Call for Fingo members: Carry out a community-driven experiment

Fingo Powerbank launches a new round of experiments for its member organizations and their partners in the Eastern African countries. The goal is to implement ten experiments next year.

Text by: Mika Niskanen Image by: Africa Reframed

New solutions should be designed together with people who will eventually use them. This principle is the foundation for the third round of Fingo Powerbank’s NGO Experiments.

The aim is that NGOs conduct ten experiments in Eastern African countries next year. Each experiment will receive around 5 000–10 000 euros from Fingo Powerbank. A total of approximately 70 000 euros will be spent on the experiments.

Applications can be sent only by Fingo’s member organizations. Instead of the traditional funding model, Fingo Powerbank outsources the implementation of the experiments to its member organizations. The expected outcome is sharing lessons learned with other organizations.

The process will start with an Information and Q&A Session on Monday, 25th of October (sign up with this form). The experiments will begin early next year.

The focus is on community-driven innovations. The organizations and their partners will design the experiments together with local communities.

“NGOs’ development projects often engage communities. However, novel solutions are not always designed together with them – rather, the solutions are decided in advance and then introduced to the communities,” says Terry Githinji, Fingo Powerbank’s expert of partnerships and innovation.

Githinji estimates that the issue is caused by tight schedules, donor requirements and the pressure to describe projects in detail in funding applications. This all leaves little room for experimentation.

“Here, the situation is different. We aim to remove barriers and instead provide as much flexibility and support as possible for organizations and their partners. Learning and sharing lessons learned is at the heart of the experiments.”

Interested NGOs will receive training and support while developing and implementing the concepts. The organizations receive support from Fingo Powerbank but also from a social design agency Butterfly Works, which has previously worked with UNICEF and the EU among others. There are also many upcoming trainings that are open to all interested actors.

Experiments can be carried out in this round: in Ethiopia, Eritrea, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Zambia, Somalia, Somalia, Tanzania and Uganda. Fingo Powerbank recommends placing the community-driven experimentations within already existing projects.

Fingo Powerbank has previously conducted two rounds of NGO Experiments – the latter still ongoing. The NGO Experiments -concept has also been selected among the top ten nominees for Collaborative Innovation Award in Partos Innovation Festival 2021.

Are you interested in participating? Sign up for the Info and Q&A Session on Monday 25 October from 1 pm to 2 pm:

Preliminary schedule:

October: Launch

November: Trainings

November and December: Concept design

December: Selection of concepts

January 2022: Refresher trainings

January 2022 onwards: Implementation

By October 2022: Sharing the documentation and presentations