Grameen Foundation Insights

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At Grameen Foundation, our goal is to spur innovation in the global movement to eliminate extreme poverty. Part of that work is to develop better solutions and share them with people like you.

On GF Insights, we share lessons learned from our leaders in the field, news about efforts to expand access to financial and information services for the poor, and how poverty-focused organizations are using data to improve the way they work.

Latest Posts

04/29/2014 by

By Nicole Herman, Communications Officer, Bankers without Borders

Randy Coutts and his wife, Cathy, helped a women’s cooperative in India to develop a business plan for its spice company
Randy Coutts and his wife, Cathy, helped a women’s cooperative in India to develop a business plan for its spice company

Over the past six years, the image of the typical international development volunteer has been changing. The bright-eyed, young college graduate eager to change the world is now giving way to more seasoned professionals.

04/25/2014 by Alex Counts

Margaret CrowThe movement to end poverty lost a great friend and champion earlier this month when Margaret Crow passed away in Dallas, Texas. Mrs. Crow was a generous donor, warm host and fearless traveler when it came to poverty reduction through microfinance, especially in Latin America, and most memorably in Chiapas, Mexico. She believed deeply in Grameen Foundation’s work to advance the elimination of poverty, and actively supported Chiapas International, our long-time partner in the Dallas area, during the last decade of her life.

I met Mrs. Crow through her daughter, our former board member Lucy Billingsley. Mrs. Crow took part in a memorable trip to Chiapas in 2003, leading a delegation of 30 female business leaders, professionals and philanthropists to spend a long weekend with the leaders, staff and loan clients of AlSol, a Grameen Foundation partner based in the charming colonial town of San Cristobal de las Casas.

03/24/2014 by

By Kimberly Davies, Program Officer, Financial Services


You’ve finally gotten that new savings product off the ground and into people’s hands. They sign up in droves—and then they go silent.

Dormant accounts can be a huge problem for financial service providers.  It puts a huge dent in their bottom line and could jeopardize their sustainability. Their clients also suffer because they don’t gain the experience needed to better manage their assets.

During Grameen Foundation’s Microsavings work with CARD Bank, we found that 58 percent of its new Matapat savings accounts were never used. People wanted to save, signed up for the account, thinking it would be a good fit for their needs. But, they never made transactions.

03/24/2014 by Camilla Nestor

You know mobile money for the unbanked is getting hot when there’s a standing-room-only crowd at the Mobile World Congress.

For the past five years, most of the conversation about using mobile phones to provide financial services to the poor has revolved around the success of M-PESA in Kenya. As more players enter this space, that discussion is now shifting to two inter-related issues that were recurring themes at this year’s conference: usability and user-centered design.

The concept of human-centered design in international development began taking root about five years ago and has only recently gained wider adoption in the financial services space. This was underscored in the Global Financial Development Report 2014, which pointed to the limited use of human-centered design processes as one of the reasons for the dearth of products and services that are “more conducive to financial inclusion.”

03/21/2014 by

One key area of Grameen Foundation’s work is collecting, analyzing and sharing data that can help us and other organizations create better tools and services for the world’s poor. Answering the “so what?” question makes the reams of data we collect more meaningful and helps us to deliver valuable insights to various audiences. That’s why we’re delighted that think-cell has agreed to provide their software free of charge. The think-cell presentation suite consists of three components (chart, round and layout) that are designed to create business charts and presentations through add-ins for PowerPoint and Excel.

Using this software will help our teams around the world more effectively and quickly display information about our work, such as how poor people manage their money and healthcare and how targeted information benefits poor farmers. 

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