Jimmy Loro, senior adviser and lead expert for the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit’s Remote Sensing-based Information and Insurance for Crops in Emerging Economies Project, attends a Devex award gala in Manila. Photo by: Devex

In several Philippine provinces, Jimmy Loro and his team are exploring a new a new way to help farmers get the financial protection they need as they face climate change.

Aside from working with international rice and agriculture research organizations, Loro collaborates with rice farmers to reduce the complexities of crop insurance using remote sensing technology.

Loro, senior adviser and lead expert for the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit’s Remote Sensing-based Information and Insurance for Crops in Emerging Economies Project, is one the most influential development leaders aged 40 and under in Manila.

Devex is recognizing 40 of these young trailblazers in international development. They are social entrepreneurs, government leaders, development consultants, business innovators, advocates, development researchers, nonprofit executives and journalists.

We spoke with Loro about his trailblazing work and success in sustaining partnerships across sectors.

What do you see as the most significant impact your project brings?

The project is still working on the foundations: data collection, crop modeling and correlation with radar images. At this stage, we have not established the impact.

On one side, the use of remote sensing for crop insurance has never been done before. The project is a trailblazer and no one else in the world is doing it! The impact if this works, will be significant, not only for poor rice farmers who can now avail of protection in this time of climate change, but also for the financial services sector and private insurers. Agriculture credit could expand to new markets, if more insurers can cover risks from a decreased average yield in rice, using remote sensing.

Throughout your development career, you’ve collaborated closely with private companies, government agencies and nongovernmental organizations to support development efforts in the Philippines. How have you managed to mobilize and sustain partnerships with such a wide and diverse range of organizations?

From experience, the key is to invest in analyzing the development problem of the country. It is also useful to know the needs of government partners, the current trends in global and local development, as well as the priorities of funding institutions and private companies.

From these assessments, one can create niche responses considering the strengths of each stakeholder; link initiatives together or improve the current system. It also helps to know respective limitations, to manage public expectations very well.

You have had significant work experience with both the Philippine government and international donor agencies. Drawing on that perspective, how do you think will recipient country governments and aid donors be able to more effectively work together to address development challenges?

From our experience, the key is to streamline efforts, not to duplicate initiatives, and create or support programs that aim for specific, wider, deeper and more sustained impacts and outcomes, at the least possible cost. It also helps to recognize the key strengths of all stakeholders.

GIZ for example is recognized for its work on microinsurance, the environment, and responding to the risks from climate change. We focus all our efforts around these programs and have received the support from other organizations and from the Philippine government. In this way, resources are used strategically, achievement of goals is sustained and impact is maximized.

Read more about the Devex 40 Under 40 International Development Leaders in Manila.

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