st century. Nearly 15,000 emerging nonprofit and social sector leaders worldwide have benefitted from American Express leadership programs. Launched in 2008, the American Express Leadership Academy addresses the growing deficit of leadership talent in the nonprofit sector. The Academy brings together emerging leaders from a diverse set of nonprofit, social sector and non-governmental organizations.

About American Express

American Express is a global services company, providing customers with access to products, insights and experiences that enrich lives and build business success. Learn more at americanexpress.com and connect with us on facebook.com/americanexpress, foursquare.com/americanexpress, linkedin.com/company/american-express, twitter.com/americanexpress, and youtube.com/americanexpress.Key links to products and services: charge and credit cards, business credit cards, travel services, gift cards, prepaid cards, merchant services, business travel, and corporate card.

 

This press release was provided by the Thunderbird School of Global Management. 2014

28 March 2014 | Posted By: Ilana Martin

How can Rural African Farmers Grow more Food?

Fabian_edited

Meet Fabian Amili, one of our farming heroes in Zambia. By partnering with iDE, Fabian increased his own family’s income and worked his way out of poverty; today as a Farm Business Advisor he inspires everyone in his village to do the same.

Farm Business Advisors help their neighbors access seeds, fertilizer, water pumps, and other critical farming tools. Donations from RLG, the Rudy and Alice Ramsey Foundation, and many others have supported the training of more than 130 Farm Business Advisors in Zambia.

On Fabian’s farm you can see cabbage, peppers, tomatoes and other high value crops, which he sells on the local market. With the extra income, he has paid school fees for his children and bought medicine for his family.

Today Fabian is helping others by training them to use the same seeds and farming techniques he continues to use. With enormous passion he said, “if more farmers are doing well like me, we can grow together…” Fabian makes the world a better place.

Join us in training the next group of Farm Business Advisors! Donations to our agricultural work help lift families out of poverty not from a handout, but from their own hard work. With your donation of $110, we can bring another set of tools to an African farm.

26 March 2014 | Posted By: Ilana Martin

Demu Bikila: A Proud Landowner and Empowered Business Women

TuluBolo, Ethiopia Demu Bikila

Meet Demu Bikila from Tulubolo, Ethiopia. She is a proud mother of five, and with a smile on her face she says, “I am a successful businesswomen.”

Before iDE, Demu could only grow food during the rainy season and harvest once a year. She tells you that she had “no previous knowledge of farming” and didn’t have any connections to the local market. To make matters even worse, Demu had no savings. This means she would have a hard time getting a loan from a local bank.

With a little help from iDE, Demu turned her life around, she:

  • Connected with a local rural bank, with a program specifically for farmers
  • Bought a treadle pump, good seeds, and dug a shallow well
  • Received training in good agricultural practices
  • Was linked to a buyer who would move her crops from her farm to the market at a good price

With a treadle pump and access to ground water Demu can harvest four times a year. With this, she now has a consistent income and her family can eat nutritious food throughout the year.

2.2014 TulluBollo, Ethiopia Demu Bikila (24)_edited

 

What will she do next?

Demu knows she has a hard road ahead of her as a single mother. Her husband died some years back and all she has left is the land that was once his and her kids. Had s

he been younger she would have lost the land completely because traditionally it would have gone to his brother. Being a female landowner, she is now a minority in Ethiopia, BUT she is empowered and knowledgeable.

She has plans to continue to work with iDE so she can continue to learn and pass the knowledge onto her children. Demu wants to make even more money so she can send all of her children to school.

Demu is thankful for what she has and is ready to work hard so her children can have a better future.

 

 

 

30 September 2013 | Posted By: Ilana Martin

Sustainability and Cost-effectiveness in Private Sector and Producer Organ­izations

 

Michael Roberts from iDE Cambodia will be attending and presenting at Global Forum for Rural Advisory Services (GFRAS) 4th Annual Meeting, 2013.

The conference theme for this year is the Role of Private Sector and Producer Organizations in Rural Advisory Services and will be held September 24-26 in Berlin, Germany

Monday 23rd September 13:30 – 15:45 (CEST)

Swiss Forum on Rural Advisory Services (SFRAS) Side Event: Embedded services as modality for sustainable RAS

Case studies based on the experience of SFRAS members are presented that demonstrate the diversity of Rural Advisory Services provision in the form of embedded services as an approach for sustainability. Key themes addressed include:

  • Embedding advisory services with input sales, processing and marketing
  • Financial and ecological sustainability
  • Comparative importance of embedded services in a pluralistic advisory services

Michael Roberts from iDE Cambodia will present the case study of the Farm Business Advisor model that embeds sales of quality agricultural inputs with professional training and support through ethical, relationship-based sales.

Peter Schmidt from Helvetas Swiss Interco-operation will moderate the session that will also feature case studies from CABI, Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture and Helvetas’ experiences in Bangladesh and Tanzania.

 

Tuesday 24th September 12:00 – 12:50 (CEST)

Parallel Session: Sustainability and cost-effectiveness in private sector and producer organ­izations

Michael Roberts will share lessons learnt from the Farm Business Advisor model developed by iDE in Cambodia and currently being rolled out by iDE programs in Ethiopia, Zambia, Mozambique and Nepal.  Michael will be joined in the session by Stefan Kachelriess-Matthess from GIZ-Compaci and Souvanthong Namvong from the Department of Agriculture Extension and Cooperatives. The aim of this session is to identify sustainable and cost-effective approaches to providing rural advisory services, identify opportunities for transferability and garner lessons from existing public-private partnerships.

See photos on our Facebook page.

 

More details at, the Global Forum for Rural Advisory Services.

 

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