Maarifa Kona Innovation Labs - Shared problems, different solutions
Adeso, iHub and Mastercard consortium created two community ideas spaces in the rural counties of Marsabit and Garissa, Kenya in which the communities can explore and develop better innovative mechanisms to build resilience and preparedness in the face of drought. Maarifa Kona’s key objectives are as follows:
- To support inventors to develop practical solutions and new ideas to prepare for and manage drought
- To create a new learning environment and accessible approach where people feel at ease sharing their experiences and testing their ideas.
Focus areas include: food security; water management; livestock protection; other interventions related to drought e.g. alternative livelihoods; and, early warning systems.
About the Labs
The lab is situated in Garissa town, inside the North Eastern National University Compound. Garissa County is an administrative County in the former North Eastern Province of Kenya. The capital and largest urban area is Garissa.
The large complex of refugee camps at Dadaab, with more than 260,000 Somali refugees is located in Garissa County. The county has a population of 623,060, and a land area of about 45,720.2 square kilometres. The largest population in Garissa County is Somali. The county has six constituencies:
- Garissa Township Constituency
- Fafi Constituency
- Dadaab Constituency
- Lagdera Constituency
- Balambala Constituency
- Ijara Constituency.
Following a four-week, countrywide call for ideas in March 2018, the lab received a total of 98 ideas - 90 of these were from individuals and 8 were from community groups. These were filtered down by process of a selection committee comprising NGO, private sector experts and community members to 20 ideas and then finally to the selection of 11 viable innovations.
The shortlisted 11 innovators are being supported through Maarifa kona innovation process for the next 10 months to refine and develop scalable products and services that will build the resilience and preparedness of pastoralist communities in the county.
The lab is situated in Marsabit town, inside the Catholic Mission Compound and is open to all members of the public. Marsabit County, located in Northern Kenya, is one of the richest in natural minerals, with a unique topography and rare wildlife. The largest of Kenya’s 47 semi-autonomous regions, the county has a landmass covering 70,961 square kilometres with a population of more than 310,000 people.
It has an international boundary with Ethiopia to the north, and borders Turkana County to the west, Samburu County to the south and Wajir and Isiolo counties to the east. The main physical feature is the Chalbi Desert, which forms an area of 948 square kilometres.
The county has four constituencies:
- Moyale Constituency
- North Horr Constituency
- Saku Constituency
- Laisamis Constituency.
Following the month-long call for ideas, the lab received a total of 138 ideas. Of the entries received, 93 of these were from individuals and 33 were from community groups. These were filtered down through a selection committee process to 20 ideas and then to 11 viable innovations.
The shortlisted 11 innovators will follow the same innovation process as the Garissa lab for 10-month period to refine and develop scalable products that will build the resilience and preparedness of communities throughout the county.