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.
In the world's poorest countries, millions of children live in desperate need of the very things we often take for granted - food, medicine, education and safe drinking water. Without these basics, they are often denied the chance they need to ever realise their full potential.
End Water Poverty is the international campaign that aims to bring an end to the global water and sanitation crisis. The coalition is formed of like-minded organisations from around the world who are demanding urgent action and leadership from donors and governments alike. Only together, with one voice, can we tackle this devastating crisis that affects billions of poor people across the world.
A teacher by training, Lynne Randolph Patterson never expected to find herself at the helm of Pro Mujer, a multi-national financial services company.
Religion can play a part in delivering us from the illusion that money is the measure of all things.
The former prime minister is attracting wealthy donors to back his health and harmony projects. "The Blairs are using all their resources to tackle things they care about," said Sue Wixley of New Philanthropy Capital, a think tank that connects charities to donors. "In this case, the Blairs' resources are their contacts."
Richard Horton: Climate change will have a catastrophic effect on human health, but the NHS could do much to protect people from it.
The challenge of meeting future water needs under the impacts of climate change and rapidly growing human demands for water may be less bleak than widely portrayed, according to the study published in the May issue of the journal Water Resources Research. The current approach to water management considers only "blue water," that is river discharge and groundwater, said the study conducted by a team of Swedish and German scientists from Stockholm University, Stockholm Environment Institute and Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research.
International financiers ramped up efforts to stave off economic recession in Africa with the establishment of a $15 billion fund to support small and medium-sized enterprises that have been the main drivers of growth in the continent over the past decade. The fund, an initiative of the African Development Bank (AfDB), the French Development Agency (AFD), and Development Bank of Southern Africa, will support intra-Africa trade, boost lending to agribusiness, and finance key infrastructure that supports businesses across the continent.
Microfinance has proven itself so far to be very resilient to what is happening globally, and its clients are not necessarily experiencing anything that is correlated to the events in the US, Bob Annibale, Global Head of Microfinance at Citigroup said on Tuesday.
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 apex regulatory banking institution in the country, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has been in the news in the last couple of days for a joyful reason. The bank has every reason to be in a festive mood, having clocked 50 golden years since its establishment.
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 Southern Africa Trust is to present findings from the regional research study on micro-finance and poverty. Commissioned in 2008, the study was to examine the nature of the micro-finance sector and its impact on poverty eradication in the SADC region.
A fresher, integrated approach to workplace learning can have a positive role in India's ability to turn its unique demographics into a dividend writes Angie Taras
For centuries, Britain has been a leader in finance and banking. Today we are setting out how we can remain world leaders. Not at the expense of others, but in partnership with them. And not by returning to business as usual, but by reforming, renewing and championing our financial sector so that it is ready and able to seize future opportunities.
The World Bank estimates that half of the world lives on $2.50 a day or less. As global leaders scramble to stabilize the financial systems of the world's largest economies, they have an unparalleled opportunity to include the world's poorest households. Meaningful and inclusive reform expands financial access to those who need it most.
This year, the week of 11-17 May has been declared National Volunteers Week, and Opportunity International Australia would like to recognise all the Ambassadors, volunteers and Board members who so generously volunteer their time, skills and expertise to help us with our cause. From university students and interns to industry professionals and experts, we have many volunteers helping us out across the country, helping us increase our outreach to more people living in poverty.
At the end of December last year, Nigeria had 815 licensed MFBs, putting itself in the first position globally on the number of practicing MFBs. However, the Managing Director, Elim MFB, Mrs. Ifeoma Ana, said that in spite the number of licensed MFBs operating in the country, micro financing would remain a mirage to the people except positive steps were taken to ensure that the sub-sector was effective in alleviating poverty.
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.
iGrin is Australia's first peer to peer lending marketplace.
The Economist Intelligence Unit has released its latest world innovation rankings, which show China climbing up the ranks faster than other countries. But while the emerging markets are moving up the pecking order, the developed world still hogs the top spots. Japan and Switzerland remain first and second respectively. The report includes innovation predictions for the next five years, and more gains for the emerging world are expected. China, India and South Africa will continue to rise. Even so, Japan, the US and European countries such as Switzerland, Finland, Germany and Sweden are expected to retain their top-ten rankings in 2013.
This seaside city is known as a rich stockpile of art deco architecture, the hub of Morocco's economic growth and the setting of an all-time classic movie starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman. But Casablanca is also the capital of a bleaker aspect of modern Morocco -- sprawling slums, where huge families are packed into shanties with tin roofs rusted by the ocean winds, and goats and donkeys munch stray garbage.
Clickatell, messaging provider for financial services, has been selected by Fortis Microfinance Bank to provide SMS Receipts(TM) to thousands of retail banking customers throughout Nigeria.
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.
Few women in Africa work in regular, formal sector jobs, and even those generally earn too little to escape from poverty. Decades after the world officially recognized a human right to gender equality, women remain largely excluded from the upper ranks of government and business, earn less than their male co-workers and face an array of customs, traditions and attitudes that limit their opportunities.
The world's major greenhouse gas emitters gathered in Washington D.C last week, trying to lay the groundwork for a global deal to fight climate change, but progress was limited. The two-day major economies meeting on climate change was meant to pave the way for international talks in Copenhagen in December, seeking to forge a successor to the Kyoto Protocol, which expires in 2012.
A new children's book tells the story of what happens when a young boy living in Ghana in West Africa borrows a few coins from his village's collective fund. The boy, Kojo, has an idea: to buy one hen. He walks two hours to a chicken farm in a neighboring village, and he finds the hen he wants — plump and brown, with a bright red comb. He buys that hen — with the hopes of selling some of the eggs she lays in order to buy more hens. And he does buy more hens — and more and more of them.
During The Aspen Environment Forum Her Majesty Queen Noor of Jordan presented the King Hussein Leadership Prize which recognizes outstanding leadership in promoting human rights, sustainability and world peace. And the winner was Bob Freling, Executive Director of an American non profit called SELF -- the Solar Electric Light Fund, which has been solar-powering villages around the world.
Sound policies and regulations for microinsurance in Nigeria will encourage innovation, investment, sustainability and growth in the insurance sector, while protecting consumers and the soundness of institutions. The overall objective, according to the author, is to provide value-for-money products on a massive scale to the low-income population.
ACCION Wins Inter-American Development Bank's First "Juscelino Kubitschek Award". ACCION International, a pioneer and leader in microfinance, today announced that it has been awarded the Inter-American Development Bank's "Juscelino Kubitschek Award" for its contributions to economic and financial development in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Governments bargain for “fair deals” that enhance development: Large mining operations in Africa have generated big profits for foreign companies, with little local benefit. Now governments are trying to harness more mining revenues for development purposes.
New research reveals that mobile financial services offer some of the best commissions in the world — threatening to knock toothpaste from its lofty perch as the most lucrative product for profit hungry merchants. CGAP, a global microfinance centre, has listed M-Pesa as the world’s biggest mobile banking success.
A searchable global map forms the new heart of www.reegle.info, the specialist search engine for renewable energy and energy efficiency. Users can click on a specific location and get the latest events, news, and a sampling of green energy development projects in that area. There is also a catalogue of stakeholders and an energy-oriented profile of the relevant country, including up-to-date statistics and information on local green energy policies and regulations.
Microfinance – previously seen as an area bound to make perennial losses - is rapidly growing into one of the important asset classes that investors are hunting for.
Even though there have been no dramatic developments since Parliament enacted the Microfinance Act two years ago in Kenya, it is turning out that this is one of the most lucrative areas of investment for both equity and debt investors.
A hive of social activity: where French entrepreneurs benefit from collective intelligence. After graduating, Charlotte Hochman worked with several grassroots organisations in India and Brazil, one of which was Village Action. She then launched La Ruche, or ‘The Beehive’ in English, a NGO that is open to anyone proposing an innovative solution to a social or ecological challenge...
Parminder Bahra, Times' correspondent finds doubts raised about the effectiveness of one of the big ideas in the fight against poverty.
The idea all began when Emeka Okafor mused aloud at ned.com, “While the ICT space has developed a head of steam in some parts of Africa… a ‘Maker Philosophy’ is yet to occur. I would be interested in getting a sense of everyone’s thoughts on a Maker type Faire within the continent… an event where Afrigadget type innovations,inventions and initiatives can be brought to life, supported,amplified,propagated etc.”
This can be dangerous.
Today, along with Afrigadget and the International Development Design Summit - and with a nod from Maker Faire - Maker Faire Africa is moving forward into planning stages for a summer 2009 kick-off.
The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), a specialized agency of the United Nations, has announced the theme for its annual World Intellectual Property Day to be held on April 26 will be “promoting green innovation as a key element in meeting the challenges of climate change”. In his message to mark the day, WIPO Director General Francis Gurry highlights the contribution that a balanced intellectual property (IP) system can make in enabling the development of technology-based solutions to mitigate the impact of climate change.
Grameen Phone and its Village Phone Initiative is akin to a public pay phone microenterprise run by a rural woman. A Grameen Bank borrower uses their loan to become a Grameen Phone microfranchisee. The new business owner gains access to the branding, training, and partners of Grameen Phone. To date there are over 200,000 Village Phone operators in rural areas bringing increased access to regional markets, knowledge, and services to the rural poor.
Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus, known as the "banker to the poor" for making small loans in impoverished countries, is now doing business in the center of capitalism — New York City.
Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus greets borrowers at a Grameen America open house at St. John's University in New York on Saturday.
Insurers should think small to tap into one of their biggest opportunities for growth: serving poor people. The financial services industry is facing unprecedented challenges worldwide due to excessive risk-taking. Complicated investment vehicles, insufficient transparency and excessive swapping of credit default risk have had a severe and pervasive impact on confidence. The world's most advanced markets for financial services are reeling in uncertainty.
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.
Forty percent of the world's population lives on less than $2 per day, according to the World Bank. Yet even in the midst of the current economic meltdown, there is reason for new optimism in the fight to reduce global poverty. The optimism starts with the evolution of microfinance, which has proved not only that the poor are credit-worthy, but that banking institutions serving the poor are investment-worthy. In addition, microfinance is tapping into a technological revolution that enables areas with deficient land phone service to leapfrog ahead to cellphones and broadband. And, as this takes place, both philanthropy and capital markets are paying careful attention.
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 Innovation Fund is a special facility within EFInA that seeks to promote innovation in the development and deployment of financial services and thus expand financial access to the underserved population in Nigeria. EFInA will share the risk of developing and implementing new innovations by providing a grant subsidy (up to 50%) for new commercial projects.
“Innovation” is one of those rich words, a word that carries significant weight in our society. It’s a word we immediately recognize, even if we can’t properly define it. But who needs to define innovation? We all know what innovation is. We know what it looks like, where to find it, how to value it, and how to chase it. We can all point to examples of innovation as seen through our eyes: ultra-thin cell phones, shiny MP3 players, new engines in sleek new cars. We see products, ideas, services and toys…and we see innovation, the cool, sleek child of invention.