Reflections on the ‘New Nigeria’

By Nneka Eze and Jeff Kaiser

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Nigeria’s recent presidential election marks a historic step for the country as a leader among African nations. Muhammadu Buhari unseated incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) which ruled the country since its transition to democracy nearly 16 years ago. The election marks a significant shift in Africa’s political landscape and a remarkable opportunity for economic and political reform in Nigeria.

Buhari’s controversial past—his 20-month rule as a military dictator in the mid-1980s replete with imprisonment of dissenters (including Afrobeat music pioneer Fela Kuti) and a “War Against Indiscipline” that prescribed harsh punishments for relatively minor crimes—are today part of his appeal. This election was, in many ways, more of a referendum on incumbent President Jonathan’s performance and perceived weakness than a specific vote in favor of Buhari, who competed in three previous presidential elections and lost each time.

Signs of Progress

The election is one of few recent incidents in Africa given truly global recognition as a success. Media coverage focused on the process, noting that it was largely “free and fair” (though there were many incidents of disturbances at polling units and allegations of fraud from both sides) and the fact that President Jonathan was quick to concede his defeat. Jonathan’s concession came as the biggest surprise to most people in Nigeria, and he is already being hailed as a hero for the move.

Apart from the election, Nigeria does seem to be making giant strides on its democratic and developmental journey. Take Ebola: with Nigeria on the brink of a catastrophic outbreak in Lagos—one of the most densely populated cities in Africa—the Lagos State government acted rapidly, brought in private partners, and mobilized federal resources to fund a robust contact tracing program that reached nearly 100% of contacts in Lagos. The steps worked, and the outbreak was contained to 19 cases, with a survival rate of 60%, well above the survival rate elsewhere.

While Ebola points to a success spearheaded by the government, the fight against Boko Haram is just the opposite. In Borno State in northeast Nigeria, where the government has been highly ineffective in fighting the group, young Nigerians have taken up the fight themselves. Hundreds of young men and women have come together to form a Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF)—effectively vigilantes, though they have the approval of state government. They patrol the streets of affected areas and provide local intelligence to security forces.

Continue reading

Posted in Cities, Conflict, Human Rights, and Humanitarian Aid, Inclusive Growth | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

The Landscape for Impact Investing in South Asia: Announcing the launch of a new report by Dalberg and the GIIN

By Jyothi Vynatheya Oberoi

Impact investing — investments that intentionally seek social and/or environmental impact alongside a financial return — holds significant potential to help meet base of the pyramid (BoP) needs in South Asia. But until now, the scope of the impact investing sector in South Asian countries has not been well defined beyond India. A new report from Dalberg and the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) analyzes the current state of the market to identify opportunities for deploying impact capital and growing the industry. Over USD $8 billion worth of investment has been deployed in South Asia since 2004 by development finance institutions (DFIs) alone; in addition, several other impact investors, including venture capital/private equity funds and foundations, have deployed over USD $800 million.

Figure 1a. Known capital deployed by DFIs, USD millions

Figure 1a. Known capital deployed by DFIs, USD millions

Figure 1b. Known capital deployed by non-DFI impact investors, USD millions

Figure 1b. Known capital deployed by non-DFI impact investors, USD millions

India holds close to USD $5.5 billion in impact investments from DFI and non-DFI players and across a range of sectors, and dominates discussions of impact investing in South Asia. While it is the most active market in the region, it is still far from mature or saturated.

In contrast, investments and opportunities in surrounding countries – Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Myanmar – have rarely been explored, let alone quantified. The Landscape for Impact Investing in South Asia captures the cross-cutting trends, opportunities, and challenges in impact investing in the entire region. “We’re pleased to partner with Dalberg on this important research, which reveals the diversity in both current activity and investor interest across these markets. For example, in Myanmar, while only USD $12 million has been deployed to date, the USD $109 million in committed capital for future deployment reflects investors’ excitement about growth and opportunities for positive impact there,” says Hannah Schiff, Senior Associate, GIIN Research.

Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

New Report by Dalberg: ‘From Response to Recovery in the Ebola Crisis: Revitalizing Health Systems and Economies’

By Yana Kakar

EbolaDalbergReportOver a year has passed since the Ebola outbreak in West Africa began. In that narrow window of time, the disease has claimed more than 10,000 lives, stalled economic growth, and hampered – if not reversed – gains the region had made in strengthening public health infrastructure and service delivery.

And yet, as dire as the crisis has been, hope is emerging. The pace of new cases is slowing. The fear of a truly global pandemic has subsided. We are transitioning from emergency response to longer-term recovery – a very welcome sign.

But let us not mistake these signs of progress for indications that our work is done. In many ways, it is just beginning. For the families who lost loved ones, the communities that continue to struggle, and the countries now stripped of economic resources, let us not turn away from West Africa, but towards it.

Dalberg’s mission is to tackle the world’s most pressing problems with innovative approaches that are inclusive of, and responsive to, the most vulnerable populations in our society. Today we are releasing a new report, titled “From Response to Recovery in the Ebola Crisis: Revitalizing Health Systems and Economies,” to share our experience with those now helping to rebuild the region alongside us.

Specifically, we write to share our perspectives on what can be done to strengthen the resilience and recovery efforts in West Africa today. This report presents a portfolio of ideas on where to go from here, including how we might develop creative incentives to support emerging leaders and design innovative financing products. We aspire to seed a broader conversation with these ideas, and to spark collective action by governments, civil society, foundations, and international agencies in service of the Ebola-affected region of West Africa.

Read the full report: From Response to Recovery in the Ebola Crisis: Revitalizing Health Systems and Economies >>

Posted in Access to Finance, D. Capital, Global Health, Inclusive Growth | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Refining the Business Case for Off-Grid Energy in India: Illuminating the Models with the Greatest Potential

By Gaurav Gupta

Tdalberg.offgrid.reporthe success of solar-based products and services to bring electrical energy to many at the base of the pyramid who lack access to even basic lighting has rightly received significant acclaim. Much of this stems from the role the private sector has played in developing new solutions such as solar portable lanterns, solar home systems, and solar mini-grids. However, despite strong projected growth rates, less than 5 percent of the market is penetrated; there is significant room for further accelerating the market with the right interventions.

For example, over 80 million households – roughly 50 percent of India’s rural population – have little or no access to grid-based electricity and the light that comes with it. Most of these households continue to rely instead on kerosene lamps, which provide only dim lighting, produce damaging carbon emissions, and can lead to chronic illnesses from indoor air pollution.

The challenge is in determining what solar models present real potential for scale. While there is significant private sector activity in off-grid energy solutions, it’s been difficult to unwind which models are actually sustainable and which are effectively relying on ongoing subsidies. There is a huge amount of interest in off-grid energy from philanthropists, donors, impact investors, and even mainstream investors, all proclaiming a private sector approach. But the aggregate of all these different forms of funding have shown that few models out there today are functioning without a subsidy of some form or another.

 “The Business Case for Off-Grid Energy in India,” a new report by Dalberg (where the author is employed) on behalf of the Climate Group, highlights the business models with the greatest potential. Through a focus on these investable opportunities, the report makes recommendations for financiers and organizations looking to promote private sector investment in the off-grid space. Below are some of our findings: Continue reading

Posted in Energy and Environment | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Amplifying our Voices in 2015: A Letter from Dalberg’s Global Managing Partner

Dear friends and colleagues,

YanaDalberg was founded in 2001 on a bold hypothesis: that if global development were to advance at an accelerated pace, rigorous problem-solving skills, strategic thinking, and private sector partnerships were needed to complement traditional development approaches. Many challenged this premise and wondered whether these types of advisory services could influence real change, or indeed whether there was even a market for them.

I am very pleased to report that due to incredible efforts over the past 14 years, we have shown not only a strong need for Dalberg’s unique blend of skills, but that the demand for these skills is increasing rapidly. As a testament to this, we now have a growing staff based in 14 offices spread over 4 continents working on engagements across the public, private, and non-profit sectors.

Our success as a business is a great achievement, but we at Dalberg know that our business is merely the vehicle by which we seek to fulfil our mission: to mobilize effective responses to the world’s most pressing challenges.

Our mission remains a core and immutable part of our story. It is why we continue to do what we do. 2014 was no exception to this. We observed a number of needs and opportunities and brought our energy and insight to bear on critical issues worldwide:

  • In the face of the human disaster wrought by the Ebola virus in West Africa – which threatened to derail the region’s economic and social progress over the past decade – we helped the governments of Mali and Cote d’Ivoire set up emergency operations centers to better respond to this massive crisis.
  • In order to ensure that private and public institutions are thinking creatively about how to finance global development, we worked with a number of partners to release the landmark Innovative Financing for Development report. We are now implementing solutions recommended in the report to help unlock millions of dollars of finance for social good.
  • FAFINRecognizing that investing in small and medium sized agribusinesses in Africa’s most populous country, Nigeria, could both boost food security and fuel economic development, we brought the Honorable Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, and his team, together in partnership with the German development bank KfW, to co-seed a new fund for agriculture. FAFIN, the fund for agricultural finance in Nigeria, is a one of a kind fund, seeded by the public sector but scaled and managed by the private sector, is already delivering on its promise of creating inclusive growth, and generating both financial and social return.

Continue reading

Posted in Dalberg Community | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

2015 Transformational Business Awards to Highlight Innovations in Developing Cities

The Financial Times and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) are accepting entries for the 2015 Transformational Business Awards, a major global program highlighting groundbreaking products and services that provide transformative, long-term solutions to key issues in developing economies.

Dalberg’s Henrik Skovby is on the judging panel for the awards, which this year gives special attention to innovative and commercially viable partnerships and other initiatives that substantially improve access to basic needs for urban residents. Dalberg’s Aly-Khan Jamal will be assisting him.

Bogotá, Colombia is one city known for its inclusive innovations.  Photo by Eduardo Parra Chavarro via Flickr.

Bogotá, Colombia is one city known for its inclusive innovations. Photo by Eduardo Parra Chavarro via Flickr.

According to Jeff Wagner of Financial Times Live, the organizers chose this year’s theme after realizing that urban development was at the core of so many of last year’s award applications. “Rapidly growing urban areas are key catalysts of economic growth and environmental and social development in emerging economies,” said Wagner. “A number of initiatives that have been launched in cities have had transformational impacts across the wider economy and society, and have the potential for replication.”

“Cities will continue to be at the center of growth and innovation for many decades,” notes Oren Ahoobim, head of Dalberg’s Cities Practice. “But we mustn’t assume that growth is an inherently positive force. What we need is inclusive urban growth that builds shared prosperity without compromising the natural systems that sustain healthy and resilient communities. These awards recognize the important contributions of business to building cities that work for everyone.” Continue reading

Posted in Cities, Dalberg Community, Inclusive Growth | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Infographic: Why Should We Care About Gender-Based Violence?

By Sonila Cook, Thabo Matse, and Julia Rohrer

International Women’s Day offers an apt moment to look into gender-based violence: a massive global problem that knows no boundaries. It imposes tremendous costs on society – not least by limiting the potential of girls and women. While some countries are enacting legislation against gender-based violence, not enough is being done to address the root causes or to ensure that laws are enforced.

Learn more about the issue – and how you can get involved in stopping gender-based-violence – in our infographic below. Continue reading

Posted in Gender Issues | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Creating a Market for Safe, Secure, and Convenient Moto Taxis in Uganda: A Q&A with Dalberg Alumnus Alastair Sussock

DSC_0210“Boda bodas,” or motorcycle taxis, are the main form of transit in Kampala, Uganda. There are five times more boda bodas driving around Kampala – 80,000 in total – than yellow taxis in New York City. While boda bodas are popular, they are not uniformly safe. Less than 1% of boda boda passengers wear helmets, and as a result, roughly 40% of trauma cases in Kampala hospitals are attributable to boda boda accidents.

SafeBoda, a company started by Dalberg San Francisco alumnus Alastair Sussock and three co-founders in November 2014, aims to provide Kampala residents with safe, convenient boda rides. SafeBoda drivers have two helmets – one for the driver and one for the passenger – and an easily identifiable reflective jacket with that driver’s name embossed on the back. In addition, they are trained in road safety, motorcycle maintenance, first aid, and customer service. Customers of SafeBoda can call for drivers using the SafeBoda smartphone app, similar in its functionality to the Uber and Lyft platforms. SafeBoda’s revenue currently comes from SafeBoda drivers paying a weekly fee for a package of trainings, equipment, and technology, but over time the company will look to use mobile payment technology to more efficiently capture revenue. Continue reading

Posted in Dalberg Community | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Smart Cities Don’t Work If They Don’t Work For Everyone

By Kira Intrator and Sanchali Pal

A city never sleeps. It continually works, grows, expands and evolves. As magnets for people, resources and ideas, cities drive the development of nations.

Photo by Akshay Mahaja via Flickr.

Vendors at Dadar’s Phulgalli in Mumbai. Photo by Akshay Mahaja via Flickr.

By 2030, 70% of the GDP and 70% of new jobs in India will come from cities. The Modi government’s ambitious “100 Smart Cities” plan is making urban planning sexy in a country challenged by rapid and chaotic urbanisation. Yet there is no single, universally accepted definition of a “smart city”. With massive investment expected to pour in, it is time to understand what will make India’s urban centres truly smart. With one in six city dwellers living in a slum, inclusive growth is a critical principle that India cannot ignore. Whether you argue for a liveable city or a smart city, at the core a city does not work if it does not work for everyone.

India will add over 400 million urban inhabitants by 2050, more than any other country. Managing such growth will require unprecedented levels of planning and investment in housing, infrastructure and public services. This is where “smart” can be a game-changer. Continue reading

Posted in Cities, Inclusive Growth | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Great Barrier Reef Under Threat from Planned Port Expansions to Export Fossil Fuels

By Simon Allan

GBRUnderThreatThe Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest coral reef system and the only living structure that can be seen from space with the naked eye. Located on the eastern coast of Australia, the Reef is home to thousands of species of plants and animals including turtles, rays, crustaceans and corals, and is one of the world’s most diverse habitats.

The Reef also plays a critical role in the Australian economy; it supports almost 69,000 jobs and contributes nearly US$5.8 billion to the country each year through tourism, marine research, and commercial fishing.

But the Great Barrier Reef is disappearing at an alarming rate. Over the past 30 years, more than half of the Reef’s coral cover has been lost as a result of both natural and human factors such as tropical cyclones, water pollution, and climate change.

The Reef is facing a more immediate threat from extensive industrialization. The Australian government recently approved plans to expand several ports along the coast adjacent to the Great Barrier Reef, in order to boost their coal and natural gas exports. To build these ports, huge amounts of material will need to be removed, or dredged, from the ocean floor to make room for new harbors and incoming cargo ships. Continue reading

Posted in Energy and Environment | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment