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Blog Archive: October 2012

Lessons from Medicine for Poverty Alleviation

October 31, 2012

This post by Alex Counts was originally published on his blog, where he describes the process of writing a book on Haitian microfinance pioneer Fonkoze. It has been a few weeks since I have posted on this blog, but I have continued to study and to work inside Fonkoze all along.  Now I feel like I finally have a juicy topic to write about and time to do so. In response to my post on outcomes and impact (as opposed to inputs) in poverty reduction programs, Meredith Kimbell, a top-notch management consultant in the Washington, DC area whom I have known for years, mentioned the book Better by a physician named Atul Gawande, and in particular a chapter towards the end titled “The Bell Curve.”  I read the entire book, which is basically about how the practice of medicine has been and can be improved (with lessons for other disciplines).  I found that the book had some important lessons for the effort to end poverty through holistic approaches to microfinance such as those employed by Fonkoze