Ethiopia: International Livestock Research Institute

Overall Goal

With the goal of improving the resilience of pastoralists to drought-related losses, this Ethiopia based team will mainly be exploring sales models and strategies for adapting the Index Based Livestock Insurance (IBLI) by using the lessons learned by the 2018 Kenya SMART team.

Company/Business and Location

The Index Based Livestock Insurance (IBLI) project is led by a team of researchers within the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) headquartered in Nairobi with offices in Addis, Ethiopia.  ILRI is a member of the Consortium of Global International Agriculture Research centers (CGIAR) and collaborates with Cornell’s Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management for the research aspect of this project.

Company Profile

The Index Based Livestock Insurance (IBLI) project relies on low cost, accessible and reliable data of pasture availability through satellite imagery of the earth’s surface, to evaluate the state of the pasture and apply it to the design of an insurance product. First launched as a pilot in the Kenyan county of Marsabit in 2010, and in Ethiopia in 2012, IBLI has been delivered in the market by private insurance companies. IBLI has been brought to scale across Northern Kenya and in Southern Ethiopia, with further expansion into the Somali Afar regions in Ethiopia.

Proposed Team Tasks

Drawing from experiences in Kenya, the SMART objective will be to carry out a similar study, but in the Borena region, to evaluate the effectiveness of the current agency structure while also identifying potential models that could complement existing ones.  The SMART team will hence be tasked to:

  1. Evaluate the current sales and distribution model in the Borena region;
  2. Identify alternative sales awareness and distribution models, which could be applicable to both Borena and other IBLI sales regions; and
  3. Assess the status and feasibility of expansion of a data-based system and how it could be used to advance pertinent recommendations from the SMART 2018 report.

Skill Requirements

Priority skills for SMART team members include:

  • Research, analytical, and writing skills (e.g. publishable case study);
  • Experience in conducting market research and the ability to customize methods based on context;
  • Some data analysis skills a plus;
  • Enthusiastic and willing to spend a significant amount of time in the field; and
  • Knowledge of emerging markets, and/or the pastoral economy, would be an advantage.

Suggested Timeline

Tentative dates are January 6-20, 2019

Team Leader

Joanna Upton, Research Associate—Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management

Additional Information


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