My work.

This summer, I am working with an early adopter firm in Iganga, Iganga District, Uganda. Sukura is owned and managed by a lovely, energetic man named Godfrey Butoto. As an early adopter firm, Sukura is adopting the village agent model through the assistance of the LEAD project (Livelihoods and Enterprises for Agricultural Development). The village agent model looks at bringing inputs closer to the farm-gate through the use of agents. Agents are farmers selected by the community and serve as the link between farmers and stockists. I am working with this firm to see how to assess agent performance, how to remunerate agents in a standardized and transparent way and more generally at how the agent network can be effectively managed. It is fascinating to dive into this system and work to understand perspectives of the firm, agents and farmers. Currently, I have been working with the business to better understand the model from an organisational and implementation side. In the coming weeks, I will be working more closely with agents and farmers to better understand other key limitations and leverage points.
Written on June 7, 2012

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3 Comments

Filed under Mind

3 responses to “My work.

  1. Sounds fascinating! I’ll be interested to learn more about how you measure and evaluate ‘performance’. What are some of the indicators that could be used? Which provide the most useful information?

    Your posts have been wonderful, Emily – you inspire big thoughts 🙂

    You sound like you’re happy!

    Sending love across the globe,

    Kevin

    • Hi Kevin!
      Thanks for your wonderful words! Currently the business is monitoring performance based on amount of sales (in $). Some other interesting metrics that I am interested in exploring are client satisfaction (customer service), business-agent interaction, product knowledge (evaluates dissemination of information and ability to market different products) and # of farmers reached (important is focus is to increase access). Number metrics are the easiest to measure and getting more general feedback including client feedback etc. can definitely be more time consuming and resource intensive in order to get an accurate representation. However, I think that it is very important to encourage 360 degree feedback loops and to keep communication lines constantly open in order to perpetuate a mentality of continual improvement at all levels. Thoughts? Ideas?
      Much love,
      Emily

  2. Very cool, and all very interesting. I was talking with a friend the other day about the idea of qualitative/quantitative research and assessment, and the idea of ‘number metrics’ being easier came up during the chat. For example, it’s tough when those discrete assessments don’t exist, and it comes down to the company and the agent each having their own qualitative standard of ‘quality’. Of course, these definitions often vary, making an achievement of ‘quality’ difficult to assess objectively.

    I like how you mention the communication loop. Having people give us an outside perspective on how we view ourselves and our actions can be one of the most powerful driving forces in how we grow or change.

    Hope you celebrated Canada Day in style! Would love to see some pictures with your smiling face. Sending big love from across the miles!

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