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riders for health

The Analysis: An understanding of the various factors that have made Riders for Health the kind of success it is.

A process map of the different stages in the innovation process from idea to implementation, including unique attributes and value propositions.

Of interest to those in, wanting to get into or support :

Transportation, healthcare, low-income communities, harsh geography (bad roads, dense urban settings, rural areas), those ideas that require governmental intervention and support.

Co-Founder of Riders for Health and avid biking enthusiast Andrea Coleman discussed at length the Riders for Health journey, pointing out milestones and sharing wisdom! This helped us immensely in analyzing & putting together the process map for Riders'. We are forever thankful to her.

The problem:  Hard to reach areas + lack of infrastructure meant lack of health care to communities, in parts of Africa leading to health-related devastation that are entirely avoidable.

The solution: Use of motorbikes to transport medicines, samples and other related materials between communities and hospitals/labs for quicker turn around time and accurate diagnosis.


WHAT: A health transportation service using motorbikes (primarily) to reach far flung areas in Africa. 

HOW IT WORKS: The riders collect samples and medicine back and forth from primary health centers and district and labs at the nearest big city. This allows for safe an speedy testing and diagnosis. Riders' also provides logistics for pharmaceutical distribution


BEENFITS: Aids faster diagnosis, reduces turnaround time, improves health outcomes and basically provides access to healthcare.

FOR: The general public across the various countries Riders' operates.

REACH: Far flung areas in Lesotho, Gambia, Nigeria, Kenya, Zambia Malawi and Zimbabwe

SINCE: 1991

MODEL OF OPERATION: Riders' offices at each country is a free standing unit, contracting with that country's government and health-focused organizations, coming to an agreement of operational details.

snapshot analysis:

The Venn Diagram below shows key factors and allied factors responsible for Riders' success. [Please note that these are by no means  the only factors; they are the ones that emerged based on the information that we were able to procure from our interviews and document analyses]

Analyzing case study notes and information gathered online leads to a few areas that stand out as key reasons for Riders' success. It shows Reliability as a key factor in Riders' success. 

This means,  Riders' has created a niche for itself as a reliable service; This is of vital importance for both the work being done and the region it works in- far flung areas with bad roads and testing climate conditions.

the process

The following set of analyses show the various stages in the innovation process.

  • Text in the main box (white background) explain the process, aka. what was done.

  • Further pointers (colored post-it callouts) highlight how & why some decisions and moves in the process continuum led to the accrual of value over the entire life cycle of the social venture.


The Map has been created to allow the reader to be able to see the different phases involved as well as be able to understand the significance of each move & how those contributed to the ultimate success.

Being open-minded and seeking help from every available resource is a hallmark of those working in this field of social innovation and enterprise. 

Accordingly, these case studies have been presented in such a way that people with ideas from disparate areas of work can seek some inspiration and commonality. Maybe the geography, or the cultural context or just the manner in which resources were used could be applied it toward their own venture.

Click on image to view larger size images; Alternately, simply click on the thumbnails below to see different stages of the innovation process. 

The Process Map Key
Context & Idea Crsytallization
The Planning Phase
Funding & Implementation
Scaling & Goodwill


Click on image to open  larger size gallery. Alternately, click on right of image to see gallery. Hover over each image to see description.

Riders for Health can be contacted at

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