Includovate is a research incubator and social enterprise that designs solutions for inequality and exclusion. They work collaboratively and hire local researchers around the world in order to facilitate greater equality and inclusion. Female founded and owned, with 62% of their staff being women and 71% originating from Sub-Saharan Africa, Includovate conducts evaluations and builds capacity for gender equality and social inclusion. They specialize in qualitative and participatory research that studies exclusion and intersectionality, committed to also putting disability inclusion at the centre of their work. Includovate is self-sustaining as it uses the income from offering consulting services to World Bank, NGOs and businesses, to build the capacity of national researchers, particularly at the Includovate Research Centre in Ethiopia. Their model involves pairing Global North and Global South researchers for knowledge exchange. Includovate strengthens the ability of local researchers to lead, publish and improve the quality of the research performed in low income countries.
Theory of Change
Through designing transformative and innovative solutions to poverty, exclusion, and injustice, participatory research allows for a change in discriminatory norms and provides men and women with the power and ability to innovate for their advancement.
Includovate conducts evaluations, research, and feasibility studies and presents key analyses to organizations around the world in order to facilitate change and progress for marginalized communities. They also conduct trainings and bring in international experts to build capacity for local researchers. Through an evaluation for UNICEF, Includovate assessed how effectively disability inclusion was implemented in the East Asia and Pacific region and provided recommendations to UNICEF on advancing the realization of the rights of children with disabilities in the region. Includovate also partnered with the International Rice Research Institute and contributed to the strategic thinking around the youth strategy for supporting young people in rice agricultural systems. Includovate is committed to partnering with researchers in the Global South and investing profits into local capacity-building. In December 2019, they opened their 100% female owned office in Ethiopia. Through this office, their team assessed the 1993 National Policy for Ethiopian Women and performed a skills assessment of the textile and garment industry in Ethiopia, a key employer of young Ethiopian women.
Since their founding in 2019, Includovate has developed 20 inclusive research projects in over 22 countries around the world and has earned $1.2 million USD in revenue. With a global network of over 700 researchers, their impact extends throughout the Global South, in countries as diverse as Guatemala, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Papua New Guinea, and many more. Moreover, their research assessments have constituted key drivers for change at the state, business, and institutional levels. Their gender-transformative policy review in Ethiopia led to a nationwide study on the situation of women, while their work with Ethiopia’s textile and garment industry supported International Labour Organization’s efforts to improve skills development and encouraged decent work for young women with few educational qualifications. As well, through an evaluation of two Maldivian cash transfer schemes for single parents and foster parents, Includovate’s recommendations to make the schemes more inclusive and accessible for vulnerable people were incorporated into a redesign of the program.