An Innovative Approach

Solidaridad's ambition is not to work directly with millions of farmers and miners or thousands of factories. Instead, through our partnerships, we aim to provide proofs of concept to producers, producer country governments, companies and major development programmes. We will consider our approaches to be successful when we see these concepts being copied and scaled up.

The five innovation areas for Solidaridad are described in more detail below: Climate Change, Digital Solutions, Gender & Inclusivity, Impact Investment and Sustainable Landscapes Management

1. Climate Change 

"Our climate is changing at a rapid pace; this is inevitable. However the effects of climate change on smallholder producers, value chains, and the landscapes they source from, are not. Solidaridad is well positioned within value chains. We can prove that innovative climate solutions help producers at different scales to adapt to the changing climate and to become more resilient. By being an actor of change we can reduce or sequester GHG emissions and mitigate the effects of climate change globally" - Nadine Planzer, Climate Innovation Manager 


Services:

  • Measuring climate mitigation and adaptation performance via digital solutions.
  • Designing on-farm climate packages to include:
    • agroforestry;
    • soil regenerative practices ;
    • improved water management;
    • silvopasture;
    • and restoration of degraded pasture lands. 

2. Digital Solutions

"Advances in digital technology provide rural communities with an unprecedented opportunity to overcome isolation, improve communication, bridge knowledge gaps and adapt." - Pieter Sijbrandij, Digital Solutions Manager.

 

 

Solidaridad is using information and telecommunication technologies to bring the speed and scale that systemic change demands. Solidaridad developed a digital platform that enables cost-effective scaling up of technical assistance and business intelligence, as an innovative way to include producers in sustainable agriculture for the generations to come.

At producer level, Solidaridads digital solutions support farmers to continuously improve by providing access to information on best agricultural practices, in a friendly audio-visual format and right when they need it. The use of digital solutions in agriculture also enables cooperatives, sourcing companies and other agricultural organizations to align objectives and support activities based on reliable data and conduct activities in synergy, pooling resources and insights.

To learn more, visit Farming Solution, a mobile application that fosters farmers’ autonomy to identify, plan improvements and monitor progress on their farms over time.

Services:

  • Access to information for continuous improvement

  • Cost-effective technical assistance model

  • Business intelligence for data-driven decision making

3. Gender & Inclusivity

"Solidaridad’s understanding of inclusive development takes into account the needs, potential, participation and contribution of men and women equally. At present, most of the sectors in which we work, women are not part of the formal economy and do not equally benefit from it, or are even negatively affected by it." - Njeri Kimotho, Diversity & Inclusivity Specialist


Solidaridad’s current programming is based on its “3-tier business case” of gender inclusivity:

  • Increased quantity of impact by tapping into the unused economic potential of women;
  • Increased quality of impact by increasing (gender) diversity in the formal economies and society;
  • Increased sustainability of impact by empowering women in their social influence on the education of children and redistribution of wealth in communities.

Current barriers to the equal participation of men and women in economies and landscapes need to be addressed. Solidaridad designs and organizes projects from the perspective of gender equity. Sensitization and training of Solidaridad staff and partners is part of this approach, as is specific attention for capacity building and social and economic empowerment of women. To create an enabling environment for gender inclusivity, Solidaridad’s lobbying and advocacy activities will include gender-specific interests. Strategic partnerships, adequate funding and a smart use of technology will support this process.

Services:

  • Generate gender-sensitive programming and impact measurement;
  • Develop best practices for economic independence, equal access to education, full participation in society and free choice of profession for women working in agriculture and mining.

4. Impact investment

"To make sustainable practices more attractive for markets and financial institutions, we are developing clear business cases and investment opportunities for investors who seek more benefits than financial return only. Our donors are encouraged by the fact that their funds help to leverage additional commercial finance." - Frederik Claasen, Impact Investment Specialist


At the producer level, Solidaridad supports farmers on improving their business case and attracting impact-driven private sector investments. To be successful, farmers need to be able to rely on a robust rural infrastructure of agricultural companies and cooperatives delivering services and products they need. Solidaridad supports the development of such an infrastructure by mitigating the business risks for these companies and cooperatives using (local) private sector investments.

At the landscape level, Solidaridad supports farmers and consortia of companies to develop a bankable business case for landscape-level interventions like carbon reduction, water management and decreased deforestation.

At the country level, Solidaridad advocates for responsible finance practices among leading public and private investors, providing that investments be guided by social and environmental checks, balances and safeguards.

Services:

  • Linking investors to programmes;
  • Developing business cases and investable proposals.

Afbeeldingsresultaat voor ANDE logo

Solidaridad is a member of the Aspen Network of Development Entrepeneurs (ANDE)

 

 

5. Sustainable Landscapes Management

"The ecological potential in rural areas is often not well unlocked. Farmers can be central protagonists in bridging their daily farming practices with the management of natural resources in their surrounding landscapes. Multiple innovations in the area of soils, water, natural habitat come together, making a relevant agenda beyond the level of the direct supply chain. Solidaridad brings essential stakeholders together to ensure that landscapes are used in a way that improves biodiversity, as well as taking into account the environment, and the social and economic interests of the farmers working on the land. This requires investments in research, training, promotion, monitoring, and active support from local and regional authorities."

Jeroen Douglas - Sustainable Landscapes Manager


Services:

  • Organizing convening processes which enable different stakeholders to contribute and bridge the polarization between the green agenda and the agricultural agenda;
  • Generating good practices for good governance;
  • Developing marketing concepts for sustainable “origin” labelling.

 

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