On selling insurance (not lottery tickets) to Africa’s struggling (stargazing) livestock herders–New York Times

ILRI news

dsc_7218_mude5_croppedAndrew Mude, a Kenyan economist at ILRI who leads a multi-centre Index-Based Livestock Insurance project (IBLI) in the Horn of Africa, is this year’s Norman Borlaug Field Award winner (photo credit: ILRI/Susan MacMillan).

This has been a good—and relatively big—season for work to support the world’s arid lands and peoples. Drylands tend to be overlooked in agricultural discussions. (That world leaders and climate negotiators are convening this week and next at the COP22 UN climate change summit in Marrakech, an economic and tourist oasis rising amid lemon, orange and olive groves some 15–20 miles away from North Africa’s Atlas Mountains and a day’s drive from the Sahara Desert proper, also can’t be bad for dryland peoples, researchers and ambassadors.)

While making up some 40 per cent of the world’s total land area (excluding the hyperarid ‘true deserts’) and including areas in some of the world’s poorest countries (Africa’s drylands cover…

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Characterizing Regional Suitability for Index Based Livestock Insurance

Pastoral populations of Sub-Saharan Africa are particularly vulnerable to environmental shocks, which contribute to livestock mortality and therefore losses in both wealth and productive assets. Although conventional insurance mechanisms covering individual losses are generally not cost effective  (page 2) in low-income pastoral communities that engage in extensive grazing, index insurance for livestock offers a promising alternative. Unlike traditional loss-based insurance, index based insurance uses an external indicator to approximate losses on an aggregate level over a particular area. Index insurance is also less susceptible to moral hazard because payout is independent of an insured client’s individual behavior, and less susceptible to adverse selection because the index is created from external variables unrelated to individual-specific risk. These advantages motivate the design behind the International Livestock Research Institute’s novel index based livestock insurance (IBLI) product.…..continue reading

Kenyan accepts 2016 Norman Borlaug Award for Field Research and Application at World Food Prize Event in Iowa

ILRI news

d8_mudeandrew_speaking8 Andrew Mude, speaking at an event announcing his award held at ILRI
in Nairobi, Kenya, 30 Aug 2016 (photo credit: ILRI/Susan MacMillan).

Researcher Andrew Mude and colleagues are also receiving
today a USAID ‘Award for Scientific Excellence’.

Both awards honour innovative use of
satellite technology and community outreach
to develop livestock insurance for
vulnerable herding communities in the Horn of Africa.

Andrew Mude, an economist and principal scientist at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), is being presented with the 2016 Norman Borlaug Award for Field Research and Application today, 12 Oct 2016, for his work leading an innovative livestock insurance program that employs satellite data to help protect livestock herding communities in the Horn of Africa from the devastating effects of drought.

The accolade, named to honour the legendary crop scientist and Nobel Prize winner, will be presented to Mude by Rockefeller Foundation President Judith Rodin at a…

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Food prize puts Kenyan researcher on global map—Kenya’s ‘Business Daily’ newspaper

ILRI Clippings


Andrew Mude (picture credit: Business Daily)

Even with the Tuesday announcement that he had won the award,
Andrew Mude, who holds a doctorate in economics,
remains a modest man committed to resolving the dilemma
that pastoral communities, especially in northern Kenya,
have endured for decades.

‘When he was named winner of the 2016 World Food Prize’s Norman Borlaug Award for Field Research and Application this week, he could barely hold back his emotions, as the reality of his achievement hit home.

‘The sight of a humble man accepting recognition for years of hard work trying to improve the lives of thousands of people living in the arid and semi-arid parts of the country, brought tears to the eyes of many . . . at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) campus.

‘Even with the Tuesday announcement that he had won the award, Andrew Mude, who holds a…

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Insurance helps Kenyan livestock herders cope with drought

ILRI Clippings

IBLI pixByJeffHaskins

A women receives her insurance payout (photo credit: Jeff Haskins).

‘The index-based insurance program is run by the Kenya-based International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), and funded by the British, U.S. and Australian governments and the European Union. The donors subsidize the cover to make it affordable for pastoralists.

‘A range of insurance companies sell policies to herders across northern Kenya and southern Ethiopia.

‘ILRI first piloted index-based insurance in Marsabit in 2010. Then, clients received payouts after a drought, at the end of a failed rainy season, to help them replace their assets.

‘By the time payouts were made, some or all of the clients’ cattle, sheep, goats and camels had died, causing households like Kula’s to lose their entire source of income.

‘According to the Kenya Post-Disaster Needs Assessment for the 2008–2011 drought, there were substantial livestock deaths in that period, mostly in the north, worth an estimated KSH…

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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.