Trading Carbon for Water

A fantastic new video featuring iDE created social enterprise Hydrologic, which produces water filters, as a case study for carbon finance. Hydrologic is Gold Standard accredited – where carbon reduction is quantifiable and measurable:

    • Carbon reduced: 90k tCO2 per year
    • Filters sold: 46k per year

This creates a win-win solution for the environment, health, businesses wanting a low risk option to reduce their carbon footprint, and for rural communities.





It’s time to invest in women farmers!

lewisLewis Temple, Chief Executive of iDE UK has just taken part in a radio discussion panel for Voice of Russia to debate the role of women farmers in Africa in poverty alleviation and economic growth. He thinks it’s time to invest in women farmers! Why not have a listen?

listen now

To listen to the broadcast on Voice of Russia click on the picture.

Here are some of the key points Lewis made:

“The United Nations has calculated that one dollar invested in a woman farmer achieves the equivalent of eleven dollars invested in a male farmer, in terms of the benefits for nutrition and health for the children in that family. So, you can see if you want to get your bang for the buck, it makes good economic sense to invest in women farmers. The experience is that in the aid business, the aid industry, investment in women farmers has been sadly lacking. Only something in the region of 10% of agriculture investment through aid is directed towards women farmers. So something’s gone wrong there. We [iDE] are part of the global coalition called Farming First, which is strongly pushing for increased investment into women farmers.”

“At iDE we work a lot to introduce smallholder farmers into horticultural production to grow fruit and vegetables for the local market. Often that’s a kind of production system that is particularly suited to balancing the responsibilities of women with their families, with also producing produce for the market and selling. This is essential to give them a chance to increase their incomes. In our programme in Ethiopia we’ve seen an increase in income up to 300 dollars, as a result of moving to horticultural production of fruit and vegetables.”

“With the growing urban population in many African countries there’s increased demand for that kind of produce as people’s appetites become greater for fruit and vegetables. There is that market opportunity for them, and women farmers are often in the best place to be able to take advantage of that market opportunity.”

“The key message is – smallholder farmers and women in particular, are viable businesses. That to move from subsistence agriculture to growing for the market can have transformative impacts on incomes and the livelihoods of those farmers.”


USAID Administrator visits iDE’s work in Nepal

The Administrator of USAID Dr. Rajiv Shah and Deputy Administrator Denise Rollins have just been to visit iDE’s work in Nepal. Dr. Shah leads the efforts of more than 9,600 professionals in 80 USAID missions around the world. Since 2009, Dr. Shah has managed the U.S. Government’s response to the devastating 2010 earthquake in Port-au-Prince, Haiti; co-chaired the State Department’s first review of American diplomacy and development operations; and now spearheads President Barack Obama’s landmark Feed the Future food security initiative.


Why did they visit?
The main purpose the visit was to look at ‘scaling up’ agricultural projects, or reaching huge numbers of food insecure, malnourished people. Dr. Shah and Denise were very impressed by iDE Nepal’s innovative, cost-effective work using the private sector to reach scale, especially for drip irrigation. They both felt that iDE’s approach which ensures that the very poorest farmers adopt technologies like drip is a vital form of assistance, and that the extra income farmers’ receive can have a life-changing impact. For example one of the farmers that Dr Shah visited is now earning about $1,500 a year. She is able to send her children to college and has built a new house.

p8-IPM-IL-Nursery-Farmers-1-1024x678What did the USAID team see in Nepal?

  • A poor farmer using drip irrigation technology. He was impressed with the cost, profitability and positive impact of using drip irrigation.
  • Different types of tanks for water storage, including the low cost soil cement tank supported by the Gates Foundation.
  • Two women farmers using Integrated Pest Management – a pest control technique used to maximise crop production – to manage vegetable nursery.

The visit of Dr. Shah and Denise Rollins of USAID was a great success. John Stam head of the SEED office (Agriculture and Environment) who accompanied them whilst visiting the projects expressed this was the best site that Dr. Shah’s and Denise had visited. They all thanked iDE Nepal for showing them the project and said we should expect more visits!

Andrew Marr supports iDE with BBC Radio 4 Appeal

Fantastic news! Andrew Marr will be presenting the BBC Radio 4 Appeal on behalf of International Development Enterprises UK on Sunday 2 Feb 2014 at 7:55AM & 9:26PM. Andrew has had a difficult year by anyone’s estimation. The former BBC news editor suffered a severe stroke in January 2013 and a year later after a long fight back to health he is aiming to “Do less, do better.” He is certainly doing better.


After recently returning to The Andrew Marr show, we are delighted that he has chosen to record the BBC Radio 4 Appeal  – a weekly radio programme highlighting the work of a charity and appealing for donations – to support us.

His commitment and support to iDE at this time is truly inspiring.

Andrew has been a keen supporter of iDE’s work since 2007. Watch the video and find out why!

“In a world of huge charities with big big bureaucracies I like the idea of getting money to the smaller charities who do the real work on the ground” – Andrew Marr, 2014

iDE certainly does this. We support over 100,000 farming families each year in Africa and Asia by providing training and facilitating loans to buy farming equipment like irrigation pumps, seed and fertiliser. As Andrew says:


“This is basic sustainable and highly practical help. It’s the old business of providing not fish but fishing rods and tackle. That’s why I support them so strongly and I hope you will too!

Listen on Sunday 2 Feb 2014 at 7:55AM and 9:26PMListen again that week online. It is also broadcast for a final time on the following Thursday at 3:27PM.

Please help us spread the word!

Toilet Tweet on World Toilet Day

World Toilet Day, Tuesday the 19th November is here. To mark the day, we want you to think about the benefits of toilets when you visit the lav today, and tweet your thoughts to @IDE_UK


Why toilets?

This might sound weird but toilets are amazing.

They help people stay healthy by preventing the germs in human waste from contaminating water sources, which has a huge impact of diarrhoeal disease. They limit open defecation which makes living conditions intolerable. And, by providing a private place to do your ones and two’s, they help women and girls stay safe from attack.

Toilets are one of the most basic human rights, yet one in three of the world’s population don’t have one.

This year, for the first time, World Toilet Day has been recognised as an official day by the UN, which is fantastic news!

What is iDE doing?

iDE has developed a network of local entrepreneurs who have sold over one hundred thousand unsubsidised toilets to rural poor communities in Cambodia.


Our approach – known as sanitation marketing – uses the private sector as the exclusive channel for delivering latrines (as opposed to heavily subsidised or free governmental or NGO distribution).

We work with local communities and apply world-class product design to develop toilets that are attractive to both consumers and supply chain enterprises, and encourage competition to ensure low prices and high quality.

As interest increases for new ways to address the Millennium Development Goals including the woefully off target goal relating to water, sanitation and hygiene – working through the market offers an exciting solution for reaching large numbers of people, quickly and sustainably.

Spending on sanitation has huge economic benefits – for every pound invested in sanitation and water, there’s around a £4 return. Health is improved, fewer days are lost to sickness, and girls stay on at school longer.

Read more about Sanitation Marketing here.

iDE was the runner up in the 2013 Sarphati Sanitation Award – find out more.

Turning Shit into Gold


In October 2013 iDE was announced as the runner up in the inaugural Sarphati Sanitation Award during International Water Week in Amsterdam. The award recognises iDE’s dramatic impact in improving sanitation and hygiene in rural Cambodia by selling over 100,000 unsubsidised latrines to bottom of the pyramid customers through a network of local entrepreneurs.

AJP_20131105_0143Sarphatie Sanitation Award

The Mayor of Amsterdam awarded a certificate and flowers to Yi Wei from iDE Cambodia. The other two finalists, selected out of 22 outstanding candidates were ‘Mr. Toilet’ Jack Sim and SANERGY, the overall winners.

iDE was nominated for providing a remarkable sustainable business solution  for “turning shit into gold”. No, not literally…what this means that iDE have shown that it is not only possible to address sanitation and public health issues in developing countries – it is possible to make profit whilst doing so. Over the past few years interest has increased for new ways to address the Millennium Development Goals (MDG); especially the goal for sanitation which is one of the least likely to be achieved. Working through the market offers an exciting solution for reaching this goal quickly and sustainably. iDE’s innovative approach is evidence of this fact:


Watch Yi Wei’s pitch (which starts at 6:00 minutes in) to find out more about iDE’s approach:

The Sarphati Sanitation Award is a biennial international award honouring the outstanding contribution of an individual or organisation to the global sanitation and public health challenge through entrepreneurship. It is an initiative of the Municipality of Amsterdam, Aqua for All and the Netherlands Water Partnership, and is endorsed by the Dutch Government.

One of the most entertaining parts of the Awards ceremony was when the lights went out and the inspiration behind the award, Samuel Sarphati, dramatically took to the stage to explain a bit about himself and tell us why iDE was nominated. According to Wiki he died in 1866 so there was a general surprise and murmuring among the crowd and select panel which included Mrs. Uschi Eid, Vice-Chair of the United Nations Secretary General’s Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation (UNSGAB), Mr. Kulwant Singh, Regional Advisor of UN-Habitat Asia; Arno Rosemarin, Senior Research Fellow at the Stockholm Environment Institute.


Samuel Sarphati was appalled by the bad sanitary conditions in the poorer quarters of the city and understood the importance of good hygiene. His compassion for his patients led him to initiate various entrepreneurial projects to improve the quality of life in the city and the health of its inhabitants.

In 1847, Sarphati linked the public and the private sector by establishing a company that collected the human waste of the city dwellers. Faeces and urine were transformed into manure for the agricultural sector. A true entrepreneur, Dr Sarphati applied the fertiliser to crops on his estate and brought fruit and vegetables back to Amsterdam for the benefit of his patients.

The projects he initiated included also a bread factory that produced wholesome, affordable bread. Both the city and the rural areas around it benefited tremendously from this initiative. He understood that improving sanitation was key to improving the public health situation. His efforts helped to eradicate cholera from Amsterdam before the end of the 19th century.

So Mr Sarphati demonstrated a keen entrepreneurs spirit and turned shit into something useful, profitable and beneficial.

In many parts of the world hygiene is as bad today as it was in 18th Century Amsterdam. In fact it could be said to be worse: according to the UN 2.5 Billion of the world’s population do not have access to adequate sanitation. At iDE we believe that part of the solution is to start seeing these 2.5 billion people not as victims but as customers or 2.5 billion opportunities.

Press/ Media

iDE presents innovation in linking agriculture and nutrition from Bangladesh at the World Bank

Richard and Conor from iDE Bangladesh are off to the World Bank in Washington DC on Friday to talk about our Agriculture & Nutrition Extension Project, funded by the EU. The project is pioneering new ways of working through the market to link increased agricultural production to improve nutrition, for example in fish and vegetable markets. It is helping 16,000 vulnerable households in Bangladesh. 

ANEPDate: Friday November 8th

Time: 12:30pm – 2:00 pm

Venue: World Bank Building, Washington Room I2-250

In Bangladesh low income families often suffer from poor access to healthy foods and low ability to make good nutritional choices. iDE UK’s Agriculture and Nutrition Extension Project (ANEP) has been supporting vulnerable families to make healthy food choices in the south of Bangladesh and the Nepal plains since January 2012. It aims to sustainably raise agricultural productivity, promote effective market linkages and nutritional awareness to improve the nutritional behaviour of poor rural and urban households. The project is targeting 16,000 vulnerable households (HHs), such as those with pregnant-lactating mothers, adolescent girls and children up to 5 years of age, directly and some 43,000 HHs indirectly through value-chains.

Highlights so far:



Richard Rose leads the Technology Portfolio for International Development Enterprises (iDE) in Bangladesh. He is responsible for agricultural technology commercialisation initiatives including the EU-funded Agriculture and Nutrition Extension Project (ANEP) and the USAID-funded Cereal Systems Initiative South Asia – Mechanization and Irrigation (CSISA-MI) program.


Conor Riggs leads the iDEsign product innovation team, and is the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Portfolio lead for International Development Enterprises (iDE) in Bangladesh.

To read the full article – please click here.