Business Action Learning for Innovation (BALI), IFAD

Rural Women’s Economic Empowerment Programme
(RWEE) in Kyrgyzstan funded by IFAD, FAO, UNWomen and WFP focuses on strengthening women’s groups and associations and also works at individual level.

‘Bali-bali’ in Kyrgyz means ‘good job’.

Business Action Learning for Inclusion (BALI) methodology methodology funded by IFAD, was developed by Linda Mayoux and piloted 2019-2020 by Asel Kuttubaeva and community champions participating. It aims to:

  • Promote women’s business innovation and diversification of their opportunities within local economies. It aims particularly to help women diversify out of a narrow range of ‘female’ activities and products.
  • Enable women and low income men from all backgrounds to develop and implement realisable business and marketing plans based on their specific opportunities and challenges
  • Enable individuals, groups and projects to monitor progress towards these visions.

IFAD Toolkit 2019

The BALI methodology adapts established PALS-based livelihoods and financial strengthening tools for business innovation by women’s groups and associations. They can also be used by individuals and households. It is a follow-on methodology for community champions who are already familiar with the PALS and/or GALS methodologies. The Toolkit assumes that the facilitators are experienced in PALS facilitation principles and able to adapt in an empowering way to specific contexts with differing economic activities and numbers and backgrounds of participants.

Tool 1 Business Innovation Vision is a participatory exercise based on soul-mate visioning to brainstorm different types of innovative economic activities and/or products and prioritise viable and profitable innovations that could be looked at further.

Tool 2 Business Innovation Challenge Action Tree is a participatory exercise sharing experiences and ideas on production, marketing and human resource challenges in the different innovations and solutions and actions to address them.

Tool 3 Happy Business Tree is an individual exercise that
aims to increase member commitment and motivation through clarifying expected contributions and benefits of their group participation to individual and household businesses and expenditures. This also helps group leaders to be more aware of the views, needs and contributions of members.

Tool 4  Business Innovation Market Map looks at existing and potential markets for products from the proposed innovation.

Tool 5 Business Innovation Management Calendar is a detailed cash flow projection that is tracked over time showing anticipated profits from the business innovation, profits from other activities and expenditures and financial costs. It also aims to clarify potential for savings and investment at different times of year. The same tool can be used by groups and organisations and also individuals.

See also livelihood, value chain and financial planning Toolkits: