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#SEEP2019 Innovation Challenge

The Innovation Challenge provided SEEP members with the opportunity to share promising innovations that are still in early stage implementation and that relate to the conference theme and technical tracks. The objective is to bring visibility to emerging approaches while prompting reflection and dialogue. On day one, innovations were presented through interactive poster sessions that solicit direct feedback from conference participants. On day two, each finalist performed a timed, 7-minute innovation pitch with the poster displayed on large screens to Conference participants where audience members used a digital polling tool to rate and evaluate each innovation, determining the overall winner of the Challenge. 

Digital Identities for Financial Inclusion of Refugees

Presented by Timothy Nourse, Making Cents

Climate change, conflict, and weak economies are fueling migration across borders. However, financial histories of refugees rarely travel with them, posing challenges for financial institutions to verify creditworthiness and hindering the ability of refugees to start a business. Digital identities can enable mobile populations to carry their financial history with them, but what would they look like? We are currently piloting such as solution in Lebanon and Jordan for Syrian refugees. The "Hawiyati" platform, meaning "My Identity" in Arabic, uses blockchain technology to provide users with a secure, portable, and self-sovereign identity that records their credit histories. Three microfinance institutions are already using the platform with 800 Syrian refugees and Filipino migrants enrolled. This innovation has the potential to significantly advance financial inclusion and resilience of refugees and other vulnerable populations by providing them with a supportive infrastructure to move if necessary while still preserving their livelihoods.

3 Steps to B-Ready: Data, Cash and Financial Inclusion

Presented by Rhoda Avila, Oxfam America

B-Ready harnesses the power of data to build resilience by using climate forecasting data to release the pre-emptive cash transfers.

Humanitarian needs are growing at an extraordinary pace and outstripping resources. Evidence shows that preparedness saves costs on the response side, however preparedness remains deeply underfunded. A community’s lack of preparedness often stems from a lack of access to financial resources and an inability to predict the onset of major events. B-Ready uses cash transfers to reduce the impact of disasters for the most vulnerable.

Based on smart data early warning systems, safely and timely cash transfers are delivered prior to a disaster. Households receive financial resources and know-how, allowing them to effectively protect and prepare themselves and minimize the impact. The pre-disaster cash triggered by climate data offers an innovative solution to disaster risk financing and preparedness. In the next phase, linkages to micro-finance will be established.

Pathway to Smallholder Farmer Resilience in Pest Crises

Presented by Ellen Galdava, FHI 360

UDefeatFAW, USAID’s Fall Armyworm Prize Challenge finalist, empowers smallholder farmers to defeat pests that damage crops and threaten food security through powerful two-way communication. UDefeatFAW is a multi-channel platform that incorporates interactive radio, SMS and Interactive Voice Response (IVR) and works to shift social norms, build skills, deliver vouchers for affordable pesticides and direct farmers to resources needed to fight dangerous infestations. By integrating interactive radio features with messages and visuals via SMS/IVR, UDefeatFAW links farmers to local resources and encourages usage of the correct pesticide, spraying at the right time and stage and following guidelines for safe application. FHI 360 designed UDefeatFAW based upon decades of deep understanding of the issues smallholder farmers face and piloted it in Luweero District, Uganda in 2018. During the pilot, FHI 360 designed and aired three radio talk shows, sent out more than 130,171 SMS messages to farmers and launched a 24-hour IVR service.

Resilience for All: Shattering Barriers to Inclusive Livelihoods

Presented by Angela Kohama, Humanity & Inclusion

Globally, 80% of all persons with disabilities are excluded from the labor market, particularly in developing countries, where the majority of disabled persons live. This global exclusion results in an annual loss of USD $1.37-1.94 billion in GDP. Humanity & Inclusion's (HI) inclusive livelihoods toolbox, “WorkWith,” is a web-based tool that introduces INGOs, employers, and entrepreneurs to working with people with disabilities. This low-bandwidth website provides proven techniques for designing disability-inclusive economic development projects, while also including practical guidance on adapting the workplace for accessibility—whether the setting is a rural agricultural field in Afghanistan or a formal office in Tunisia. After 6 rounds of user testing in Nepal, Kenya, and the US, we are confident that our human-centered solution can transform economic development and decrease the vulnerabilities of one of the world’s largest marginalized groups: persons with disabilities.

Understanding Resilience Results through Network Maps

Presented by Jennifer Himmelstein, ACDI/VOCA

Network analysis is a methodology focused on understanding the relationships between actors, generating insights that lead to improved programmatic engagement with specific actor groups. ACDI/VOCA and LINC have worked together and independently to incorporate network analysis as a tool to support and measure changes in actor relationships and market system resilience strategies using various data resources, across a variety of contexts.ACDI/VOCA has leveraged already existing monitoring data and outcome harvesting to create network maps that allow projects to visualize and assess elements of market system resilience. In addition to using primary data, LINC has taken advantage of publicly available data to develop network maps that support the impact investing and Small and Growing Business sectors to develop more effective, targeted programming based on current investment partnerships and resource flows. We will demonstrate how other development organizations can similarly utilize this method in building market systems resilience.


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