Innovators from Marsabit and Garissa finally have access to idea spaces after iHub, Adeso and MasterCard (AIM) consortium set up two community ideas spaces in the rural counties christened the Maarifa Kona Innovation Labs. The spaces will enable the community to explore and develop innovative mechanisms to build resilience and preparedness in the face of drought.
Earlier in March this year, the partners (iHub, Adeso and the Mastercard consortium), launched a call for ideas was in Marsabit and Garissa Counties, to which they received a collective 236 idea submissions.
The panel of expert judges consisted of community leaders, industry experts, industry experts, AIM consortium partners, Maarifa Kona Team and government representatives. They reviewed all the applications and shortlisted 40 ideas (20 from each Lab in each County). The 20 selected innovators were invited to the labs to pitch their ideas in front of a panel of judges, who went through the presented applications, shared business and impact cases to review, filter and select 11 ideas from each lab.
The Maarifa Kona Boot Camp’s objective was in line with the project’s aim to increase the preparedness and resilience of disaster-prone communities in Garissa and Marsabit countries. It brought together 22 shortlisted innovators from a pool of 236 community ideas that were received, reviewed and selected from the call for ideas between the months of April and May.
The 2-day camp provided great opportunities for the innovators to get trained and linked to the iHub and MasterCard networks, as well as get connected to other innovators in order to offer peer to peer support & mentorship.
By the end of the boot camp, the participants were able to; Understand the Maarifa Kona innovation process and expected outcomes, refine their ideas from the knowledge exchange, paired innovators with the AIM network of mentors, be introduced to human-centered design approach for their research and conceptualization phase.