Estimating market demand for goods and services for Forcibly Displaced Persons

Client Partners
FSD Africa and ELAN RDC
Markets
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo
Methods
  • Quantitative Survey
  • Market Sizing
  • Design Sprint
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In 2018, Financial Sector Deepening Africa and ELAN RDC selected Digital Disruptions to conduct research to estimate the market power of refugees and internally displaced persons in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. At that time, there had been minimal information on this segment's spending capabilities. The goal was to use baseline data to help inform potential partnerships with service providers in the private sector.

Approach & Outcome

Digital Disruptions conducted nearly 800 face-to-face surveys in three provinces of the country. In some cases, we adjusted plans due to security risks in more unstable parts of the country. Despite these obstacles, the survey and analysis were conducted in just 11 weeks, culminating in a Design Sprint. The two-day session, held in the capital Kinshasa and facilitated in French by Digital Disruptions, brought together several local banks, mobile operators, start-ups, and over two dozen refugees to provide feedback on their initial ideas.

A key finding was that the total spending of forcibly displaced persons in the country was estimated at nearly USD$1 billion a year, highlighting that the underserved segment represents an untapped opportunity. This surprising insight, among others, helped shift the conversation with industry players from seeing refugees as “beneficiaries” to an underserved and viable consumer segment to serve.


Digital Disruptions was selected following a competitive process given their focus on financial inclusion, market research, and product innovation. Despite the wide scope of the exercise, the team delivered ahead of schedule.

Kuria Wanjau
Manager,
Forcibly Displaced People,
Financial Sector Deepening Africa

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