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Innovations in Insuring the Poor

Risk and poverty are inextricably linked. Susceptibility to risk is a defining feature of what it means to be poor. Poor people often live in environments characterized by high weather and disease risk, and it is poor households that have the fewest tools to deal with drought, floods, and disease when they occur. Breaking the link between risk and poverty by insuring poor people both lessens the affliction of poverty and allows poor people to participate in income and growth.

PROFIT Zambia Impact Assessment

Production, Finance, and Improved Technologies (PROFIT) was a multi-sector value chain intervention in Zambia from 2005-2011. It focused on upgrading retail inputs and services and measuring the effect on beef and cotton value chains. Among the findings were:

- Shifts in approach, emphasis and location during the course of program complicated or invalidated parts of the research plan.

- The combination of quantitative and qualitative evidence presented suggests positive outcomes and impacts for smallholder participants in the project's beef and retail activities.

Feed the Future Learning Agenda Literature Review: Expanded Markets, Value Chains, and Increased Investment

The objective of this paper is to summarize available evidence on key questions for the Feed the Future Learning Agenda theme on expanded markets, value chains and increased investments, and document expert opinion on gaps in the scientific literature for this theme that are in most urgent need of attention.

Among the gaps identified are the lack of rigorous impact assessments of value chain interventions. Specifically "the vast majority of the data available measure outcomes that suggest reductions in poverty rather than quantify impacts on poverty."

Guides for Value Chain Development: A Comparative Review

This report presents the results of a review of 11 guides for value chain development (VCD). The review compares the  concepts and methods endorsed and assesses the strengths and limitations of the guides for steering development practice. Overall, the guides provide a useful framework for understanding markets and engaging with chain stakeholders, with a strong emphasis on strengthening institutions and achieving sustainability of interventions.

Flexible Insurance for Heterogeneous Farmers: Results from a Small Scale Pilot in Ethiopia

We analyze the effectiveness of a new approach in providing weather index-based insurance products to low-income populations. The approach is based on the concept of providing multiple weather securities that pay a fixed amount if the event written on the security (that monthly rainfall at a nearby weather station falls below a stated cutoff) comes true. A theoretical model is developed to outline the conditions in which weather securities could outperform crop-specific weather index-based insurance policies.

Value Chain Development with the Extremely Poor: Evidence and Lessons from CARE, Save the Children, and World Vision

The majority of the world’s poorest people live in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. Most of these households engage in rural farming and subsist on incomes at or below the international extreme poverty line of US$1.90 per person per day (our working definition for the ‘extremely poor’). CARE, Save the Children, and World Vision are applying inclusive value chain development (VCD) among households living in extreme poverty in an effort to catalyse sustained food security.

5Capitals: A Tool for Assessing the Poverty Impact of Value Chain Development

Facilitate the design and/or assessment of interventions for value chain development, taking into account the circumstances and needs of upstream-chain actors (namely, stallholder producing households and small and medium enterprises that have direct relations with smallholders). The tool has been tested in 20+ countries in S Asia, Africa, and LAC.

Parametric versus Nonparametric Methods in Risk Scoring

Accurately assessing risk is key to providing appropriately priced loans to rural producers. This paper examines non-parametric techniques for risk scoring to avoid the erroneous rejection of credit-worthy loan applicants. Both parametric and non-parametric techniques were tested against simulated data and then evaluated on microfinance loan applicants in Peru. Because non-parametric techniques impose fewer modeling assumptions, they are able to better predict default.

Pathways out of Poverty: Tools for Value Chain Development Practitioners

This toolkit aims to equip value chain development programmers to design effective interventions that reach and impact the very poor. It profiles tools that are particularly applicable in the value chain selection and value chain analysis phases of a project, as well as assessment tools that can be used throughout the project cycle. Many tools are used by value chain development practitioners to guide value chain selection 4 and value chain analysis,5 of which several focus on understanding and benefiting particular populations. 

ICT in Agriculture Sourcebook

This resource from the World Bank provides research, analysis and case studies to the use of ICT's in agriculture in developing countries.

The e-Sourcebook is provided fully and freely on this website. Fifteen modules touch on a wide spectrum of sub-fields in agriculture, including risk management, gender, forest governance, and farmers organizations. The Introduction (Module 1) introduces users to the ‘ICT in agriculture’ topic, offering key themes throughout the sourcebook as well as more details on how to use it.

Integrating Very Poor Producers into Value Chains

The Integrating Very Poor Producers into Value Chains Field Guide (Field Guide) is intended to provide the field-level practitioner with tools and applications to impact very poor households. The intended outcome of the Field Guide is to increase market engagement for very poor households, especially women, through enterprise development activities.

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