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Piloting IBLI in Marsabit: Building Delivery Infrastructure and Fuelling Knowledge based Adoption

About the Project
Project start date: 
Oct 2009
2 years
País de operaciones: 
Agriculture and livestock - index livestock
Project Thematic Focus: 
Product design

Project Basics

The International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) seeks to reduce poverty and promote sustainable development for poor livestock keepers and their communities. One tool for managing the vulnerability of pastoralist households and the impacts of drought risks due to climate change is Index Based Insurance Products. ILRI, along with its partners, Cornell University, the BASIS Research Program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Syracuse University, have developed a research program that produces market-mediated index-based insurance products targeted at livestock keepers, particularly those in arid and semi-arid lands (ASALs). 

The two-year project, which began in December 2009, seeks to support three specific activities of the Index Based Livestock Insurance (IBLI) product and processes: marketing and communication, training and extension, and insurance operations and delivery channels. The IBLI product was first launched in January 2010.  Currently, the project is under pilot to test both the commercial viability of the product as well as the welfare impact on the target population. The project is designed to protect households from the economic shocks of livestock mortality due to drought. The product provides compensation in the event of drought-related livestock losses. IBLI does not cover livestock mortality due to non-drought related causes such as predators and disease.

ILRI’s commercial partners are Equity Insurance Agency, UAP Insurance Company and Swiss Re.  If successful, the IBLI project has the potential to be replicated throughout similar districts in Kenya, the greater horn of Africa and the Sahel and ASALs regions of southern Africa and south Asia.

The target population of the pilot project is the pastoralist population in the larger Marsabit district of Northern Kenya. In recent years the droughts in Kenya’s ASALs have become increasingly severe with devastating effects on the local population of over 30,000 households with an average total herd of 120,000 cattle, 1 million sheep and goats, and 76,000 camels. 

ILRI is also carrying out a research study on the determinants of insurance, as well as the impact of insurance on household’s economic decisions and welfare indicators. The evaluation is based on the randomized control trial concept and is conducted through a baseline survey of 900 households, which will be repeated annually for 3 years. 

Date of last Learning Journey update: February 2012