Rangeland Solutions: Summer Wrap-up

Greetings from Nairobi! As you may recall from my previous post, I moved out here to oversee operations for Rangeland Solutions and our upcoming expansion this fall.

But it seems like this summer has come and gone. It really is amazing how fast the time can go when you are having fun. Rangeland Solutions has accomplished a lot over these short few months. On the fundraising front, we have submitted grant applications, gone on a fundraising tour and networked with a lot of great people. We have even launched an Indiegogo campaign (Check it out!). During this process, I have learned that to raise money for your start-up you have to constantly be hustling, as you never know where a potential lead may appear.

In field operations, we have completed collecting baseline data for our Monitoring and Evaluation Program. Our field researcher, Thomas Turere, has conducted over 70 interviews, covering all of households in Olekimunke, where our pilot project was established. This baseline information will act as a yardstick from which we can measure and assess the social, economic and environmental impacts of our work. Moving forward we will use this information to inform our decision-making and planning but also to ensure that we are meeting the needs of our program members, the pastoralists. This is even more important in today’s data-driven world, where donors and supports want to see quantifiable results.

Also during this summer, Rangeland Solutions has engaged with a number of organizations interested in collaborating on issues from soil carbon monitoring to livestock marketing. Though these are preliminary discussions, it is encouraging to see other organizations drawn to our mission and model. But as we have begun to gain more traction in the market place, I have come to see the importance of having a long-term strategic vision and plan for the organization from a financial, operational and staff perspective. Developing such a strategy would enable us to chart a clear path forward and help us to evaluate whether a potential opportunity is in line with our goals or may act to sidetrack our operations and divert precious resources. The question comes down to how can we grow our operations quickly, intelligently and most important sustainably.

We would like to thank Duke SIP for the opportunity to continue working on and developing Rangeland Solutions. With your support we have been able to gain significant experience and insight, which has been crucial during these beginning stages.

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