Where We Work
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 digital solutions 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 tech-enabled 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 tech 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.
TechnoServe endorses the Principles for Digital Development and is committed to designing technology-enabled tools that can reach more people, achieve greater impact, and produce stronger and more sustainable outcomes by actively living out the Digital Principles.
Featured Technology Projects
Innovations in Outcome Measurement
In partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, TechnoServe’s Innovation in Outcome Measurement (IOM) project aims to identify breakthrough innovations capable of transforming agriculture and to develop a framework for scaling these innovations for business use.
Increasing Women’s Access to Savings and Banking Services
Business Women Connect was born out of research showing that micro-savings products are one of the most impactful tools for women entrepreneurs to access in order to grow their businesses.
Connected Farmer Alliance
The Connected Farmer Alliance (CFA) is a public-private partnership that seeks to promote commercially sustainable mobile agriculture solutions and increase productivity and revenues for 500,000 smallholder farmers across Kenya, Tanzania and Mozambique. The program also aims to increase revenues for agribusinesses and agricultural value chain service providers.
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.