Announcing Scale x Design Accelerator’s Cohort 2!

It’s been a crazy month here at SxD! Cohort 2 is fully in the swing of things. We have just finished up our first Core Lab – Mindsets & Methods for Innovation (previously Human Centered Design) and are on to our second Core Lab – Designing for Scale.

We will be picking up on the frequency of our posts here on the blog to keep everyone up to date on all of the new teams, events, plus updates on all of your Cohort 1 favorites!

Without further ado, Scale x Design presents Cohort 2:

Fee-based SMS of Weather Forecast and Agricultural Advisory – Vietnam

Making Treasure from Trash – Ghana

Financial Product for Digital Purchase of Agri-input by Poor Farmers – Bangladesh

Farmer Field & Business School – Mali

Community-led Safe Water Supply System for Urban Resilience – Bangladesh

Vijana Juu/Up with Youth – Democratic Republic of the Congo

Circles of Change – Egypt

Security Unit Global Training Initiative – USA/Global

Teaching Resource Laboratories – India

The Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship Lab – West Bank/Gaza

The Cooperative Fund – Georgia

VSLA for Community Resilience – Democratic Republic of the Congo

Additionally, we are ecstatic to welcome Habitat for Humanity International, World Wildlife Fund, and Population Services International (PSI) to SxD! They have dedicated teams to participate side-by-side with our internal CARE teams. Look for a separate post on these partnerships in the coming weeks.


Meet the Teams: Chomoka (Digital VSLA)

Over the past 25 years, CARE’s VSLA (Village Savings and Loans Association) model has revolutionized efforts to help low-income women improve their lives. Not only has CARE enabled 5,000,000 women and men to form and manage these life-changing groups, we have driven a global savings-led movement, engaging NGOs, banks, governments and donors in a journey that puts women and their savings first. Our efforts have resulted in over 12,000,000 members of VSLAs and groups like them as NGOs from global to local have replicated the CARE model. Members are routinely improving their lives through investments in education, health and entrepreneurship and women’s increased control over resources is leading to improved quality of life and opportunity for themselves and their families. VSLA has quite simply changed the game for poverty reduction. Through Chomoka (Digital VSLA), CARE is poised to do it again. This new initiative will empower low-income women to build a new generation of VSLAs that not only improve access to finance at the community level but also open doors to the digital economy that is rapidly transforming the world we live in and – until now – far too often leaving low income women further behind.

Chomoka is an emerging social enterprise driven by a proprietary mobile application used by VSLAs to manage their records, access banking services and gain advisory support from a trusted network of Chomoka agents. Once deployed at scale, Chomoka will accelerate and deepen formal financial inclusion while increasing usage of digital financial services in rural areas. The platform will generate an unprecedented, real-time data stream on the financial behavior of un- and under-banked groups and their members and offer new insights into the size, scope and behavior of these groups. Most importantly, Chomoka will enable groups to more effectively and accurately manage their transactions while also establishing digital financial histories and connections that open up a world of new possibilities. Chomoka expects to have over 1 million group members using the application by 2021.


Meet the Team

Mwimbe Fikirini | Program Coordinator | CARE Tanzania

Mwinbe Fikirini is the Program Coordinator with CARE Tanzania, and for the last several years has planned, lead, organized, directed and evaluated implementations of financial linkage activities to the VSLAs groups in areas of operation including Morogoro and Zanzibar. Mwinbe brings extensive knowledge of VSLAs to the team, having also trained and monitored the adoption of financial linkage and Financial Education skills by VSLA members. Going forward, Mwinbe will translate the proposal into a viable activity at the field level, including VSLA engagement in product design and testing, VSLA training on the developed solution and formulation of a realistic, field-level scaling strategy. For the past two years Mwinbe has been leading the LINK Up project in Tanzania, the largest effort by CARE to enable VSLAs to access formal finance. She holds a Master of Arts in Gender and International Development from the University of Warwick obtained in 2012 and a Bachelor of Laws from University of Reading obtained in 2009.

Christian Pennotti | Senior Technical Advisor | CARE Tanzania

Having worked across CARE for seven years, Christian has a strong institutional knowledge and relationship needed to move the project forward and find the right institutional fit. Christian is the overall LINK Up program manager responsible for program quality, design, M&E, partnerships and donor engagement. He is the chairman of the project steering committee and will serve as the lead in identifying and coordinating with project development partners and other external stakeholders including donors and prospective investors. Christian is a recognized leader in market development and is frequently invited to present at industry events. He sits on the Board of Directors of Farm Shop Ltd in Kenya and is the Chair of the Board of Directors at the SEEP Network. He holds a Master of Arts in International Development from George Washington University obtained in 2005 and was a Peace Corps volunteer in Uzbekistan where he founded a branch of the National English Teachers Association in collaboration with local officials.

Ken Banks | Entrepreneur in Residence | CARE International

Ken Banks, Founder of and creator of messaging platform FrontlineSMS, devotes himself to the application of mobile technology for positive social and environmental change in the developing world. He has worked at the intersection of technology, anthropology, conservation and development for the past twenty-five years and, during that time, has lived and worked across the African continent. He is a PopTech Fellow, a Tech Awards Laureate, an Ashoka Fellow and a National Geographic Emerging Explorer, and has been internationally recognised for his technology-based work. In 2013 he was nominated for the TED Prize, and in 2015 was a Visiting Fellow at RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia. In late 2015 Ken was appointed CARE International’s first Entrepreneur in Residence. He is also a published author, with his first edited book, “The Rise of the Reluctant Innovator,” self-published in late 2013 with a follow-up, published by Kogan Page, released in March 2016.

Mark Malhotra | Innovation Advisor | CARE International UK

Mark Malhotra, Innovation Advisor for CARE International UK supports a number of social enterprises that CARE owns and operates globally. He provides technical support to the teams from business planning and financial modelling to operational guidance and hands on support. Prior to joining CARE Mark spent six years working in the telecommunications sector with a focus on marketing and partnerships. He has extensive experience working across organizations with IT, finance, sales and brand teams. He moved into the NGO sector through overseas placements in Jamaica with a local organization and in Egypt with the Aga Khan Foundation.

Karen Vandergaag | Analyst | CARE Access Africa

Karen is an analyst with the Access Africa program where she supports the LINK Up program’s monitoring and evaluation, CARE’s VSLA management information system, and the human-centered design process for the Digital VSLA project. She has previously spent time in Malawi working a youth entrepreneurship initiative, and a year in Brazil on a cultural exchange through Rotary International. Karen holds a Bachelor of Business Administration Honours from Okanagan College.

Meet the Teams: Decent Work and Empowerment of Paid Domestic Workers

Female domestic workers in Latin America are largely unprotected by labor laws and denied basic human rights. CARE Ecuador has worked with labor unions and women’s groups to build a movement around this issue and has generated important policy positions regarding the rights of domestic workers. This approach includes promoting the voice of women by extending labor unions to more provinces, which empowers women to engage in the decision-making process around labor rights, and strengthening inter-institutional joint working groups to provide a larger platform for advocacy.

The advocacy efforts have resulted in increased labor union membership and Ecuador’s ratification of Agreement 189, which recognizes domestic work as a job with the same status and rights as all other jobs. Scaling up this initiative and pushing for the compliance of Agreement 189 will support the rights of 19 million women in the region.


Meet the Team

Nubia Ximena Zambrano Mendoza | Project Coordinator – Gender Equality | CARE Ecuador

Nubia has several years of experience in empowerment and gender equality advocacy and has supported numerous activism efforts for the world’s most vulnerable people. In particular, she has focused on women and children who are discriminated against on the basis of ethnicity, economic status, and sexual orientation. These efforts have included building networks to support the implementation of policies that advocate for the education of working children and designing public awareness campaigns. Nubia will serve as a co-lead on this project, and will draw from her strengths and expertise in advocacy methodology and management, strategic planning, social organizational networks and relations, and gender issues. Nubia has a Masters in Education with a concentration in Multiculturalism and a certificate in Social Intervention and Local Development and Citizen Participation. She has previous work experience as a Professor of Educational Administration and Supervision.

Miriam Moya Herrera | Regional Coordinator- Gender Equality | CARE Latin America & the Caribbean

Miriam has 16 years of experience supporting the rights and equality of women, children and workers. She has designed and implemented formal processes to advocate for equality and human rights and has supported the planning, monitoring and evaluation of health, economic development, citizen participation and education programs at the local, national and international level. She has also developed strategies to bolster the rights of children, women and indigenous workers and has assisted in building the inter-institutional networks and partnerships to support those strategies. Miriam will serve as the lead for this initiative and will bring to the project her extensive experience in working with large political actors and organizations to develop public policies. Miriam holds a Doctorate in Medicine and Surgery, a Masters in Health Management for Local Development, and a Masters in Gender Development and Planning, specializing in Human Rights and Public Policy.

Meet the Teams: Team Based Goals and Incentives (TBGI)

Bihar is one of India’s largest states, home to almost 100 million people. It is also one of its poorest states, affected with high maternal and infant mortality rates, malnutrition, anemia, poor family planning services and a plethora of diseases claiming lives. The lack of motivation in Community Health Workers (CHWs) is a critical barrier in the delivery of relevant health services and messages to clients. This lack of motivation is compounded by the fact that a CHW has to solely survive on incentives for services provided, or is paid a nominal honorarium. Amplifying the problem is the absence of functional integration of health programs. In Bihar, there are three cadres of CHWs – Auxiliary Nurse & Midwifes,  Accredited Social Health Activists from Department of Health, and Anganwadi Workers from Department of Integrated Child Health Services under the Social Welfare ministry – who are supposed to be serving the same clients. Yet these three groups function disparately and do not coordinate or collaborate with each other since they belong to different departments.

Drawing from the business world, CARE developed an innovation that aimed to strengthen the teamwork and motivation of the CHWs, called Team-Based Goals and Incentives (TBGI). It integrated both the motivational power of incentives and the virtues of teamwork. We facilitated the formation of a ‘team’ that brings all three cadres of CHWs together on a single platform. We let the team mutually decide and set goals for the provision of services in their catchment area with specific numeric targets on predetermined health indicators for each quarter. The team then worked together to meet the targets. All operational challenges were alleviated through mutual support and leveraging of individual competencies.

TBGI was piloted in 76 Health Sub Centers (38 treatment + 38 control) in the Begusarai district of Bihar. An independent randomized controlled trial showed encouraging results after just one year of implementation in exclusive breastfeeding (71 percent in treatment area versus 61 percent in control) and use of modern contraceptives (26 percent in treatment area versus 15 percent in control), among other areas.


Meet the Team

HEMANTKUMAR G. SHAH | Chief of Party, Bihar Technical Support Project | CARE India

Dr. Hemant Shah was the Director of the State RMNCH+A Unit, Bihar, prior to being promoted to the COP position. He has successfully established the biggest State RMNCH+A Unit in India and has helped the Government of Bihar develop various policies/ revise existing policies on public health for the state, rationalize deployment of specialist doctors, assisted the government in gap analysis of procurement systems, helped prepare specifications for equipment and provided guidance in the preparation of state PIPs etc. Being the main interface with the government, Dr. Shah’s role is critical in establishing buy-ins, planning and implementing the scale-up.

AMITAVA BANERJEE| Communications Specialist | CARE India

Amitava Banerjee heads all communications for the program and is an expert on IEC/BCC strategies and advocacy communications. He is responsible for positioning, branding and dissemination of all program initiatives to different national and global stakeholders, and the media by translating complex implementation and impact data into comprehensible creative outputs for diverse audiences. Amitava joined the social sector after spending close to 17 years heading marketing and communications for multi-million dollar businesses in the Indian sub-continental and APMEA markets. He has been supporting advocacy efforts for scale up of TBGI since last 1 year through the strategic use of the media. His communication skills will prove invaluable when advocating the need of addressing the “motivation” barrier and the potential of TBGI to impact lives and transform the health landscape.

SUNIL MOHANTY | Program Manager, Gaya | CARE India

Sunil Mohanty has more than 14 years of experience in managing large scale health programs and implementing them at scale through the government. Sunil has been associated with Team Based Goals and Incentive Pilot Program (TBGI) right since conceptualization and design of the innovation. He was involved in preparing the concept notes, tools and sharing of the concept with government counterparts and securing the necessary approvals. Also, Sunil was the Manager of the pilot district of Begusarai and led project implementation and assisted the CML team in conducting the baselines assessments for Begusarai.

MOHAMMED AFTAB ALAM | Program Manager, Saharsa | CARE India

Aftab has been working in the project since inception and has more than 7 years of experience working with the government health system. He is skilled at mentoring and managing teams, collaborating with the government, implementation on ground and anticipating barriers to implementation. He brings in the experience of implementing the pilot for the first year and having supported the formative phase with development of indicators, identifying factors driving motivation of FLWs, designing and testing of tools, budgeting costs and identifying possible barriers to implementation and finding ways around them. During implementation, Aftab had built the capacity of other team members involved in the pilot.

AMARJEET PRABHAKAR | District Manager, Begusarai | CARE India

Amarjeet Prabhakar has more than 12 years of experience in managing health and ICDS programs. His skills lie around mentoring and managing teams, collaborating with government counterparts and program implementation. Amarjeet has been working with this innovation since last two years in Begusarai. He is responsible for inclusion of TBGI in the government PIP. He has been involved in many research and evaluations for the innovation including supporting the end line assessment by Mathematica.


Meet the Teams: Social Impact Incubator (SII)

In Burundi, as in most of CARE’s presence countries, civil society organizations (CSOs) struggle to develop their full potential and this contributes to CSOs’ low capacities and weak internal systems and impact. Not only does this require CARE to invest in heavy compliance systems and in direct capacity building of implementing partners but this is an obstacle in finding strategic partners and allies to reach shared goals and multiply impact.

The Social Impact Incubator (SII) is an innovative approach to institutional development based on CSOs needs. It is available free of charge to any selected local emerging CSOs and targets their institutional capacities and relations with peers and potential donors. Through a seven-month strengthening process, these participating organizations (called Champions) receive support in donor engagement, learning, mentorship programs, networking and capacity building.

A recent evaluation of the SII assessed its effect on the two first cohorts (2013 and 2014) totaling 33 Champions. It found that 78% of the Champions increased their revenue after the training through 40 new donor connections directly attributed to the SII (total USD 1.2M). Most Champions have strengthened their strategic planning and have become professional organizations (65% have increased the size of their paid staff and 66% have improved management systems). Two-thirds of the participant note increased collaboration and networking with peer CSOs and 81% of Champions have gained new partners.


Meet the Team

Rose-Marie Nkubiri | Director of Finances and Administration | CARE Burundi

Rose-Marie Nkubiri has spent 12 years with CARE Burundi. She joined CARE as Support Program Officer of a Sub office. Now she is the Director of Finances and Administration. Rose Marie Rose Marie plays a critical role strategic decision making and operations within CARE Burundi to enhance the following areas: finance, business planning and budgeting, human resources, administration, and IT. Rose Marie is also responsible for all aspect related to ensure Gender, Equity and Diversity within CARE Burundi. Previously before joining CARE, she was a Director of an NGO, “Penal Reform International.” She also occupied a position of Administrative Assistant in a UNDP project called “National Communication on Climate Change.” She holds a Bachelor Diploma in Management, completed a training course in Business Administration at the Pan-African Institute for Development (IPD) in Douala / Cameroon.

Josée Ntabahungu | Gender Equality and Women Empowerment Program (GEWEP) Lead | CARE Burundi

Josée Ntabahungu is a formal journalist. She has presented news for 8 years at national television. She is among the first women journalists who founded women’s journalist association, and was very active in women empowerment and gender promotion. From there she joined CARE International in Burundi 12 years now, were she has been a strong advocacy and communications person. She was writing CARE Burundi Newspaper, called “Did you Know?” Today she is leading the gender equality and women empowerment program, in which 8 national NGOs are partners. She holds a degree in social science, history, and has followed many others trainings in women rights and leadership. 50 Years old, Josée is a very dynamic person full of energy and committed for gender equality and women’s rights and leadership.

Marie Louse Nzosaba | Monitoring and Evaluation Officer | CARE Burundi

Marie Louise Nzosaba is very active in the area of preventing VGB and supporting survivors of VBG and is among founders of a local association that is running a well known center that support survivors of VGB. SERUKA: Coming Out of the Dark! She has been working with CARE for 11 years. In her current position she is supporting CARE partners to put in place effectiveM&E tools for conflict resolution and promotion of women participation post conflict resolutions formal and informal mechanisms. Previously she work for CARE as a psychosocial officer. She also worked at Centre Seruka and was a teacher in secondary schools for 4 years.  She hold a bachelor degree in Psychology.

Bosco Ntirivamunda | Internal Auditor Manager | CARE Burundi

Bosco Ntirivamunda  has been working with CARE Burundi as an Internal Auditor Manager since January 2008 up today. He is supporting the organization to achieve its mission by participating in strategic decision-making, ensure that effective accountability, governance and compliance mechanisms are in place for both CARE and partners. He also provide assurance that resources are safeguarded, operations are cost-effectively managed, and policies and procedures regulations are in compliance with donors rules. As Internal Audit unit was new position in CARE Burundi, Bosco helps CARE Staff and Partners to have better understanding of internal audit unit roles and responsibilities. He helps CARE Burundi starting implementation partnership and works on strengthening Burundi civil society, on partnerships governance and accountability. Bosco start working with CARE Burundi in 2004 as Grants and Contracts Manager of Consortium Livelihood program under USAID Funds. He has good understanding of different donor’s compliance and regulations such USAID, EU, Norad and ADA. Before joining CARE Burundi, he works as Accountant and Administrator Manager with Oxfam GB from 2001 to 2004. Previously, he had worked as provincial delegate Chamber of Commerce and Industry helping economics operators and government’s policy and regulations complied. He had developed skills to work with different persons with multi-culture and nationality and vertical and horizontal collaboration. He holds Accountant Institute diploma degree from Burundi University.

Jimmy Mategeko | Knowledge Management and Partnership Coordinator | CARE Burundi

Jimmy Mategeko has been working with CARE for 10 years.  He is supporting the CO to enhance its Knowledge Mangement (K&M) systems (sharing, documentation and reflection) and he is also supporting the CO in its road map toward Effective Partnership to strengthen CSO and engage in innovative partnerships.  He has been the focal point for the SII for the last 2 sessions. Previous to the position, Jimmy managed for 7 years several projects and this has enable him to gain a proven experience in project management on the following areas: livelihood, women economic empowerment, prevention and response to GBV, sexual and reproductive health right. Jimmy has also an experience in working in cross sectorial partnerships. Prior to joining CARE, Jimmy worked in different NGOs including Solidarite and ASI. Jimmy is curious and a long live learner, he is committed to gender equality and define himself as “feminist.”

Sébastien Fornerod | Civil Society Program Advisor | CARE Norway

Sébastien Fornerod has been working with CARE Norway as a Program Advisor since 2012. He follows up the Gender Equality and Women Empowerment Program (GEWEP) funded by the Norwegian Agency for Cooperation Development (Norad) in Burundi and in DRC. He also works thematically on strengthening civil society, on partnerships and on accountability. Previously, some other positions he had over the years were: Communication Advisor with the Drylands Coordination Group (Sahel); Program Coordinator for Norwegian Church Aid (LAC region); Strategic Advisor for the CIPCRE, an environmental and social NGO in Cameroon; and Advocacy Advisor for the Joint Advocacy Desk of the East Jerusalem YMCA and the YWCA of Palestine. He holds a Master degree in Religious Hermeneutics.

Laurent Uwumuremyi | Country Director | CARE Burundi

Laurent Uwumuremyi is the Country Director of CARE Burundi. With 20 years of international development and humanitarian experience in East, Central and Western Africa, Laurent has strong background in developing and optimizing corporate efficiency and leading its strategy and operations at national level. He is adept in community and country-wide development, restructuring and rebuilding management, and has significant experience in structural change management and organizational development. He is an excellent mentor, a team builder and player. He is recognized for high standards of professionalism and integrity, positive mental attitude and commitment to excellence.  He is keen in provision of strategic and operational management oversight to programs and operations (finance, logistics and administration ensuring that each department is efficient, effective and accountable). He also has proven experience in promoting learning across teams and programs.

Meet the Teams: Krishi Utsho

In Bangladesh informal village level micro‐entrepreneur input suppliers, the primary source of inputs and advisory services for most smallholder farmers, either don’t exist or crowd out/cannibalize each other’s businesses because they operate within the same limited ranges.  Where they do exist these micro‐entrepreneurs often lack access to formal supplies of quality agriculture inputs, market information, technical knowledge, business skills, and access to working capital to serve the smallholders who depend on them. As a result modern technologies, products and services cannot reach farmers, which ultimately limits their livelihood and resilience potential. Additionally, formal input supply companies do not know who their final customers are because their direct connection in their distribution chain does not extend to the last‐mile retailers and farmers. As a result, they cannot ensure product quality at the village level.

Resolving these issues would allow many smallholder farmers to increase their productivity by at least 50% and increase their income by 30% as demonstrated in our current operation areas. For this reason, CARE initiated Krishi Utsho (KU) agro input retailers’ microfranchise1 network in 2012 in rural Bangladesh as a one-stop solution to provide timely access to affordable and quality agriculture inputs and advisory services for rural smallholder farmers, particularly women. KU franchisees sell a variety of quality agricultural inputs at the village level, and provide formal private extension and advisory services to the farmers living in their communities. Through selecting and branding franchisees at the very last mile the network serves over 25,000 smallholder farmers, particularly vulnerable women in Southwestern and Northwestern Bangladesh, contributing to their increased productivity and resilience.

An impact assessment survey conducted by Krishi Utsho in 2015 on a sample of 400 farmers it served demonstrated that 58% farmers increased expenditure in goods, 56% increased their spending on education, 57% increased health spending, 54% increased their agriculture expenditure and 31% increased farmers’ income, from $171 to $225.


Meet the Team

MARUF AZAM | General Manager – Krishi Utsho Microfranchise | CARE Bangladesh    

With more than 12 years of professional experience in both the non-profit and for-profit arena, Maruf has an extensive technical and business background.  He is an expert in business development and hence, responsible for, the strategic planning, supply chain, management, business development, financial planning and overall leadership of Krishi Utsho.  Maruf has his MBA in Marketing from the University of Dhaka.

SABRINA SAHRIN| Project Support Officer (L&D) | CARE Bangladesh

Sabrina is working as the Monitoring and Evaluation expert in the Krishi Utsho team.  She is responsible in tracking the progress of the scaling-up efforts of KU and manages records as well as document and analyze evidence on the social-economic impact of KU.  She studied Development Studies and Information Communication Technology which puts her in the right place to manage MIS data, track KU activities, and analyze impact.

SCOTT MERRILL | Senior Technical Advisor – Markets & Livelihoods | CARE USA

Scott is a private sector development specialist and has over ten years of experience facilitating value chain and market development programs to address issues in agriculture, food security, climate change resilience, and disaster risk reduction in Bangladesh, Uganda, Zambia, Myanmar, Lebanon, Afghanistan, the Philippines, and Mongolia, among other countries.  Scott brings strong systems perspective to Krishi Utsho’s transformation to a self-sustaining agro inputs franchise.  Scott holds an MA in International Relations and International Economics from John Hopkins and speaks English, Bengali, and basic knowledge of French.

NURUL SIDDIQUEE | Technical Advisor – Sustainable Agriculture | CARE USA

Siddiquee has been engaged with the Krishi Utsho initiative from the very beginning and contributed to the thought process of the evolution of the model over time.  He brings core agriculture and agro ecology expertise to the team and helps connect the idea between sustainable pro poor agro economic transformation and supply of quality agro inputs through standardized franchise business. In his role as Technical Advisor he primarily supports CARE’s women-focused agriculture program, Pathways, which is located in six countries located in South East Asia and Africa.


47_CARE Impact Challange - Krishi Utsho