Capacity Strengthening

Index Based Livestock Insurance (IBLI), E-learning Course Launch

Elearning launchAre you interested in knowing just how Index Based Livestock Insurance works? Lessons on IBLI and the Asset Protection Contract are now just a click away! You can easily access your IBLI lessons from ILRI’s e-Learning portal  The IBLI e-Learning course was launched on the 22nd of March 2016 at the International Livestock Research Institute’s (ILRI) campus in Nairobi, Kenya. Various stakeholders including Kenya Government officials from the State Department of Livestock (SDL), insurance companies, donor organizations and partner NGOs attended the launch ceremony. In his opening remarks, ILRI’s Director General Dr. Jimmy Smith reiterated the fact that Capacity Development is a critical success factor for ILRI and that stakeholders must focus on enhancing pastoralism as it is a major contributor to the national Gross Domestic Product.

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The drivers of index-based livestock insurance demand in southern Ethiopia

Read the latest post in the Economics That Really Matters blog that details the findings of a paper written by Index-Based Livestock Insurance (IBLI) Project researchers. Recently published in World Development, the paper examines and identifies the constraints that hinder the demand of index insurance in southern Ethiopia—uptake of index insurance has been disappointingly low, rarely above 30% of the intended population, across the several contexts in which it has been introduced, despite claims that index insurance has several advantages over traditional agricultural insurance in reducing moral hazard, adverse selection, and transaction costs associated with verification of individual losses.

Read the full article here

IBLI case study wins ‘Outstanding New Case Writer’ award


Beneficiary of Takaful insurance payout in Wajir, northern Kenya

The Index-Based Livestock Insurance (IBLI) and Capacity Development Teams of the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) are pleased to announce that a case study based on the IBLI project, entitled ‘Using satellite data to insure livestock: IBLI and the development of the world’s first insurance for African pastoralists‘, has won the ‘Outstanding New Case Writer’ award given by The Case Study Centre, besting a competitive pool of entries from some of the world’s most prestigious business schools across 15 countries.

The winning authors are Iddo Dror, an Israeli-Swiss CGIAR leader in capacity development and business school graduate of the University of Geneva; Andrew Mude, a Kenyan agricultural economist graduate of Cornell University who is IBLI’s project leader; and Shreya Maheshwari, a consulting Harvard economics graduate from India.

The idea was initially conceived as part of an effort to spur students in some of the world’s leading business schools to think critically and creatively about extending financial services across one of the last frontiers of the developing world. The case study and its accompanying teaching website is the latest demonstration of an on-going shift within CGIAR to transform traditional agricultural research for development into an enterprise as practical- and business-minded as it is technology- and policy-driven.

Read more about the IBLI case study here.

Gamification and mLearning, effective pedagogic tools in livestock insurance

A pastoralist family checks their photo. Borana, Ethiopia (photo credit: ILRI\Zerihun Sewunet).

A pastoralist family checks their photo. Borana, Ethiopia (photo credit: ILRI\Zerihun Sewunet).

Despite numerous training programs delivered by governmental and non-government organizations in the arid and semi-arid land areas of Kenya and Ethiopia, little research has focused what forms of training are most effective and with which audiences. It is generally believed that mobile learning will be an effective pedagogic tool, given the high levels of mobile phone penetration in Kenya and the need to reinforce knowledge classroom-acquired knowledge through repetition over time.

For more information, see ILRI capacity development brief 4, Gamification and mLearning in the Index-Based Livestock Insurance project

The Index-Based Livestock Insurance (IBLI) project of the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) is addressing this need by conducting a randomized control trial (RCT) of an mLearning program for private sector sales agents of the IBLI product. This approach was taken after it was discovered that misinformation spread by agents selling the IBLI product—through private sector insurance agencies—risked damaging the reputation of a new product new before it reached critical mass.

One of the solutions currently being tested involves the use of mLearning combined with ‘gamification’ and financial incentives. mLearning involves the use of mobile devices as a learning platform—set to take off in Kenya where mobile phone penetration was 83.9 percent. The trials seek to establish the comparative utility of financial and gamification incentives to motivate the targeted learners to follow a sequence of micro-lessons reinforcing previous learning.

IBLI worked academics from the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), to develop a simple mLearning training program consisting of micro-lessons that could be conveniently read by ILRI agents. Prior to the August-September 2015 sales window, the mLearning app—the Pocket IBLT—was installed on the agents’ phone to trial the utility of the approach. To assess agent comprehension and motivate participation, each mLearning micro-lesson includes a simple quiz connected to a central server. Various alternative incentive structures are being trialled, including financial incentives and gamification.

For more information, see ILRI capacity development brief 4, Gamification and mLearning in the Index-Based Livestock Insurance project

This brief was published as part of an internal ‘capacity development’ week at ILRI in December 2015.

See all the ILRI capacity development briefs

Capacity development in the Index-Based Livestock Insurance project

Beneficiary of Takaful insurance payout in Wajir, northern Kenya

Shamsa Kosar, a beneficiary of Takaful insurance in Wajir, northern Kenya, in Mar 2014 (photo credit: ILRI/Riccardo Gangale)

Index-Based Livestock Insurance (IBLI) is the world’s first index-based insurance designed to protect vulnerable pastoralists in drought-stricken areas from losing their primary asset—livestock. First developed by the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) to insure pastoralists in Kenya and Ethiopia, this specialized insurance product has had a considerable impact on the asset base and consumption activities of its intended beneficiaries—nomadic populations living in an expansive area.

See ILRI capacity development brief 6, Capacity development in the Index-Based Livestock Insurance project

IBLI represents an exciting innovation by offering insurance to vulnerable rural smallholder farmers and livestock keepers and potentially reducing the climate-related risks they face. Initial analyses of IBLI projects have shown that insured households experienced: a 25% reduction in likelihood of poor nutrition; a 36% reduction in ‘distress sales’ of livestock (selling livestock to provide quick income in times of hardship); and a 33% reduction in reliance on food aid when compared to uninsured households. However, despite its ability to deliver social and economic returns to a population—traditionally neglected by financial services firms—IBLI’s uptake has been slower than expected.

This latest ILRI brief describes the opportunities and challenges emerging from the IBLI project. It looks at the various pressures from the market, governments, donors and partners related to IBLI’s growth strategy and future sustainability.

For more information, see ILRI capacity development brief 6, Capacity development in the Index-Based Livestock Insurance project

This brief was published as part of an internal ‘capacity development’ week at ILRI in December 2015.

See all the ILRI capacity development briefs


IBLI introduces ‘asset protection’ product to its Ethiopia partners

The Index-Based Livestock Insurance (IBLI) provides innovative insurance solutions to help livestock keepers cope with drought-related livestock losses in East Africa. The IBLI-Ethiopia project is designed and implemented by Oromia Insurance Co., ILRI, and Cornell University. IBLI recently underwent a shift from an ‘Asset Replacement’ to an ‘Asset Protection’ Contract, as the program scaled up to areas without sufficient livestock mortality data to estimate a statistical response function.

IBLI asset protection product training for Ethiopia partners

From 15-17 July, a 3-day training workshop was organized in Addis Ababa by IBLI, Cornell university, USAID, Australian Aid and other partners with the following objectives:

  • Capacitate its Ethiopia partners, Oromia Insurance Company’s (OIC) Micro insurance Department on IBLI’s new product – ‘Asset Protection’;
  • Introduce ‘Asset Protection’ Contract to insurance companies who have interest on Livestock/Index Insurance;
  • Increase awareness of the IBLI project.

The training was given by Andrew Mude, Brenda Wandera, Wako Gobo and Masresha Taye.

This training aimed to help the insurance companies understand how the contract works so they can lead in the capacity development aspects for this product.

“We’ve been the one doing it at ILRI, training their sales agents and their partners, but a lot of the times the product has been perceived at an ILRI product so now we are building their capacity so that they will be the ones training their product. And the agents and communities can now start to see this as a commercial product for which they should pay for” said Brenda Wandera—Market and Capacity Development Manager in the IBLI project.

Masresha Taye—IBLI-Ethiopia Program Coordinator explained that “this is training of trainers, mainly for partners working with IBLI in the Borena region, Ethiopia. Aiming to address two birds in one stone, we have also invited two bid insurance companies who have been working with us in designing ‘asset protection’ contract.”

The outcome of this training is to have trained and knowledgeable people within the insurance company and to have the ‘Asset Protection’ product start to take more of a commercial angle than the research angle it has been taking before.

Story by Liya Dejene