November 19, 2020
When properly incentivized, the private sector can drive digital inclusion among marginalized populations. On November 18 as part of the ICTforAg 2020 Conference, AgResults argued just that, highlighting its Pay-for-Results prize competition in Tanzania as an example of this approach in action.
The “Facilitating Digital Inclusion through Private Sector Engagement” panel featured Parasto Hamed of AgResults, Diana Popa of Extensio, and German Gonzalez of Agropecuaria Popoyan. Jean-Michel Voisard of RTI International served as the moderator.
During her portion, Ms. Hamed unpacked the AgResults Tanzania Dairy Productivity Challenge Project, a Pay-for-Results prize competition that encourages private sector input suppliers and dairy processors to deliver input bundles to smallholder farmers to increase the quality and quantity of milk production. AgResults is using the Data Collection and Tracking System (DCTS) to help competing actors in Tanzania to track dairy input sales and delivery.
“Competitors can use the collected data to reach more farmers in remote areas,” said Ms. Hamed. “Farmers can use the DCTS’ SMS notifications to improve how they access critical market information.”
The DCTS, Ms. Hamed explained, provides a technological platform through which suppliers can build stronger linkages with farmers and improve their access to information. Not only will the DCTS facilitate these linkages during the project, but the hope is that market actors will continue to leverage the tool to sustain behaviors and drive business decisions after the project ends.
"From the big consortiums to the smaller companies, they’re all using this to leverage funds from banks, monitor their sales, and improve their business practices,” added Ms. Hamed. “The DCTS has been designed to go beyond the competition. It’s about how we can we create something that’s sustainable but can also be taken to scale.”
“It’s a very interesting transactional system,” said Jean-Michel Voisard, the moderator, referring to the DCTS. “It’s not about distributing knowledge, but it’s about the transaction. By repurposing an existing application, you benefit from all of the existing investments in coming up with a stabilized effective platform.”
More than 90 people tuned into the session, and many joined the lively chat conversation, during which speakers answered questions posed by participants in real time.
In his wrap-up, Mr. Voisard reflected on the inherent creativity and innovation that arises when working with the private sector to drive digital inclusion.
“In the end what we’re seeing is that each of your models, although different, bring value,” he said. “You have a value proposition so make sure you build on it and leverage it – that’s the private sector approach.”
Sponsored by Feed the Future, ICTforAg 2020 was an entirely virtual event that featured a diverse set of perspectives across public and private sectors. Although the conference officially took place on November 18, all session recordings will stay online for six months, allowing participants to ‘attend’ at their own pace.
Missed out on the real-time action at the ICTforAg Conference? View the session recordings at the event website.
Funded by USAID (US), FCDO (UK), DFAT (Australia), GAC (Canada), and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, AgResults has designed and implemented prize competitions since 2013 that focus on spurring fundamental change in market relationships between the private sector and smallholder farmers.