Objectives and vision

The Mastercard Foundation Rural and Agricultural Finance Learning Lab fosters knowledge creation, sharing and collaboration that leads to better financial solutions provided to more smallholder farmers and other rural clients.  Our theory of change in four steps is as follows:

  • The Lab will foster learning by offering guidance, creating and sharing knowledge, providing tools and space, and connecting partners
  • Lab users will achieve better understanding of what works and doesn’t work, how to increase the voice of rural clients, and the case for impact
  • Their organizations will act on these lessons and form effective partnerships
  • These actions will strengthen the ecosystem that provides rural clients with financial services, leading to improved livelihoods

Lab Functions

The Learning Lab has four main functions and a cross-cutting emphasis on client voice:

Experience principles

The Learning Lab is committed to a learning experience that is actionable, collaborative and client-centric.  

Making learning actionable means a shift from static and formal to dynamic and practical.  We want to translate learning into impact by offering better ways to consume, process and act on knowledge.  This includes moving beyond reports, not just publishing but curating knowledge, motivating the private sector and empowering field staff.

Making learning collaborative involves moving from independent, limited and limiting to collaborative, continuous and extensible.  We will promote a more collaborative learning model focused on defining common goals and inspired solutions.  We'll work to set an agenda, enable continuous and extended collaboration, and incentivize contribution.  

Lastly, making learning client-centric is about the end client not being unknown, assumed or under-represented but rather understood, advocated and integrated.  We want the rural client's voice to be represented in the learning process, and will emphasize building farmer empathy and learning from clients. 

Getting Involved

Ways to engage with the Lab include:

  • Joining the discussion on the learnings we're publishing (on the site or on social media)
  • Attending a Learning Lab event (request an invitation)
  • Contributing or requesting data or case studies, or requesting data
  • Suggesting research questions, or identifying gaps in learning

To stay in the loop, contact us.  We're especially interested in hearing about attempts and challenges to taking action on lessons learned.  Or signup for our occasional email updates.