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Frequently Asked Questions

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  • What is Maarifa kona?
    These are community ideas spaces set up in the rural counties of Marsabit and Garissa, in Kenya. These spaces (labs) are open to the selected Maarifa kona innovators as well as the other members of the community in order to: Support innovators to develop practical solutions and new ideas to prepare for and manage drought-related challenges. Create a new learning environment and accessible approach where people feel at ease sharing their experiences and testing their ideas. Enable the community to come together, discuss viable ideas, develop the ideas and prototypes.  
  • What are the expected outcomes?
    The programme will run for a period of 10 months. It will involve four phases: Idea Generation and Selection phase, Research and Concepts phase (3 months); Development phase (4 months) and Incubation Phase (3 months).   The programme commenced with a Call for Ideas from the participation communities from which, 22 innovators (11 from each lab) were selected to participate in the three stages of the innovation process.   At the incubation phase, four innovators (two from each lab) will be selected and provided seed funding to support their market validation and eventually scale up of  their innovation for a period of three months.   All our innovation stages are community-driven with deliberate and continuous engagement with diverse community members/groups, which provides valuable feedback essential in shaping the programme outputs and outcomes.
  • Who are our partners?
    Maarifa kona is managed through the AIM Consortium comprised of Adeso (the lead), iHub and Mastercard. It is funded through UKAid and managed collaboratively by the Communicating with Disaster Affected Communities (CDAC) and Start Networks.
  • Will there be a second phase?
    The programme has been designed as a pilot and any extensions or continuity will be based on the programme outcomes and availability of funds.
  • How do you protect the ideas/concepts of the innovators?
    The ideas/concepts are generated and driven by the innovators while Maarifa kona provides the technical guidance and financial support to undertake user research and development of prototypes. The ideas/concepts/prototypes will remain the property of the innovators at all times. Additionally, at the incubation stage, the selected innovators will be facilitated to legally protect their innovations and enjoy resultant Intellectual Property (IP) rights.
  • Who can participate in Maarifa kona?
    There are different levels of participation: As an innovator developing scalable solutions to drought within the community; As a mentor providing guidance to innovators based on various innovation categories; As a partner (N.G.Os, County Government and Private Sector) providing opportunities to innovators for additional financial support and market linkage; As a community member representing potential users/customers of the innovations, and providing continuous feedback that will influence the development and practical outcome(s) of the innovation.
  • Where can I find more information about Maarifa kona?
    You can call, email or visit the labs through the following details: Marsabit Lab, inside the Catholic Mission Compound, Tel: 0705680272, Email: Garissa Lab, inside the North Eastern National Polytechnic compound, Tel: 0704828658, Email: Nairobi Office, Adeso Africa along Olenguruone Road, Kileleshwa, Tel: 0701549915, Email:   You can also follow and engage us through our social media pages: Twitter: @maarifa_kona_ Facebook: @maarifa.k.kenya
  • When will the programme end?
    The programme will come to an end in March 2019.
  • Are you accepting new ideas?
    We conducted our Call for Ideas from March to April 2018. The process is now closed and we will be focusing on developing the selected ideas into scalable innovations. . However, keep checking for any announcement on submission of new ideas.
  • What will happen to the other innovators that do not make it to the incubation phase?
    We will endeavor to support the 18 innovators in developing high-level project proposals for pitching to potential investors from the AIM network, County Governments, NGOs and other potential donors.