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The Resilience+ Innovation Facility (RIF) at the University of California, Davis is seeking recommendations for potential institutional partners and/or innovative financial products to refine and deploy at scale the Resilience+ Model.

The Resilience+ Innovation Facility

UC Davis has established the Resilience+ Innovation Facility to spark inclusive agricultural transformation among small-scale farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia with a five-year grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The Facility will develop and implement integrated approaches that support farmers in becoming more resilient to climate-related shocks like extreme drought, which can also unlock their ability to transform their livelihoods through agriculture. The RIF will invest in multiple cohorts of research projects that can be taken to scale with private sector partners. This approach will enable the Facility to examine scaling pathways, provide space for innovation, rigorously test new tools and approaches, identify exemplars in the field and drive systemic change that effectively and sustainably creates Resilience+ at scale.

Resilience+ Model

Research over the last decade demonstrates that technologies and interventions that allow small-scale farm families to become resilient (manage adverse climatic and other events with minimal compromise of their current and future well-being) create a second benefit: resilient farm families prudentially invest more in new technologies and opportunities, and improve their future well-being over what it otherwise would have been in the absence of the improved risk management technologies.

We call these two-pronged benefits of improved risk management techniques Resilience+.  While we have learned about these tools and demonstrated their efficacy in the field, we have also learned their limitations. Resilience+ remains a work in progress and we need to learn how to improve these tools, flexibly combine them, and delivery them cost-effectively at scale.

Flexible Financial Tools

Our strategy for securing an inclusive agricultural transformation in an era of climate change rests on an understanding of the synergies between these different risk management technologies. All are different ways of moving money through time to a present moment of stress and need. Savings and stress tolerant seeds move money from the past to the present; Contingent credit lines move money from the future to the present; and, Index Insurance moves money from the past and the future to the present.  While this common characteristic would seem to make these instruments substitutes for each other, a more careful consideration reveals that they can complement each other, and when joined together, they promise to create a resilient SHF sector. It is now time to pull together those learnings, and create a critical mass of research on how to unify and scale the important findings that have emerged over the last 5-10 years of research on small farm resilience and transformation.

Opportunity Characteristics

The RIF is seeking opportunities that may be an appropriate fit for the goals and objectives. We’re seeking opportunities that have all or most of the following characteristics:

  • Institutional interest in exploring development of products for smallholder farmers
  • Contexts where farmers have significant exposure to risks and underutilized productive opportunities
  • Potential for including women
  • Contributions to evidence gaps in Resilience+
  • Potential for sustainability, scaling and replication

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