i2i increases the long-term prosperity of rural communities by empowering individuals and communities to access markets in a manner that maximises local business ownership and decent work opportunities as well as facilitates fair commercial partnerships and access to capital investment that will enable scalable economic impact for all market participants.
We do this by providing facilitation services aimed at making markets work for rural communities. This is achieved through a three-phased process as outlined hereunder:
Strategic Design is aimed at understanding the dynamics that operate within the community and broader region that prevent a successfully operating market system. The i2i approach draws on the recognition that people who live their Indigenous culture and beliefs are more effective in engaging and capacity developing Indigenous people from developing countries. To that end, i2i places significant emphasis on community engagement and obtaining a clear understanding of the constraints people face.
Facilitate Change Process centers around capacity development of people in the community. This is achieved through the establishment of project teams and close interaction with the key market stakeholders. This phase aims to align strategy and improve the environment for conducting business. This includes areas such as the adoption of new business models that incentivise farmers, improving quality production, partnering with financial institutions and the market, and sourcing investment in new technologies that enables community people to get deeper into value chains.
Scale for Impact extends the networks to introduce strategies that will enable business models to replicate and grow. These strategies aim to significantly increase local incomes, provide far greater access to services for rural communities and enable a thriving private sector to develop through greater local entrepreneurship.
Examples of specific strategies i2i have recently implemented include:
The facilitation process brings to the forefront several key cross-cutting issues that i2i address through the design process. An example of these include:
i2i is currently contracted to Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to deliver a private sector development agribusiness project in Papua New Guinea. Essentially the project seeks to facilitate a fundamental change in the way cocoa farming is currently managed. Earlier scoping demonstrated a clear commitment from the Government of PNG, the PNG Cocoa Board and farmers to a more corporatised structure within the industry. This necessitates a shift in farmers mindset from treating their land as a low priority cash when required resource to developing farm plans and working their business to meet its full potential.
The PNG farmers have expressed a strong desire to go down this path as they can envisage brighter prospects for themselves and future generations. The current member based cooperative society structure will continue to struggle to achieve an improvement in cocoa production and wealth for farmers. All stakeholders, from Government to industry agree that a more business-like approach is required if they are to benefit from penetrating deeper into the supply chain. This project is a new concept that facilitates an innovative approach for farmers to think and act like business shareholders.
i2i brings an Indigenous perspective to delivering long-term community impact from projects. A well performing business that produces profits that generate positive community impact will not only prosper, it will be an enabler of private sector development, leading to economic growth and an enhancement of community well-being and prosperity.
i2i Development is driven to produce an ‘outcome’, ‘results’ or an ‘impact’. Our Indigenous consultants want to see ‘change’ as a result of our interventions and activities, such as measurable improvements in commercial farming, income growth for women, quality governance, penetration into a supply chain and improved understanding of business practices.
A commonly-used definition of impact within the development sector is provided by the OECD/DAC. This describes impact as:
The positive and negative, primary and secondary, long-term effects produced by a development intervention, directly or indirectly, intended or unintended.
Such impact is best delivered by Indigenous peoples themselves. During the Seventh World Indigenous Business Forum (WIBF), held in Canada in 2016, an event that i2i staff contribute to annually, Indigenous peoples from around the world rallied to write a description that would accurately reflect Indigenous development and what they do to achieve it. The following is the new definition found in Wikipedia because of that resolution made at the forum:
"Indigenous development is the organized effort by Indigenous Peoples to honor, enhance, and restore their wellbeing while retaining a distinctiveness that is consistent with their ancestral values, aspirations, ways of working, and priorities on behalf of all Future Generations. Their efforts also strive to share a holistic model of livelihood that respects the Creator, the Earth and promotes sustainability now and for the generations to come".
i2i subscribes to this definition. In doing so, i2i elevates the voice of local people by providing an enabling environment for people to prosper in accordance with their own dreams.