Back to Library

The IBLI Color Legend: Translating Index-Based Mortality Predictions Into Meaningful signals

Published by:
Publication date
Number of Pages
Type of Publication:
Working Papers & Briefs
Focus Region:
Sub-Saharan Africa
Focus Topic:
Climate / Weather / Environment
Type of Risk:
Weather & Climate related
Type of Risk Managment Option:
Risk transfer
Michael Carter, Elizabeth Long, Andrew Mude
I4 Index Insurance Innovation Initiative

IBLI, designed by the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) in partnership with Cornell University and the BASIS Research Consortium, is an index insurance product. It differs from conventional insurance in that it offers a payout based on an index rather than on verification of individual losses, which would prove prohibitively costly in the remote regions of Northern Kenya. The IBLI index is based on satellite data, which measure the quality of the pastureland every 10-16 days. These data are inputs to a statistical model of livestock mortality that the IBLI team developed using historical data from the region. When evolving range conditions predict livestock mortality in excess of a critical threshold (15%) over a predetermined area, the insurance pays pastoralists for their losses, allowing them to manage their individual risk.

The IBLI Color Legend has five colors representing the level and trends of the IBLI insurance zones in Marsabit district in Northern Kenya. The first three levels – Green to Orange – where the model is less precise are only represented with a color describing the general situation. When mortality begins to become severe – Red and Black – the model is most accurate and the legend provides both a color representing the general situation and a specific livestock mortality loss percentage upon which insurance payments are made (or not made).