Dóchas Innovation Award 2018

Dóchas Awards 2018 logo

This award celebrates organisations that are taking new, creative, forward-thinking approaches in their work to address the increasingly complex and challenging environment in which we work. It recognises new thinking and approaches, risk-taking and alternative ways of working to address injustice and inequality relevant to today’s global context. 



WINNER 2018: TruTrade, Self Help Africa

Photo of women taking part in TruTrade initiative

TruTrade farmers Dorcas T Mwatha (L) and Munani Kitweka, Kamusiliu village, Kenya. Credit: Jess Brice/Self Help Africa (June 2018)

Self Help Africa’s subsidiary TruTrade is a social enterprise that provides smallholder farmers in Kenya and Uganda with a reliable route to market, and fair prices for their produce.

The evolving development of the TruTrade all-digital platform represents a new way of doing business in rural Africa, and is:

  • Transforming the way smallholder farmers access markets. Bringing transparency and transaction security to informal agricultural value chains

  • Making trading safer, especially for women, by eliminating cash and associated security risks

  • Increasing farmer incomes by 20% on average, and sharing profit equally between farmers and TruTrade

TruTrade’s digital system also provides farmers with an earnings and trading record. This record is opening up access to finance in a way that was not possible under a cash-based system.

TruTrade also provides sourcing companies in Africa and European export markets with visibility right through the supply chain, identifying what farmers sold and were paid, and also communicates with farmers in bulk via SMS.

Using digital technology, TruTrade is unlocking opportunities - particularly for women - increasing incomes and fundamentally changing the way smallholder farmers do business in rural Africa.

Find out more.

Read about TruTrade in The Irish Times: TruTrade cashless platform helps African farmers grow businesses (November 2017).

Women’s Rights Programme, ActionAid Ireland

Photo of women taking part in ActionAid programme

ActionAid work with local women’s groups to strengthen their knowledge and skills to claim their rights. This group in Mombasa are learning about their citizens’ rights, public budget transparency and public expenditure tracking to hold their government accountable, Mombasa, Kenya. Credit: Marie Torp Christensen/ActionAid (2017)

ActionAid Ireland works to change the lives of women and children for good. Our strategy (2017-21) ‘Realising Rights for Women and Children’ puts women and children at the heart of our work. ActionAid Ireland fund programmes in Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda, Cambodia, Vietnam and Nepal.

Our Women’s Rights Programme (WRP), funded by Irish Aid, is being implemented in Ethiopia, Kenya and Nepal with a public engagement component in Ireland, and has been running since January 2017. We have adopted a new Behaviour Change (BC) approach to tackle the root causes of gender based violence (GBV) after an evaluation of the previous WRP programme highlighted that we could do more to understand our contexts and tackle the root causes of GBV in a deeper way.

We are currently doing this by analysing human behaviour and determining how this needs to change. The BC approach has enabled us to better understand the capabilities, opportunities and motivations that are driving behaviour that keep women in poverty and facing violence by doing a deeper analysis and designing specific interventions that help to shift behaviours in the direction we want: to create safer communities for women and girls and more economic opportunities for women.

We partner with University College London’s Centre for Behaviour Change to avail of their training and expertise in understanding and implementing the BC methodology, as they developed the Behaviour Change Wheel after analysis of several BC frameworks which led them to design this holistic approach.

The WRP is in its initial stages but has already started to show positive initial results; such as a group of men in Garissa, Kenya, being led through an analysis of their own contributions to underdevelopment of their community by not allowing girls to have access to education. The same community in Garissa is now seeking funding to construct a secondary school for all children in their community and have already gained access to a piece of land on which to build.

Find out more.

Listen to RTÉ Drivetime interview about this innovation - 13 minutes in (October 2018)

Project Honduras, Trócaire

Photo re Project Honduras

Javier Bermúdez, a young activist from Hunduras working on reducing the risk posed to his community by flooding, caused by deforestation and increased rainfall. Credit: Clare McEvoy, Trócaire (2016)

‘Project Honduras’ is an award-winning strategy game where the primary goal is to show how important it is for communities to work together to combat climate change. This game is based on our experience in Honduras, working with communities who are under threat from the worst effects of climate change; flooding, drought, and intense storms.

Young people can play as Javier or Andrea, two characters based on real young climate activists from Honduras. The main goal is to effectively allocate your volunteers to tasks that help communities in disaster preparation, and move through the three levels, achieving the highest level of preparation possible, to reduce the risk of disaster.

Human Centred Design principles were applied to the development of the game, including extensive testing with Irish students at Primary and Post primary level. This game is informed by research we have conducted with Paul Keating from Limerick Institute of Technology (LIT). Among some of the insights from this research were; games are an excellent awareness-raising tool; games help us develop understanding and empathy; games connect us to one another.

The game is aimed at teachers to use in their classrooms, and will benefit both the teachers and students by providing a high quality digital Development Education resource that helps them to explore climate justice in a way that is active and creative, making the best use of modern technology.

A toolkit for use in the classroom with the game will be developed in time for the launch that fuse this digital experience with real-world intervention, incorporating methods to measure the impact the game has on students' levels of empathy and understanding. We will also measure the impact on the confidence of educators to explore issues in class using digital Development Education resources.





Dóchas is grateful for the support of our Partners for the Dóchas Awards 2018:


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