The Ashesi Design Lab, on Saturday the 13th of January 2018, met up with partners from the MIT Design Lab to begin working on their collaborative project. They met at Kpone landfill to begin field research. Find below the project brief:

Graduate and undergraduate students currently enrolled in MIT D-Lab’s fall class on Gender and Development: Accelerating Women’s Economic Prosperity will partner with students from the Ashesi D:Lab Fellows Program at Ashesi University in Accra, to research mechanisms used to support financial inclusion in low-income countries.  Although many of these models have emerged out of remote, low-income regions, students will consider whether or not it is possible to adapt these tools and strategies for use in low-income, urban settings.  During this component of the program, we will interview waste pickers engaged in the overall waste and recycling program currently being implemented in Accra and Tema called PickIt!.  These efforts will allow the team to gain a firm understanding of the informal recycler’s current earnings, as well as methods they have employed to manage their money.

Students from both universities will then create a graphic presentation designed for a low-literacy population that puts forward financial inclusion mechanisms now being used to provide banking products to people living in extreme poverty all over the world.  This presentation, which will pictorially outline examples of financial products, will be presented to the Accra waste pickers at the Waste Picker Financial Inclusion Workshop in January 2018 and at an MIT D-Lab Financial Inclusion Innovations for the Informal Sector Conference in Boston in April, 2018.

In all, there are 5 students from the Ashesi Design lab team and 5 participants from the MIT design lab team. Watch out for more updates on this exciting new project.




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