Gender-inclusive livestock insurance for climate resilience and financial inclusion in ASALs: Findings from LCSR at the Resilience Evidence Forum

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    CGIAR Initiative on Livestock and Climate
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Climate change resilience and adaptation is bolstered by the inclusion of all. This was a central theme explored at the Resilience Evidence Forum in Cape Town, South Africa from the 20 to 22 June 2023, which brought together experts to explore the latest evidence in building resilience, its implications for policy and programming and the role of financial inclusion in enhancing household resilience. Kelvin Shikuku, scientist and economist from the CGIAR Research Initiative on Livestock and Climate attended the forum to present findings from a study on making insurance fully available for women (MIFAW).  

Index-based livestock insurance (IBLI), a risk management tool developed by the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and partners that is designed to protect livestock keepers in the Horn of Africa from drought-related asset losses. The MIFAW project takes a gender-intentional approach to IBLI and targets pastoralists in remote, infrastructure-limited areas.  

Funded by USAID’s Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Markets, Risk and Resilience, the MIFAW project is a collaboration between University of California Davis, the Livestock and Climate Initiative and the BOMA project, an NGO that works in ASALs to build the resiliency of women living in extreme poverty so they can survive shocks, including drought, and adapt to climate change. MIFAW worked through the Rural Entrepreneur Access Project (REAP) which maps barriers to overcoming extreme poverty and implements a series of sequenced interventions with a defined exit strategy. As a complement to the REAP program, a pilot project was launched in Samburu County, Kenya where past REAP participants were split into randomized groups where one group received the traditional IBLI insurance model and the other received a novel framing that emphasized women’s indirect exposure to rangeland risks, focusing on the family, and giving payoffs when rangeland conditions are bad.  

Shikuku’s Presentation at the Resilience Evidence Forum (Photo: Kelvin Shikuku/ILRI).
Shikuku’s Presentation at the Resilience Evidence Forum (Photo: K.Shikuku/ILRI).

In the ‘Financial Inclusion – People and Household’ session on 20 June 2023, Shikuku presented the findings of this pilot study as well as future implications of the project.  After explaining the importance of this model for building resilience in ASALs, Shikuku shared the exciting news that the number of insurance sales in the pilot increased by 20% and the total sum of people insured increased by 40%. Future directions of this are to incorporate insurance schemes into Village Insurance Savings Account (VISA) groups to ensure the mechanisms are in place to provide training and support to women who undertake insurance. The pilot of this phase started in March of this year and is targeting 918 VISA groups.  

The Resilience Evidence Forum provided a platform for sharing the exciting findings of the news phase of IBLI and to engage with other actors in the space to get feedback on this approach. As Shikuku describes, ‘participation was essential for sharing knowledge on index-based livestock insurance for financial and social inclusion and discussing the role of high-frequency data in shock monitoring. We actively collect and disseminate high-frequency data in pastoral areas of Africa through the livestock information crowdsourcing initiative.’ 

Find the full presentation here:  

Header Image: Illustration of the findings from the Resilience Evidence Forum. Photo by K. Shikuku/ILRI.

Story by Madison Spinelli

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