Tanzanian woman uses tablet at food processing business

Technology

The right technology, deployed the right way, can be one of the world’s most powerful weapons against poverty. However, many technology projects in the developing world fail because of a focus on technology first and a lack of understanding of local markets and user needs.

Applying expertise grounded in local knowledge and understanding of the needs of people in developing countries, TechnoServe uses technology across our programs in order to reach more people with proven approaches to improving their knowledge, skills, incomes, and opportunities. From remote sensing to e-learning platforms to applications for improving supply chain visibility, TechnoServe applies a variety of technology approaches to reduce poverty around the world.

Our Work in Technology

In order to advance the application of technology in scaling impact across our projects, TechnoServe founded TechnoServe Labs in 2019. Based in Silicon Valley, this initiative partners with technology companies to identify, test, and implement solutions that can transform the lives of millions of hardworking people across the developing world.

TechnoServe Labs leverages TechnoServe’s on-the-ground experience and strategic market-based approach, coupled with lean, rapid solution testing and iteration–and an understanding that the best solutions may be simple, elegant adaptations of proven technology. TechnoServe Labs is building a group of technology partners to support its mission of identifying, testing, and implementing promising technologies to deliver market-based solutions to poverty. These partners participate in the TechnoServe Fellows program, join the Labs Advisory Council, and provide funding to support Labs.

Featured Technology Projects

Who Benefits

TechnoServe has already succeeded in testing and implementing technologies in multiple programs, including:

  • Digital payments – TechnoServe worked with Vodafone and other partners to test and deploy a mobile solution for payments and data for 500,000 smallholder farmers in Kenya, Tanzania and Mozambique, as part of the Connected Farmer Alliance. Following a successful pilot, Vodafone is rolling the solution out across East Africa.
  • Blockchain – TechnoServe has experience testing digital payment solutions using blockchain with AB InBev in Uganda for sorghum production (using BanQu), and with Solvay in India for guar seed.
  • Bank lending platform – TechnoServe worked with a local solution provider to develop an AWS-hosted platform that gives lenders visibility into coffee processing operations, enabling collateralized loans to support over 50,000 farmers in East Africa. Use of the platform doubled from 2017 to 2018.