Below is a list of SIRLab’s current projects. It is important to note that, in the spirit of mutual trust and confidentiality, the partnering development organizations have been disassociated from their respective project and the projects are presented randomly. Projects attributed to a particular partner have been attributed at their request.
- TANZANIA: The country’s largest government welfare program is seeking to train the country’s poorest citizens how to grown and improve their small-scale business. The challenge this organization is facing is that many of their program recipients struggle to see change and adaptation as something that is even possible. Grounded within Dweck’s mindset theory, the proposed intervention involves designing an additional training module to transition individuals from a ‘fixed mindset’ to a ‘growth mindset’.
- TANZANIA: A major international nongovernmental organization has an objective to increase the use of family planning throughout Tanzania. The challenge they are facing is how to effectively compensate their inter-personal communications (IPC) agents with such limited resources. Grounded within identity and diversification theories, the proposed intervention compares tied-selling approaches involving related vs. unrelated products as a means of effectively managing a ‘business’ and ‘volunteer’ hybrid identity.
- TANZANIA: CARE is seeking to transition members of its Village Savings and Loan Associations (VSLAs) from storing their money in lock boxes to using bank accounts. The challenge they are facing is how to overcome psychological barriers associated with switching from informal to formal institutions. Grounded within Hofstede’s work, the intervention seeks to trigger a more long-term as opposed to short-term orientation to savings activities.
- TANZANIA: The Micro Health Initiative (MHI) is introducing the concept of micro health insurance to residents of Northern Tanzania. One of the main challenges this young organization faces is determining which distribution channel would be most efficient for introducing such a novel product. Grounded within transaction cost economics, the intervention seeks to compare more direct vs. indirect approaches to client acquisition and retention.
- GHANA: The organization is seeking to develop new income generating opportunities for rural women to collectively produce soap, shea nuts, and other products. The challenge they are facing is the need to balance efficiency with a desire for high levels of involvement on the part of all members. Grounded within Ostrom’s theory of collective action, the intervention involves pilot testing two different approaches to the structuring of the organization’s activities: (1) a hierarchical executive approach, and (2) a flat committee approach.
- GHANA: CCA and its implementation partner, SEND Ghana, are seeking to form inter-tribal producer cooperatives as a means of generating economic development. The challenge they are facing is the need to better mitigate conflict amongst the cooperative members. Grounded within regulatory focus theory, the intervention involves creating two different types of peace pledges taken by each member: (1) a promotion focused pledge, and (2) a prevention focused pledge.
- GHANA: The organization is seeking to distribute a new nutritional product to rural communities using existing sales ladies. The challenge they are facing is that the sale ladies ‘entrepreneur-switch’ appears to turn ‘off’ when selling the organization’s products as opposed to selling the other products in their basket of goods. Grounded within intermediation theory, the intervention compares ‘high’ vs. ‘low’ levels of intermediation in the initial marketing and distribution activities.
- ETHIOPIA: The organization is seeking to trigger new ‘spin-off’ entrepreneurial ventures in rural communities from the primary entrepreneurial activity instituted by the organization. The challenge they are facing is that individuals are unable to see themselves as capable of pursuing these additional opportunities, despite recognizing their existence. Grounded within social identity theory, the intervention compares the existing training with a new ‘identity training’ to explore differences in levels of entrepreneurial self-efficacy.