World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU) is the leading international trade association and development agency for credit unions. WOCCU promotes the sustainable development of credit unions and other financial cooperatives around the world to empower people through access to high quality and affordable financial services. WOCCU advocates on behalf of the global credit union system before international organizations and works with national governments to improve legislation and regulation. Its technical assistance programs introduce new tools and technologies to strengthen credit unions' financial performance and increase their outreach.
While it's sometimes hard to quantify success, one thing is certain – the ripple effect and long-term effects of good development work impact more people for generations to come than any of us will know.
Nigeria is frequently cited as one of the most corrupt countries in the world, but its central banker has won two international banking awards. Mallam Lamido Aminu Sanusi has been named as the Central Bank Governor of 2010 for both the African continent and the entire world, by the prestigious Banker Magazine.
The West is overly discounting Asia's growth potential. Innovation has never been more accessible. We're on the verge of a golden age of innovation. The human side of innovation must be addressed. More focus must go to solving the first mile problem... Written by Scott Anthony from Singapore
More than 1.5mn loans worth $831mn have been given out in the past seven years, said the Microfinance Investment Support Facility for Afghanistan (MISFA), which was set up by the government in 2003 to coordinate the sector. Thirty years of conflict have shattered Afghanistan’s economy and infrastructure, leaving two-thirds of the roughly 30mn population illiterate and at least a third in dire poverty.
"Harassment of women and domestic violence goes back to centuries. It continues to be in force today in many parts of the world including Sri Lanka. It must be eliminated at all costs" said Child Development and Women Affairs Minister Tissa Karalliyadde addressing the Asian Forum of Parliamentarians on Population and Development (AFPPD) held in Port Macquarie, Australia on the theme 'Prevention of violence against women'.
The Global Alliance for Banking on Values, a network of the world's leading sustainable banks, announces four new members today from South America, North America, and Europe. The banks join nine founding banks committed to building a better financial future in challenging times.
Shanti Microfinance, a not-for-profit organization, is raising a $772,000 (£500,000) fund backed by UK and Silicon Valley entrepreneurs and venture capitalists. The firm has already disbursed £10k (USD) and plans to start its operations in Gujarat before moving to Mumbai next year.
Our biggest ally will be lost if we do not protect and enhance biodiversity in forests and other systems. Since the Rio Earth Summit in 1992, the media and many organisations have pursued as separate narratives the issues of climate, biodiversity and sustainable development. One of the changes this year, at a UN level, has been recognition that this does not make sense.
The Golf Environment Organization's GEO Legacy Guidance launched to widespread acclaim following previews at the Asia Pacific Golf Summit in Bangkok and the European Golf Course Owners Association Conference in London.
IBM unveils its fifth annual "Next Five in Five" -- a list of innovations with the potential to change the way people work, live and play over the next five years. The Next Five in Five is based on market and societal trends expected to transform our lives, as well as emerging technologies from IBM's Labs around the world that can make these innovations possible.
Kiva, the world's first personal micro-lending website, has teamed with KIEDF (Koret Israel Economic Development Funds) to launch its first and only partnership with an Israeli microfinance institution. This alliance will allow individuals anywhere to make small loans through the Kiva website to Bedouin women of the Negev, Arab Israelis in northern Israel, and other low-income populations throughout Israel.
The Lao Securities Exchange is scheduled to start trading the shares of two state enterprises on January 11, state media reports said Wednesday.
Debate over the value of microfinance in the developing world appears to be long overdue. Arguments against microfinance center around the claim that it is a development strategy increasingly forced on the poor, and that those who are claimed to benefit from it the most--poor women--are actually its chief victims. Critics have long sought a platform to reveal the weaknesses and explode the myths supporting microfinance.
China Mobile's Nongxintong - or farming information service - launched four years ago. The company is currently focusing on expanding its delivery in China's west and south-west regions. "Building the mobile network and covering most of the country's administrative villages, we realised that there was only a network signal. In rural areas, this is not enough," explains Liu Jing, a local manager for the service at China Mobile.
Hughes, who left Facebook in 2007 to become the Obama campaign's director of online organizing, soft-launched Jumo last March. Jumo was designed to let users find, follow and support the causes important to them, and with 3,500 organizations on board at launch, would-be philanthropists should be able to find and follow something of interest upon joining.
Jimmy Wales founder of Wikipedia is appealing for donations to support the activity of the open encyclopedia
Since the launch of FITA in January 2010, the Group has rapidly expanded with new Members teaming-up together to generate awareness in Cyprus of female artists, artisans and designers.
Using Skype as a medium, a lecture at the University of California at Berkeley’s Haas School of Business was broadcast to UNC students along with students at other schools. The streamed lecture was part of an ongoing series that allows students to have access to the most prominent minds in microfinance.
Rural credit is changing the face of the Chinese countryside. The need for financing in rural areas is growing, but capital is still flowing out of the rural market. The Postal Savings Bank of China has provided us with a case to consider when pondering how rural microfinance can provide a sustainable business model.
WAM began in 2003 after women professionals in the microfinance industry, most of them based in Washington, DC, began meeting, at first informally in each others' homes. This growing group of WAM Founders came together to discuss areas of common concern, to decide if a more formal organization made sense, to explore what such an organization might do to support women who work in the microfinance industry and, ultimately, to support the development of the industry itself. After several months of planning and program design, WAM was formally launched in October 2003. Membership has grown steadily since.
The European Union (EU) wants stronger privacy rules to give Internet users more control over how social-networking sites such as Facebook, or search engines such as Google use their personal information.
rise of entrepreneurial innovations that use mainstream financial instruments to facilitate social development.
Corporate social investment (CSI) experts predict that a growing merger between social entrepreneurship and CSI will be one of the world's top trends in the future.
Opportunity co-founder and former president of Bristol Myers International Corporation, the late Al Whittaker, encountered poverty as he travelled throughout the world in the 1960’s and 70’s. He asked the people he met: “What do you need?” They replied: "Work. With jobs, we will solve our own problems."
Two Social Entrepreneurs one from Morocco and one from Tunisia - were recognized as leading social innovators during a plenary session at the World Economic Forum on the Middle East and North Africa, Marrakech, Morocco on 26 October. The awards were conferred by Hilde Schwab, Co-Founder and Chairperson of the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship.
The International Financial Corporation (IFC), entering into the World Bank (WB) Group, together with the Financial Commission on Regulation of Mongolia and Micro-Finance Development Fund (MFDF) has organized awareness-raising tour to Mongolia on studying of legislative practice on microfinancing for regulators from Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.
India’s microfinance industry has warned it is being pushed to the brink of collapse, as a result of a bank freeze on credit to microlenders triggered by a political crackdown.
India’s commercial banks, which normally provide about $133m a week in credit to the microloan industry, have frozen those disbursals for the past two weeks, as companies wrestle with a backlash in one of their biggest markets, the state of Andhra Pradesh.
A new initiative to expand these programs to the broader market called the Small Business Banking Network (SBBN) will launch in November. The SBBN is designed to bolster the capacity and effectiveness of financial institutions to profitably serve small businesses in developing countries, helping to close the gap between microfinance and commercial banking.
Canada will invest $43.4-million in new aid to Francophone African countries, the most tangible product of Stephen Harper’s trip to the weekend’s summit of Francophone nations. The funding, part of $1.1-billion in aid that the Conservative government promised in June to protect mothers and their children at the G8 summit of leading developed nations in Huntsville, Muskoka, will help protect 1.1 million women and children from malnourishment and sexual violence.
Samasta Microfinance is a public limited, for profit Non Banking Financial Company, established in March 2008. We offer microfinance solutions to the urban and rural poor in South India, and currently operate in the states of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. Their aim is to drive social change and be a catalyst for entrepreneurial ambition by providing a host of financial and non-financial products to our members. Their loan products are geared towards income generation supplemented by loans for education and social commitments. Samasta's operations use the Joint Liability Group (JLG) model.
The International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) at Colorado State University provides innovative training in community-based development (online and face-to-face), consultation, evaluation, and project support services for individuals and governmental, international non-governmental, and community-based organizations around the world.
Village Earth's mission is to help reconnect communities to the resources that promote human well-being by enhancing social and political empowerment, community self-reliance and self-determination.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, will work with Bank Constanta to improve its risk management practices, which will help the bank increase lending to smaller businesses in Georgia. This initiative is part of a broader IFC strategy to strengthen local banks in the aftermath of the global financial crisis.
Rural Finance is about providing financial services for people living in rural areas. This Learning Centre aims to assist organisations in developing countries to build their capacity to deliver improved financial services which meet the needs of rural households and businesses.
Oikocredit, the innovative development financing organisation, has been given an award in recognition of its contribution to socially responsible investing. The award has been made by The Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP).
Grameen‐Jameel, a social business that serves the microfinance sector in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), announces it has entered Turkey. Grameen-Jameel has signed partnership agreements with the two leading microfinance institutions in Turkey, providing them with financial support and technical assistance amounting to over US$ 5 million, with the objective to alleviate poverty in Turkey by reaching and financing 16,000 underprivileged families.
The International Finance Corporation (IFC) Provides Microfinance Institution (MFI) Inecobank Support to Expand Access to Trade Finance in Armenia
The International Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, has announced a record investment volume in Sub-Saharan Africa for its 2010 fiscal year, underscoring its commitment to the region's private sector development, especially to supporting growth in the lowest income countries and those affected by conflict including Liberia.
According to a recent study by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the development arm of the United Nations, a humanitarian organization promoting peace and better living standards, 21 percent of the Nigerian adult population – 18 million people – have access to financial services, with women and youth least likely to have access.Limitations of the Nigerian microfinance industry are attributed to lack of capacity, inadequate coordination, policy shortfalls and a lack of strategy regarding stakeholders’ roles and responsibilities.
Nigeria's microfinance sector has failed to make the expected impact on the economy due to misconception by the operators, but this will soon change.
Microfinance doesn’t help the very poor.
While the argument that all the attention the microlending industry attracts sometimes diverts funds from reaching programs that need it more is not new, we were surprised to see it outlined by Vikram Akula, the founder of SKS Microfinance Ltd.
Three years ago, Loretta Nguyen took a business training class and scraped together several thousand dollars to start silk screening T-shirts and hoodies that she initially sold at street fairs and over the Web.
This AfricaFocus contains a diverse selection of recent books likely to be of interest and new to AfricaFocus readers. You will find, for example, new books by Africa's distinguished elders, such as Achebe, wa Thiong'o, and Mandela. Selected new books from publishers such as Africa World Press, HSRC Press, and Aflame Books. Books on topical themes such as SMS activism and other ICT developments, on India and China's relations with Africa, and on xenophobia and migration. And more.
SKS Microfinance Limited, the largest Micro Finance Institution in India, today announced that its public issue will open on July 28.
A renowned microfinance training centre in Italy will welcome representatives from five Pacific Island countries.
He would have been a hardcore banker had he not branched out to microfinance. And that was because “it is a business with a social mission offering double bottom line satisfaction to all stakeholders”. Udaia Kumar, MD Share Microfin Limited Interviewed by Pranab Ghosh, Hindustan Times.
Central Bank authorities from eight developing countries (D-8) including Nigeria, Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Pakistan and Turkey yesterday agreed to foster collaboration among member countries for the purpose of monetary, fiscal stability and development of member nations.
MobileCause provides simple and powuerful ways to connect with your donors in the most personal way possible - their mobile device. As the leading web service for cause-related mobile communication and fundraising technology, the MobileCause complete mobile donor plan enables your cause to join this exciting new movement in a few easy steps. Let MobileCause mobilize your cause!
What's the impact of microfinance? A question with 150 million answers, one for every client around the world who receives microfinance services.
The G-20 is the premier forum for our international economic development that promotes open and constructive discussion between industrial and emerging-market countries on key issues related to global economic stability. By contributing to the strengthening of the international financial architecture and providing opportunities for dialogue on national policies, international co-operation, and international financial institutions, the G-20 helps to support growth and development across the globe.
As applicants await approval to operate mobile payment in Nigeria, stakeholders complain that the issue of low awareness must be addressed to ensure success
Ten years ago, it was not fashionable for social enterprises to take loans. Even if they wanted to, nobody would lend them money... Many small social investment firms have emerged recently.
Grameen Foundation announced it is expanding its technology for microfinance initiative to provide enhanced support to high-growth, mid-size microfinance institutions (MFIs) serving up to one million clients.
CGAP, Deutsche Bank, Grameen-Jameel and Islamic Development Bank have joined forces to challenge the Islamic microfinance industry to develop new ideas for business models.
CGAP, an independent microfinance center based at the World Bank, today announced a new partnership with the UK Department for International Development (DFID) to expand ongoing global efforts to use information and communication technologies (ICT), especially mobile phones, to increase access to basic financial services for the poor. In addition to a 2006 grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and CGAP funding, DFID will provide GBP 8 million to the CGAP Technology Program.
Slum-dweller Krustin bin Juri lost everything when floodwaters swept through his home and shop on the banks of Jakarta’s filthy Ciliwung river two years ago.
But when the next flood hits, and it will because Jakarta sees frequent floods in the rainy season, bin Juri may have a modicum of protection thanks to a low-cost insurance policy that he purchased this month.
He is among millions of the world’s poor who are covered for natural disasters by cheap insurance, or microinsurance, as commercial firms recognise that insuring the poor is not just good public relations but also profitable.
A permanent Calendar about the events of the FWA. The Financial Women’s Association brings together high achieving professionals from every sector of the financial world.
In reaction to the financial crisis, the U.S. banking industry and its regulators have been forced to seek new consumer protections that will put the industry on stronger ground. In marked contrast, one global subsector of the financial industry is moving proactively to ensure that client protection remains at the core of its business model. That subsector is microfinance, the provision of loans and other financial services to the poor worldwide.
Kiva President Premal Shah on the company's mission to fight poverty by lending to entrepreneurs. Video at Forbes.com
The ubiquity of the credit card and the impact of the recession mean the move to use a mobile phone to make payments and conduct banking is likely to be a slow and tortuous affair in Europe.
Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has been advised to shelve its proposed plan to conduct examination for all managing directors of registered microfinance banks across the country.
MEPs gave the green light for EU funding to help Europe's unemployed start up small businesses. Credit will be made available to budding entrepreneurs through a "microfinance facility" funded partly from the existing Progress programme and partly from unallocated money in the EU budget.
Online sites like Babyloan or Kiva have taken the idea of lending small sums to help lift people out of poverty to create a direct personal link between lenders and borrowers.
In Mongolia, a microfinance system supported by The World Bank and its international partners helps create business opportunities in poor rural areas through the Mongolia Microfinance Development Fund and brings development to remote areas that have been severely affected by the global economic downturn.
Angel Acquisition Corp. ("Angel Acquisition Corp." or the "Company") (OTCBB: AGEL) announced today that the Company has signed a financing agreement with a Private Investor to partner with Angel's new micro financing, micro banking and micro lending network www.angelsinaction.tv
Poverty certainly emerged as the single most problem that lies at the heart of modern day crisis. It quite recently has assumed alarming proportions. Many efforts were made in the past but they could not wholly succeed. Among significant tools, the microfinance was also used for getting rid of poverty which quite recently plagued the whole world. There is always a room for innovation to be introduced to already existing structures. Though microfinance made some gains in alleviating it but with sufficient services the amount invested lie in the danger of being spent on the items of daily use owing to extreme poverty.
At the fourth Microfinance Conference in Abuja, Nigeria, the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, announced that all microfinance bank CEOs would be required to pass a CBN administered exam in order to continue managing their banks. A training program will be held during the first quarter of this year, with certificates being issued at the end of the exercise. Any bank that does not comply with the rules will have its license withdrawn.
NetHope has grown to 26 members, including locally based nonprofits Mercy Corps, PATH and World Vision, and major supporters such as Microsoft.
Seattle has become a hub for technology and philanthropy, so it's not surprising that a nonprofit consortium combining both would find fertile ground here.
Innovation is helping to bring safe financial services to the doorsteps of Africa's poor.
ACCION's Maria Otero to Serve as One of Six Under Secretaries of State; Tapped to Lead U.S. Foreign Relations on Democracy, Human Rights, Labor, Population and More.
The Gates Foundation has pledged $40 million to independent think tanks in developing countries, starting with a 24 institutions in Africa. The aim of the initiative is to provide long-term funding to organizations so they can produce sound research that influences national policy debate and decision making, said Mark Suzman, director of policy and advocacy for the Gates Foundation's global development program.
The Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology (ABI) hosted its fourth annual Women of Vision Awards banquet on April 30th to honor three leaders in technology: The evening highlighted the winners' accomplishments and contributions in three areas: Innovation, Leadership and Social Impact.
Microinsurance has been recognized worldwide as a potential instrument for promoting safety nets to extend financial inclusion to poor households. However, contrary to general expectations, micro insurance delivery has not achieved substantial scale as compared to the micro finance movement. Insurers in India operate in a regulatory environment that requires them to achieve priority sector targets and meet rural and social sector obligations. Though, there clearly exists an untapped and largely unexplored market for insurance in India, the ability of risk carriers to operate microinsurance schemes viably is constrained by the lack of reliable data and the absence of alternate means of risk assessment. Adequate emphasis on research and development of suitable risk management systems is critical to make markets work for the poor.
Sean Moroney, chairman of AITEC Africa, whose core business since 1987 has been focussed on ICT publishing, event management, professional development and training in Africa, spoke to Hilary Okeke on the forthcoming AITEC Banking and Payment Technologies Conference and other issues.
In recognition of Mother's Day (May 10, 2009), Calvert Foundation is undertaking a major "Honor Mom" campaign to channel new resources from investors and donors into international microfinance and microlending initiatives benefiting women, who are lifting themselves and their families out of poverty.
U.S. President Barack Obama announced a new partnership of the Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF) at the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the U.S. Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), and the Inter-American Investment Corporation (IIC) for the purpose of launching a new Microfinance Growth Fund for the Western Hemisphere. The fund will provide stable medium and longer-term sources of finance to microfinance institutions and microfinance investment vehicles to help rebuild their capacity to lend during this difficult period and to increase the supply of finance for micro and small businesses as recovery takes hold.
The European Microfinance Platform [e-MFP] was founded formally in 2006. They are a growing network of approximately 100 organisations and individuals active in the area of microfinance. Their principal objective is to promote co-operation amongst European microfinance bodies working in developing countries, by facilitating communication and the exchange of information. They are a multi-stakeholder organisation representative of the European microfinance community. e-MFP members include banks, financial institutions, government agencies, NGOs, consultancy firms, researchers and universities.
The idea of an inter- bank market for microfinance banks is no doubt an interesting one. For starters, such a platform will provide an opportunity for increased mobility of funds among microfinance banking operators, thereby reducing the cost of funding and improving the net interest margin by providing these micro-credit banks with a solid funding base to address short and medium-term requirements. But as laudable as the initiative may be, it is not without challenges as regards effectiveness, considering that the microfinance institutions are spread haphazardly all over the country. This, surely, is unlike the money market association for commercial banks, which has about 24 branches with headquarters in Lagos.
Many of the world’s life-changing conveniences wouldn’t be possible without utilities. Utilities provide water for drinking, cooking, and washing; and electricity to power everything from light bulbs to vacuum cleaners. But there is another service whose convenience also transforms lives by enabling economic livelihoods and supporting social relationships, but that does not enjoy the benefit of a utility’s delivery infrastructure: electronic cash payments. The notion of the payments utility may be a rather utopian view of how retail payments in developing countries could enable universal access to finance. Despite the attention, and even hype, that branchless banking has been getting in industry circles and in the media, there are still fundamental challenges – like understanding what drives customers, making the economics work for agents, providing accounts for all, and building workable business models. But it’s never too soon to start thinking big.
Russia will ask the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to carry out a study on the potential for a new international reserve currency, Kremlin aide Arkady Dvorkovich said on Tuesday. China and Russia, the world's No.1 and No.3 reserve holders, have been pushing for a discussion on making greater use of the International Monetary Fund's Special Drawing Rights basket.
In the face of major client protection failures in the mainstream financial sector, leaders of the microfinance industry came together this month seeking means to ensure that microfinance providers worldwide remain committed to serving their clients' best interests.
Jacqueline Novogratz tells a moving story of an encounter in a Nairobi slum with Jane, a former prostitute, whose dreams of escaping poverty, of becoming a doctor and of getting married were fulfilled in an unexpected way.
Microfinance ought to be high on the agenda of policymakers looking for an imaginative response to the global financial crisis.
As an ethical, responsible financial system that serves productive businesses through intimate knowledge of the client, it is founded upon principles that are diametrically opposed to those practiced by the conventional bankers that sparked the crisis. However bold the prescriptions of political leaders in the developed world may be, the fact remains that these economies are so saturated with excessive debt that it will be years before they generate the demand required to get the global economy moving again. That demand will have to come from elevating the world's poor. Microfinance, with its proven record and ethical purpose, is the key to that goal. The potential for growth among the poor is enormous. A responsible financial system that stimulates entrepreneurship at the bottom and earns income for the poorest is a benefit to us all.
Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus from Bangladesh earlier this week made a valiant call for a bailout package for the world’s poor. At a recent meeting in Tokyo, the microfinance guru warned that the global economic crisis will hit the world’s poorest people the hardest and that “there is no bailout package for them.”
Credit, according to Professor Muhammad Yunus, is a fundamental human right. However, if not handled with care, the magnification effect inherent in leverage can make it dangerous. One need only look at the current economic spiral to see the result of the provision of credit gone dangerously awry. Credit must be deployed to microfinance borrowers judiciously in order to minimize the risk of non-repayment, as this would cause lenders, themselves levered, to suffer magnified losses. Vinay Nair, an Executive Director at J.P. Morgan currently on sabbatical, explains that it is imperative to avoid over-leverage to avoid losing control.
The World Bank president has said that 2009 is turning into "a very dangerous year" for the economy. Robert Zoellick also warned G20 members against protectionist policies, ahead of a G20 finance ministers' meeting in the United Kingdom on how to tackle the economic downturn.
Finance officials from 20 of the world's leading economies pledged Saturday to substantially boost funding for the International Monetary Fund and "take whatever action is necessary" to stimulate growth around the world. The meeting came after days of disagreement between U.S. and European officials about the best approach to tackling the economic problems. The United States has urged countries to enact bigger spending programs to fuel growth, while some European countries have focused on passing new regulations for financial markets.
The global economy will shrink this year for the first time since the second world war as the "Great Recession" ravages businesses, consumers and financial institutions around the world, the International Monetary Fund warned. Speaking in Tanzania, IMF managing director Dominique Strauss-Kahn said the economic downturn would be more severe than previously thought.
Oikocredit, as a worldwide cooperative society, promotes global justice by challenging people, churches and others to share their resources through socially responsible investments and by empowering disadvantaged people with credit.Oikocredit believes that poor people can build themselves a better life, if only given the chance. If only given credit.
Recently the EU has decided to tax such locations and even swiss banks would have to have taxes applied to them. This news is very recent and it is uncertain in which direction this news would take us. Nonetheless there are always banks out there such as in South America that are not subject to this rule.
More than 106 million of the world’s poorest families received a microloan in 2007, surpassing a goal set ten years earlier, according to a report released today by the Microcredit Summit Campaign. Microloans are used to help people living in extreme poverty start or expand a range of tiny businesses such as husking rice, selling tortillas, and delivering cell phone services to remote villages.
Like the consumer lenders before them, MFIs are also beginning to see the value of sharing information. Yet, credit information markets are generally in their infancy in most developing countries, and if developed, are generally quite fragmented.
Grameen Foundation support microfinance programs that enable the poor, mostly women, to lift themselves out of poverty and make better lives for their families. To do this, Grameen Foundation partner with a worldwide network of microfinance institutions.
Access to financial services is a fundamental tool for improving a family’s well-being and productive capacity. Access to financial services empowers the poor by reducing their vulnerability, and offering them opportunities to improve their lives.CGAP works toward a world in which poor people are considered valued clients of their country’s financial system. We aim to help build efficient and equitable local financial markets that serve all poor people with convenient and affordable financial services.
Welcome to this blog about Microfinance, Innovations and Sustainable Development