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Article Index

Best-fit considerations

Target groups: CKWs serve smallholder farmers in rural areas where poor road networks and limited infrastructure often prevent traditional RAS agents from visiting. While conventional RAS often ignore clients with scattered farm holdings, CKWs are able to reach even remote areas. In Uganda, CKWs receive bicycles, smartphones, and solar power equipment on loan, which they pay for over time. They usually get around by walking or cycling along narrow paths to and from farmers’ fields. Thus, CKWs are likely to create greater impact among smallholders, including pastoralist farmers.

Target innovations: The CKW approach is suited for ICT-supported delivery systems that depend on real-time information sharing. These ICTs help CKWs link farmers to agricultural value chains (e.g. maize, coffee, and bananas in Uganda).

Ecological and institutional setting: CKWs can work in all agricultural ecologies. However, they are most useful in serving farmers in remote terrains that traditional extension workers find difficult to reach.


Governance arrangements are context-specific. For example, in Uganda, the sponsoring agency and the community that selects CKWs jointly decide on how the system is administered and managed. In Ghana, where CKWs perform a different type of service (healthcare), they are linked with the government health services. In Latin America, the Middle East, and Asia, CKWs work with private entities for RAS and financial service delivery.

In general, community participation in worker selection makes CKWs accountable to their communities. For instance, in Uganda, CKWs are required to allocate a minimum of 10–15 hours per week for RAS activities. Sponsoring agencies and operational partners provide incentives by ensuring that CKWs perform valid searches for farmers and upload queries to Salesforce.