Awards And Recognition
Grameen Foundation’s role of being at the forefront of digital financial services and driving innovations that help the industry move forward is recognised by several prominent awards, such as:
- GFI bagged the Strategy Award in the social assistance category by Institute for Competitiveness and Porter Prize, named after Michael E. Porter, an imminent economist, researcher, and author on strategy and competitive advantage.
- CNBC TV18 Financial Inclusion Award for Strategic Partnership for its Commendable Contributions to the Financial Inclusion Sector.
- CNBC TV18 Award for Advancing Financial Inclusion through Community Based Initiatives.
- NASSCOM Social Innovation Forum Award for GFI’s work to integrate mobile financial education and services in India. The work has enabled microfinance clients to use digital payment channels to repay their micro-loans.
- Mobile Kunji and mobile academy awards at the Mobile World Congress: was awarded for its work on MOTECH (mobile technology in health) for the best product or service for women in emerging markets.
Grameen Foundation has produced a set of videos which educate the underserved population on banking, mobile banking, and other financial products and have been integrated into the G-LEAP application. Apart from educating the user about the application, these videos are also shown to participants in conjunction with trained field worker-led education sessions. These videos can be found here.
Digital advisory services for smallholder families in Africa and Asia
A research and innovation project at the the Centre of Development and Environment and the Institute of Sociology, University of Bern, aims to strengthen sustainable farming methods among smallholder families in Africa and Asia using digitally supported agricultural extension services. Its overall goal is to improve the families’ productivity, incomes, and climate resilience. The project is being conducted together with international partners and is supported by the TRANSFORM programme of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) with five million Swiss francs.
Smallholders produce two thirds of all food worldwide. Yet the majority of these approximately 500 million farmers lives in poverty. Their production is susceptible to the impacts of climate change. At the same time, they have poor access to information on agricultural practices that could help them increase production, conserve resources, and sustain their livelihoods.
Digitally supported agricultural extension services provide an opportunity to change this. To date, however, they have only reached a small fraction of smallholders in the global South. One way to achieve significant gains in yields and improved living conditions is to involve women and young people: they make up over half the people engaged in agriculture in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia.
Addressing women and young people in particular
The project “Agripath” is blazing new trails: “The goal of the project is to develop effective, efficient, and far-reaching advisory services that engage as many smallholder families as possible, particularly incorporating women and young people,” says Sonja Vogt, Professor of Sustainable Social Development at the University of Bern: “To achieve that goal, we are developing technical innovations that foster changes in people’s attitudes and social norms related to agriculture.”
To enable the broadest possible impact towards sustainable agriculture, explains Sonja Vogt, all family members must be involved. Accordingly, it is crucial to know who in the household has access to a mobile phone and thus digital services, as well as how agricultural decisions are made within the family. “In addition, we are particularly focused on efficient, country- and context-specific dissemination of sustainable farming methods within local communities,” says Nicole Harari, project coordinator at the Centre for Development and Environment, University of Bern.
Beginning with five countries on two continents and expanding worldwide
The project is aimed at 50,000 smallholder families in Burkina Faso, Uganda, Tanzania, India, and Nepal, as well as 250 private and state agricultural extension service providers. Scaling of the results in at least six other countries is planned from the outset via a broad partner network comprising ministries of agriculture, NGOs, the private sector, and regional and international organizations, thus enabling Agripath to make the widest possible impact.
Lessons learned from Agripath will be made available in a toolkit for providers of digital advisory services – both in countries where the project is active and worldwide. In addition, the project consortium will provide long-term implementation and application support to digital providers. The Farmbetter app utilized and further developed for this research will be freely available for download.
Combining on-site consultation and digital solutions
The project will also provide new insights as to what type of advising is most promising in which cases. Using a novel “mixed methods” approach, the project will combine digital data collection with field experiments and randomized controlled trials. This will make it possible to study the impacts of three variants on farmer behaviour: a purely digital solution with an extension services app that farmers can use themselves; a model in which extension service providers use the app in their work with the farmers; as well as a hybrid model in which smallholders can use the digital advisory services on their own and, when needed, obtain access to on-site technical extension services.
In addition, focus groups and broad-based digital data collection to assess attitudes and behaviour will generate country-specific knowledge on gender and youth participation in sustainable farming. “This is central to the context-specific design and thus acceptance of the digital extension tool”, emphasizes Nicole Harari.
Close collaboration between science and practice
Agripath is a project of the Centre for Development and Environment (CDE) and the Institute of Sociology – both at the University of Bern – together with Grameen Foundation USA, Grameen Foundation India, the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology icipe, as well as Farmbetter Ltd. The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) is supporting the project through the TRANSFORM programme with five million Swiss francs. The project is based on close collaboration with Grameen Foundation agricultural advisors and the start-up Farmbetter Ltd. The latter’s app provides application-oriented information on sustainable farming practices and promotes climate resilience and productivity among smallholder farms in developing countries. The project begins in 2021 and runs through 2025.
Grameen Foundation India hosting The Jobs Conference at Hotel Eros on 9&10 Dec19’
India is in the midst of a major job’s crisis. The unemployment rate shot up to 7.4 percent in December 2018 as the number of employed people fell from 408 million to 397 million, an absolute decline of over 11 million people over a period of 1 year. While there have been job losses in both rural as well as urban areas, the loss in rural areas was a lot bigger than in urban.
The extent of crisis is routinely manifested in news articles, such as over 20 million people applying for 90,000 jobs in the railways. Digitization, automation, artificial intelligence and 3D printing is beginning to contribute to a situation, where in a large number of current jobs could be performed by machines in coming years. On the other hand, demographic trends, lifestyle changes, changing aspirations, consumption patterns and changes in global trading arena also are creating new opportunities. Over 5 million students graduate each year in India. Yet, very few are fit to be employed, as they lack basic employability skills. 1.25 million young people are joining the work force each month without being adequately prepared. This skill-job mismatch is also causing falling wages and stagnant productivity that affects not only the job seekers but also people already in the workforce. While the Government is making massive investments in skill development, there is a mismatch between the training content and job opportunities.
About why addressing the crisis is important
Addressing the jobs crisis therefore entails focused deliberation involving all the relevant stakeholders from multiple disciplines. The Jobs Conference hosted by Grameen Foundation India supported by Skill India, Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship and partnered by ONGC India will bring together government representatives, thought leaders, researchers, business houses, policy makers, non-government organizations, think tanks, innovators, skill developers, financiers and job seekers on a common platform to dive deeper into the trends, opportunities and challenges and come up with an actionable set of steps.
What jobs conference intends to do
Key objectives of the Jobs Conference:
- Establish a common platform to bring all the public-private stakeholders to deliberate and learn from each other about the extent and multiple dimensions of the current situation
- How new era trends such as artificial intelligence, platform economy and data science are driving business models today
- Bridging the gender gap and strategies to attract women into leadership roles
- Understanding and discussing how inclusive our work-ecosystem is for the specially-abled and the LGBTQ workforce outside and in the metro cities,
Grameen Foundation India Concludes the Jobs Conference 2019 today at Hotel Eros, New Delhi
New Delhi: Grameen Foundation’s major conference – “The Jobs Conference” wrapped up this evening. The conference, first ever dedicated to the theme of jobs, self employment and entrepreneurship deliberated on the issues affecting jobs in India over two days. The sessions looked in-depth into major employment creators in India, such as Agriculture and MSMEs to less talked about issues such as the differently abled workforce and what could be done to make the work places more inclusive.
In his keynote address, Chief Economic Advisor Dr. Krishnamurthy Subramanian touched upon some key trends, such as movement of labour from agriculture to services sector, and from less remunerative to more remunerative sectors and encouraged the young generation to prioritize education and work hard. ‘With right education and skills, many opportunities would open for you’, said.
“State of Jobs in India 2019” report produced by Grameen Foundation India was launched and a keynote address was delivered by Dr. Manish Kumar, MD and CEO, National Skill Development Corporation and Mr. Kiran DM, CEO of ONGC Foundation. The issue around changing skill requirements in jobs got the maximum prominence in the conference, and the need to reorient education and skilling in line with the changing skill demand. Importance of entrepreneurship, startups and impact investment and green jobs as the driver for job creation and addressing climate change were emphasized. Falling workforce participation of women came out as an important concern and barriers faced by women in entering and continuing in work were discussed in detail.
Prabhat Labh, CEO of Grameen Foundation India said, ‘the nature of jobs are changing. We need to equip our young people with the right skills, education and support so that they can leverage new job opportunities and also encouraged to become self –employed and create jobs for others by pursuing entrepreneurship’. ‘While being a business person is lucrative, it takes time to become successful, and it is difficult to sustain ourselves in the initial startup phase’, said a young student Kanhaiya.
‘This conference is held at the perfect time. NSDC is putting together a framework for recognition of prior learning in the skilling sector. We are also trying to put together a fund called ‘Nirvana fund’ to support startups’, said Dr. Manish Kumar, the NSDC CEO.
To be held annual facilitated by Grameen Foundation India, The Jobs Conference (www.TheJobsConference.org ) is supported by Skill India under the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship and the sector skill councils on agriculture, BFSI sector and People with Disabilities aims to
- Deliberate and learn about how to make progress on the situation of jobs, self-employment and entrepreneurship.
- How digitalization, artificial intelligence, platform economy and data science could create new opportunities, while traditional jobs see a reduction.
- Understanding the barriers faced by women, people with disabilities and other marginalized groups and action points to ensure greater equity and diversity in job market.
About Grameen Foundation India
Grameen Foundation India is a leading social impact organization, providing technical assistance to development institutions in India. Over the years, we have developed a rich and deep understanding of low-income segments. We provide technical assistance to some of the leading and fastest-growing development institutions. GFI has core expertise in the financial and digital financial services space and helps create breakthrough solutions that reach underserved populations, particularly women. A unique aspect of Grameen’s work is its deeply rooted research and analytics capability, which ensure that the products, channels and institutional strategies are aligned with the customer needs and also address institutional priorities.
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