iDE Global

Basic human needs, meet Business 101

Growing food. Installing toilets. Selling water filters. And making loans.

The developing world is changing. The aspiration to “be modern” has taken hold, moving beyond the big cities and into rural villages where poverty is the norm. We are hearing a tremendous mandate for new thinking in development, but it’s coming from a new voice.

Our clients are courageous business people. They are entrepreneurs selling beneficial goods and services to a customer base that desires to experience a modern lifestyle.

At iDE, we are pushing for progress to arrive faster. Millions of people waiting in rural villages make us eager to move faster, invest smarter, and tackle tougher problems.

What Matters—

iDE Graphic Theme Gender Equity Illustration
Gender Equity

Women have value beyond the home

In homes across the world, women are the keystone. The health of the family—physically and financially— is strengthened when women are empowered to gain knowledge, make decisions, and become leaders. We invest in the power of women because they are the source from which water, fuel, and food flows into the home.

Read more: How we are breaking down barriers
iDE Graphic Theme Climate Resilience Illustration
Climate Resilience

Too wet, too dry, too hot, and too cold

Climate stress has the greatest impact on small-scale farmers, who are vulnerable to even the slightest shift in the weather patterns. Their livelihoods teeter on obtaining the basics of life: food, water, and shelter. Building sustainable livelihoods in the face of climate uncertainties, through clean energy and smart technology, is not only an investment in mitigation but also a nimble approach that focuses on adaptability and building resilience.

Read more: How we’re planning for a changing climate
iDE Graphic Theme Nutrition Illustration
Access To Nutrition

Fueling the bodies and brains of the next generation

Poor nutrition inhibits the physical and cognitive growth of the next generation. Working with partners worldwide, we are connecting the dots of nutrition from the food in the farmer’s field to the mother’s basket at markets. At all points along the chain, long-term health is a priority in lifting people out of poverty and keeping them out of poverty.

Read more: How we connect the dots of nutrition
iDE Graphic Theme Food Security Illustration
Food Security

No one should be hungry

We’re taking a business approach to ending hunger. iDE increases the availability of nutritious foods by working sustainably through a market-based approach. By improving access to high-quality seeds and know-how, along with connecting farmers to markets, we see growth in the income, yield, and availability to local communities of safe, nutritious foods.

Read more: How we secure food supplies for the future

What Works—

The secret to feeding a growing, hungry planet

Small-scale farmers grow 80 percent of the food available in rural areas, so improving their productivity is a key strategy. We’re creating business opportunities that enable increased productivity and result in greater income.

Explore our work in Agriculture
  1. Farm Business Advisors

    Bringing knowledge and tools to every farmer’s field.

    iDE is facilitating change by supporting a network of Farm Business Advisors (FBAs), community agents who support small-scale farmers, who are often located in remote areas far away from commercial centers.

    Read more: Farm Business Advisors: A Global Approach
  2. Resource-Smart Technology

    Technology multiplies—time, money, energy, and water.

    Understanding that small-scale farming families have severe resource limitations, iDE works to help minimize the pressure on labor, income, water, and energy by identifying and re-designing technologies existing at the intersection of these four resources, which can have a life-changing impact on struggling farmers.

    Read more: Technology that uses resources wisely, but isn't cost-prohibitive to poor farmers, is smart
  3. Access to Markets

    Building bridges between buyers and sellers.

    A farmer acting alone will often have to settle for less money in the small window of opportunity she has for selling. But what if this farmer can join with her neighbors, pooling their crops together to share storage and transportation costs, and provide a more attractive package for large buyers?

    Read more: iDE's “commercial pocket” approach links farmers with each other and to the market

Outsmarting diarrheal disease

Diarrheal disease is something no one wants to talk about, but it causes more deaths in children under five than malaria, tuberculosis, and HIV combined. We are taking on this deadly killer by building markets for sanitation, clean water, and hand hygiene. We think we’re on to something good, because our work is yielding results that are unprecedented globally. Let’s put an end to diarrheal disease—not by giving things away, but by building markets that can deliver life-changing products. By avoiding hand-outs, we can help people achieve an adequate standard of living with dignity.

Explore our work in WASH
  1. Clean Water

    Water filters save lives

    Having safe water improves the situation of women and children, who are often responsible for fetching and boiling water.

    Read more: Ceramic filters are a cost-effective way to meeting the need for clean drinking water
  2. Sanitation

    Every family deserves a toilet

    For the 40 percent of the people on the planet who do not have a toilet, acquiring one would mean keeping your one-year-old child from developing diarrhea and possibly dying from it.

    Read more: Building markets for sanitation
  3. Hand Hygiene

    Lather. Rinse. Survive.

    The biggest barrier to handwashing is not always the availability of water or soap, but rather knowledge. Making the connection between dirty hands and disease is the first step.

    Read more: Handwashing solutions could help reduce several chronic diseases

Bringing quality of life within reach

Access to Finance is about extending credit at the most rural level, leveraging the power of lots of little loans to improve living conditions. While microfinance has been around since Mohammed Yunus founded the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh in the 1970s, the basic concept of providing low-cost, no-collateral loans to very low-income borrowers is one that has yet to reach many other parts of the world. We partner with local banks and credit unions to develop products that enable both the borrower and the lender to benefit.

Explore our work in Access to Finance
  1. Psychometric Surveys

    Making finance more inclusive

    iDE’s Sama Sama social enterprise is implementing a Ghana-specific psychometric survey to increase the pool of eligible applicants for sanitation finance.

    Read more: A role for psychometric surveys in access to finance