University of California Davis, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Area of Work:
Resilience is the ability to manage adverse climatic and other events with minimal compromise of current and future well-being. Research shows that financial and other Interventions that enable small holder farmers (SHFs) to become resilient and better manage adverse events create a second benefit. Resilient SHFs invest more in new technologies and opportunities and improve their future well-being over what it otherwise would have been in the absence of the improved risk tools. We call this two-pronged benefit of risk management techniques Resilience+. In other words, resilience-building technologies can help underwrite an inclusive agricultural transformation.
These risk management solutions – indexed insurance, commitment savings, contingent credit, stress tolerant seeds – have been field tested on a small to medium scale. Most of these technologies are traditionally offered (if at all) by different market actors. Bundling these tools together into a flexible package offered by a single service provider will allow farmers to exploit complementarities between the tools (both in terms of the risks covered and customer prerequisites necessary for their use). Such bundling will also allow them to intensify investment and utilize transformational economic opportunities.
The Resilience+ Innovation Facility (RIF) is a new facility designed by the University of California, Davis Feed the Future Innovation Lab, implemented in partnership with BFA Global, with a focus on deploying and scaling proven risk management tools that build the resilience of smallholder farmers — i.e. stress tolerant seeds, insurance, credit, and commitment savings accounts. Funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Facility is designed to build the business cases for a wide range of bundled risk management solutions deployed through delivery channels and financial institutions, as well as a critical mass of research and data to support the emerging sector.
The Facility will be rolled out in multiple phases over a 5-year period.
The RIF will embed each implementation of the Resilience+ Model in a research design (RCTs) that will yield evidence on the business case for the model as well as on the efficacy of the model in creating farmer resilience, fully including women and fomenting an inclusive agricultural transformation. At the completion of its 5-year term, the RIF will have completed and evaluated at least two Resilience+ interventions, with plans to leverage other donor funds for at least another two interventions during that period. At that point in time, the RIF will share its findings with a broad array of stakeholders and take stock of what it has learned. If warranted by the evidence, the RIF will work with BMGF and other donors and agencies to launch a Resilience+ Fund that will replicate the Resilience+ Model. If the evidence indicates the need for further refinement of the model, then the RIF will propose a second phase to refine the model and ready it for the eventual launch of the Resilience+ Fund.