Coca-Cola invites ColaLife to Dar Es Salaam!

Image by ebel

Image credit: Rory McCann

Following on from last week’s excitment around our application to Google’s Project 10^100 and the associated ColaLife video, there is another significant development.

True to his word, Salvatore Gabola of Coca-Cola has invited me to a 2-day stakeholder meeting in Dar Es Salaam on 25-26 November to discuss the findings of their research into their distribution network which Adrian Ristow has been reporting on here. The meeting will make recommendations for the pilots* that will be carried out based on the research findings.

This is hugely significant. I’ve re-arranged my diary and suspended my no-fly pledge for this trip. Like the original interest and coverage from the BBC, this would never have happened if we hadn’t all been able to get together here, on the Facebook Group, in the Flickr Group and using Google Group Mailing List.

At this stage I only have limited information on the meeting, there’s been no agenda issued yet. But I do know that about 20 people have been invited, mostly local stakeholders. International invitees include DfID and Oxfam and someone from Harvard (who were involved in the research) will be facilitating the meeting.

Anyway – I need help with the planning. I’m going to stay on for a couple of days after the meeting to gather information and materials the ColaLife campaign needs. Your thoughts please! What should be on the to-do list?

* The main idea of the pilots is to see how the growth of Coca-Cola’s distribution network could be done in a way that maximises the impact on poverty reduction. This means we are going to have to work hard to get the ColaLife idea as part of the pilots but that’s our objective.


  1. Congratulations Simon. Simply great news.

  2. Simon –
    This is amazing news. Let me know if and how I can help at any stage.

  3. Great news Simon, and so much better being there than at the end of a phone. A wonderful opportunity to develop contacts.


  4. utterly brilliant – well done Simon and all the Colalife crew 🙂

    What sort of help with planning do you need? logistics? theory? comparable case studies? netowrks?

  5. @Ed I just don’t want to miss any opportunities and so a brainstorm on what I could do while I was there to help promote the campaign would be helpful. On my list so far are:

    – find a coke crate and photograph and measure it
    – take mock-up of ‘insert’ as a prop for discussions with distributors (record/film these)
    – understand the bottling process/distribution process better
    – try and talk to local health professionals (record/film these)

  6. Excellent, congratulations. I would love to read more about the findings. Will you + Coca-cola post them?



    PS Coul you kindly ask Salvatore the name of their participant in next week’s BSR meeting in New York?

  7. Simon – Terrific news! I’d also like to see the findings! So excited for you!

  8. Ellie Stoneley says

    Great news Simon – well done – great achievement in such a short period of time … now as to the meeting and issues I think worth considering ..

    – next steps following the meeting (for the campaign and Coca Cola)
    – real understanding of pontential pitfalls for the last part of the distribution chain at a really local level out there
    – how the ‘benefits’ of the rehydration salts are made real to the people on the ground – this may seem obvious to us but will the recipients of the crates really make best use of them

  9. I agree with Ellie. There are good experiences (one of them in Tanzania) on how informal sellers can be trained so that they provide correct information.

    I heard a very good presentation last August in Madagascar during the intercountry (Africa) regional exchange on Community Case Management (CCM). Dr. Suleiman Kimatta discussed distribution of Subsidized ACTs (for malaria treatment) in Accredited Drug Dispensing Outlets (ADDOs)

    “The ADDO program, which is administered by the Tanzanian Food and Drugs Authority (TFDA), created retail medicine outlets, called Duka La Dawa Muhimu (Swahili for “essential drug shop”) that must adhere to standards related to product and service quality to achieve and maintain government accreditation.”

    The presenter was -Dr. Suleiman Kimatta – The contact in MSH USA (Boston) is Katie Seanauer Please feel free to contact them and it is ok to mention my name. (I worked for MSH in the past).



    PS I talked about colaLife in justmeans:

  10. Terrific news. Pardon me while a write an update on my last article and try to generate a tad more interest and pressure on Coke to include Colalife. 🙂


  1. […] Here is an update on the progress of the Coca Cola campaign. The headline is: HEADLINE: Coca-Cola invites ColaLife to Dar Es Sallaam! […]

  2. Simon Berry says:

    Re Colalife Tanzania trip – – just written to the British High Commissioner. I need a local buddy with a bike!

  3. […] for simple medicines to save children’s lives. Interview with Simon here. He’s now been invited to Dar Es Salaam to talk to Coca […]

  4. Simon Berry says:

    @podnosh Colalife trip to Tanzania –

  5. […] Tracey of the BBC’s iPM team was in touch shortly after it was announced here that Coca-Cola had invited ColaLife to Tanzania. The BBC have been talking to Coca-Cola about the […]

  6. […] the BBC – to recruit support, engage Coca Cola, get to understand how their system works, and then receive an invitation to Dar Es Salaam. The trip was partly to join a 2-day stakeholder meeting about research into wider […]

  7. […] 25/10/08 Coca-Cola invites ColaLife to Dar Es Salaam! >>more […]

  8. […] 25/10/08 Coca-Cola invites ColaLife to Dar Es Salaam! >>more […]