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Kenya launches the Year of Climate Action (#YoCaKenya)

On the morning of November 3rd, 2020, I was honoured to be part of the launch of the Year of Climate Action in Kenya (#YoCaKenya).

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For maximum value, financial innovation must address real world problems

Kenya has received world-wide recognition as leader in financial innovation. This is a laudable achievement because finance holds the potential to unlock solutions to the real-world problems that Kenyans face in their daily lives.

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“Maybe someone is out there fighting for you.”

In this series of mini-interviews, researchers and respondents in the Kenya Financial Diaries reflect on their experiences. 

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A bridge too far? Paying for school in an economic crisis

Parents across Kenya are receiving ambiguous messages about the timing of school re-openings amid the coronavirus outbreak.

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The opportunity for financial inclusion in health insurance coverage

In 2019, FSD Kenya and Turaco – a Kenyan microinsurtech startup providing simple, low-cost health and life insurance products to emerging market consumers – collaborated on a three-month pilot project in with a leading digital lender in Kenya. The study found that 80% of respondents were most interested in an in-patient cover to cushion the cost of hospital admissions, saying getting such insurance for free is incentive enough to repay their loans on time. Almost 50% of the treatment group opted in to having insurance payments added to their future loans, citing the idea of low-cost insurance from a financial service provider they know and trust as a key incentive.

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The Financial diaries: A glimpse into how scarcity shapes life in Kenya

The year 2020 will undoubtedly go down in history as the point in time when COVID-19 paralysed the world.

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How are things now? Summary of September/October COVID diaries findings

Between 7 September and 14 October, our team spoke with 207 participants from the Kenya Financial Diaries, tracing the ways COVID-19 was impacting their lives.

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Investors and Indigents: Divergent trajectories of Kenyans in the COVID era

As we completed a new round of COVID-19 Diaries interviews in mid-October, we noticed a shift in the story of economic hardship.

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Finance bends; will it break?

On average, families in the Kenya Financial Diaries started to see improvements in their economic situation as of October 2020, but incomes are still far from normal.

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From financial inclusion to inclusive finance: The power of frameworks to catalyse change

Below, we’ll discuss the power of frameworks in shaping research and providing insights for financial inclusion policy and investment.

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Money to the grassroots: Rethinking agricultural finance models

Why is agricultural sector the least funded sector in Kenya by the formal financial sources despite being the largest sector in terms of GDP contribution (at over 50% GDP contribution directly and indirectly)?

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Set sights on informal sector recovery

The Covid-19 pandemic is throwing a curved ball at us. It has made planning virtually impossible.

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Njoroge’s story: How Kenya’s informal economy is struggling in the shadow of COVID-19 and graft

After several years of “hustling,” my friend Njoroge saved money enough to construct his own little fruit shack in the Hurlingham suburb of Nairobi.

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Affordable housing

The cost of an extra parking space

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Combining new and traditional mechanisms in Northern Kenya to cope during COVID-19

In mid-July we interviewed a subset of FSD Kenya/CARE’s Building Livelihoods programme beneficiaries in Northern Kenya to understand the extent to which resources built up through the programme are supporting resilience of beneficiary households during COVID-19, and how these compare and interact with traditional pastoralist coping mechanisms.

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Debts in distress: how ordinary people are finding the liquidity they need to survive COVID

“Things are getting bad,” Vanessa told us. When we spoke with her in late June, her family had just about run out of food and were waiting for the next harvest.

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COVID-19 impact-recovery pathways for the economy: Features and implications

As COVID-19 continues to ravage economies across the world, a key point of emerging macroeconomic focus is its variated impact at sectoral level.

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Corona case studies: Loss of income, loss of pride

They were making only about Ksh 4,000 per month (about $40) the last time we saw them in 2015.

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The buck stops with women

How Kenyan mothers are keeping food on the table through the coronavirus crisis

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Kenya enhances its cash transfer programmes in response to the COVID-19 pandemic

As the world reels from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, a key lesson it has taught us is the universality of our vulnerability.

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COVID-19 and digitisation: Will digitisation drive inclusion or inequality?

The economic fallout engendered by COVID-19 has already been dire with many going without food and/or accruing different types of debt to stay afloat.

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When hustling fails: The impact of coronavirus mitigation efforts on ordinary people’s livelihoods

Unlike many Kenyans, Esther in rural Makueni is not yet too worried about the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) on her livelihood. 

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Dilemmas of distancing

Barriers to coronavirus prevention behaviour change in Kenya

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Understanding drivers of resilience in Northern Kenya in the time of COVID-19: Part 1

Over the past four years, FSD Kenya’s Building Livelihoods programme in Northern Kenya has explored how extremely poor households can be transitioned out of poverty and into sustainable livelihoods through stronger engagements with markets.

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Can platforms and technology accelerate the African Green Revolution?

The agricultural sector in Africa is yet to take off despite being the dominant employer and the key contributor to the gross domestic product (GDP) for most countries on the continent.

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FSD Kenya and BFA webinar on the impact of COVID-19 on low-income Kenyans

FSD Kenya and BFA Global held a webinar on the economic and social impact of COVID-19 on low-income households in Kenya on the afternoon of Thursday, June 11th, 2020.

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Back to an empty market

Desperate for income, many Diaries respondents have gone back to work, but find it nearly impossible to earn a living.

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Hustlers: Entrepreneurs whose success we can bank on!

A little over a month ago, we confirmed an exciting hypothesis  that it is actually possible to predict the propensity of success for Kenyan “hustlers” based on data mining and qualitative research

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How COVID-19 has affected digital payments to merchants in Kenya

This is clearly an unprecedented time. Over the past few months, the world has been battling the COVID-19 pandemic which has seen health systems burdened and unable to cope with the rising numbers of infected people.

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Economic prospects for Kenya in the context of the COVID-19 crisis

The infection rate of COVID-19 is as yet low in Kenya, but the economic consequences are already biting.

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