2015 Learning from Rural Clients workshop presentations

Published on

December 3, 2015

Speaker presentations posted from the Learning Lab's first public convening on client voice in Cape Town on November 18, 2015.

Providers of RAF solutions, funders and supporters of the sector gathered for a day-long workshop on “Learning from Rural Clients,” hosted by the Learning Lab.  We heard great feedback from those who were there, and appreciated the active engagement of the participants.  The next step is putting the lessons and tools - on HCD, behavioral science, feedback loops, participatory evaluation, etc. - into action and the Lab hopes to facilitate this where possible.

Workshop HCD interactive session

Each of the sessions are summarized below along with links to organization websites and PDFs of the presentations.  We have also included a link at the bottom to all the presentations in one file.  Stay tuned for additional media related to the workshop and client voice, and feel free to comment below or to reach out to us with any questions on the event.  

1. Welcome

The welcome address was given by the MasterCard Foundation, an independent not for profit organization that promotes youth development and financial inclusion. One of the Foundation's key focus areas is in expanding rural and agricultural finance by supporting initiatives that scale financial services to smallholder farmers, leverage mobile innovations, and build the capacity of financial service providers and value chain actors to serve smallholders. 

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2. Introduction

The Learning Lab Director, Jason Wendle, presented the objectives of the workshop and a high-level learning agenda. Participants also got to know each other during a brief introductory exercise. Overall, 45 distinct organizations registered for the workshop, nearly half of which were financial service or technical assistance providers working directly with smallholder farmers.

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3. Panel: Why does Client Voice matter?

In this opening session, panelists from the MasterCard Foundation, the Initiative for Smallholder Finance, Dalberg, CGAP, and ALINe, discussed what “client voice” means, how we can “learn from clients,” why this matters, and successes and failures in prioritizing client voice. The conversation centered on how inefficiencies that restrict the market for smallholder finance - such as a lack of information, inability to scale, and high perceived risk – can be mitigated by leveraging client voice. Human Centered Design was highlighted as an iterative learning process to help financial service providers identify and test their assumptions upfront, by speaking directly with clients - ultimately, enabling them to design products that create client and business value. By taking advantage of client voice for rapid feedback, service providers can begin to demonstrate evidence of what works for smallholders, closing the information gap and revealing opportunities for scale.  

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4. Human Centered Design training session

Human Centered Design (HCD) is a multidisciplinary approach to planning, designing, and scaling solutions that prioritizes the experiences and desires of clients (or users). In this interactive session facilitated by Dalberg’s Design Impact Group, participants learned some basics of human centered design, explored tools to help translate client voice into tangible solutions for smallholder finance, and worked in teams to define farmer personas and design innovations that solve challenges farmers face under various scenarios.

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5. Lessons from HCD projects in Zimbabwe, Senegal, Rwanda, and Cambodia

Using HCD, CGAP has gained insights into the capabilities of farmers to use products, and the need for complementary non-agricultural solutions. These fed the design of innovative digital financial services to improve savings, and facilitate the relationship between vendors and smallholder farmers.

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6. Behavioral design in inclusive financial services

Two behavioral science advisory firms, Busara Center for Behavioral Economics and Ideas42, led this interactive session on how behavioral biases provide opportunities to enhance the impact of RAF solutions on smallholder farmers. Using the participants themselves to demonstrate different models of behavior, the presenters showed how behavioral science can help us understand the unintuitive reasons for people’s decisions in different contexts. For RAF solutions particularly, this can help service providers design products that build trust, minimize small hassles, and help clients achieve their goals.

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7. Including farmer voice in monitoring and evaluation

Traditional M&E can be enhanced with the inclusion of client voice, without losing experimental rigor. In this presentation, ALINe shares different methods by which farmer voice can complement M&E data and bring rapid ongoing feedback to the process of agile product innovation.

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8. Feedback systems for an agile, responsive management practice

In this presentation, Keystone Accountability details how to effectively collect feedback, analyze responses, and turn data into knowledge that enhances services and products to smallholder farmers. The Feedback Commons web database allows users to build surveys and aggregate data into a live dashboard, it also offers tutorials and shared learnings among peer organizations.

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Download all the presentations in one file below:

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Original Content

The Learning Lab works to identify and share knowledge relevant to our learning agenda and our users, but also to create new knowledge through research and facilitated learning. Original content from the Learning Lab includes news about the Lab, analyses we've conducted, knowledge products we've created, and posts we've written about other relevant initiatives.