Inclusive Innovation and Rapid Sociotechnical Transitions: The Case of Mobile Money in Kenya

31 Pages Posted: 24 Mar 2017

See all articles by Elsie Khakasa Onsongo

Elsie Khakasa Onsongo

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Institute of Social Studies (ISS); University of Jena - Economics Department, Students

Johan Schot

University of Sussex - Science and Technology Policy Research Unit (SPRU)

Date Written: March 23, 2017

Abstract

Mobile money innovation is at the centre of a sociotechnical transformation in the financial services sector in Kenya that saw changes in the regulatory framework, in market shares, user practices and social networks across multiple regimes. While sociotechnical transitions often take about 50 years, the mobile money revolution in Kenya has taken only 15 years, and has resulted in remarkable levels of financial inclusion of marginalised people. In this paper we combine the multi-level perspective (MLP) from the sustainability transitions literature and the Ladder of Inclusivity (LII) from the inclusive innovation literature to explain this rapid transformation. Applying both frameworks to the case enables us to elucidate potential areas for cross-fertilisation between MLP and LII, thus responding to calls for the inclusion of a social dimension in the transitions perspective, while explaining how processes of change envisioned (but weakly defined) in LII can be explored. Based on our findings, we hypothesise that a rapid socio-technical system transition takes 1) strong landscape pressures, an opening up of regime which makes regime actors willing to act and strong niche development all oriented towards the same goal, and 2) regime actors motivated by the normative goal to take risks and respond favourably to the mix of developments at all three levels.

Keywords: Sustainability transitions, multilevel perspective, inclusive innovation, ladder of inclusivity, mobile money, financial services

Suggested Citation

Onsongo, Elsie Khakasa and Schot, Johan, Inclusive Innovation and Rapid Sociotechnical Transitions: The Case of Mobile Money in Kenya (March 23, 2017). SWPS 2017-07, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2940184 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2940184

Elsie Khakasa Onsongo (Contact Author)

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Institute of Social Studies (ISS) ( email )

PO Box 29776
Den Haag, 2518 AX
Netherlands

University of Jena - Economics Department, Students ( email )

Jena
Germany

Johan Schot

University of Sussex - Science and Technology Policy Research Unit (SPRU) ( email )

Mantell Building
Falmer
Brighton BN1 9RH UK, Sussex
United Kingdom

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