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HOW TO MAKE CLIMATE INFORMATION ACCESSIBLE TO RURAL USERS

Since 2016, Jokalante, a Senegalese for-profit social enterprise, has pioneered ways to overcome the obstacles faced by other services, delivering new information to often illiterate SSPs by moving beyond the traditional communication channels of community radios and SMS. Jokalante launched Nafoore in 2020. Nafoore will provide a suite of services using Jokalante’s established platforms and communication channels (such as voice messages in local languages) to improve the resilience of farmers and fishers vis-à-vis changes in climate and weather patterns by equipping them with a suite of decision making tools and support.


Have users pay from the beginning

To ensure the sustainability of the information platform, users should pay for the service, even if nominally, from the very beginning. Climate information services that are free to users at the beginning have a very hard time transforming into a paid platform. Therefore, it is important to introduce, market and promote the platform as a paid service.

Tips on how to make climate information accessible to rural users

Pick a reasonable price point

Carrying out a willingness to pay survey prior to launch is an important pre-step to establishing the platform, as well as the business case. The business case – thinking through willingness to pay by customers, the cost of technology, upkeep, staff, and partnerships – is critical for establishing a platform that can be profitable, and as a result, sustainable.


Make the platform easy to use

The platform needs to be easy to use, with interfaces that people are already used to. For example, interfaces that use USSD menus, or the follow basic app interfaces. To encourage users to pay for the service, it is important to communicate clearly on the value and services that the platform provides and should be accompanied by demonstrations of the platform to potential users.


Combine with other services

The willingness of users to pay for stand alone climate information services is limited. It is important to bundle services together to make the platform more useful to clients. For example, the Nafoore service bundles access to climate information with agronomic advice, crop insurance, and price information.


Author

Ndeye Amy Kebe, Founder and Director of Jokalante, is an ambitious and passionate social entrepreneur who strongly believes in the power of ICT and education to positively impact communities and transcend economic and social constraints. She has a Masters’ degree in ICT and development from DESU, University of Limoges. Jokalante is a partner and former client of AEI.


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