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

10/31/2013 by

October 31st is not just about Halloween; it’s also about savings. October 31st was established as World Savings Day in 1924 to promote savings globally. Today also marks the end of Grameen Foundation’s four-year, $9.78 million savings project funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The project was created to help increase the number of active savers throughout India, the Philippines, and Ethiopia, particularly those below $1.25/day.

We’re pleased that we helped our partners reach 850,000 new active savers. We’ve also learned a lot over the last four years that can benefit others. On October 22, we held a Savings Seminar in Washington, D.C. to convene 70 practitioners to discuss learnings, best practices, and things we’d do differently in future programs. While we planned extensively for this project, things do not always go as planned.

10/28/2013 by

Last week, Grameen Foundation CEO, Alex Counts, posted an update to his personal blog about some promising new ideas on researching the effectiveness of microfinance. In the post, he discusses the sometimes troubled relationship between microfinance practitioners and academic researchers. The post touched off a great discussion, centering on the question of how to ensure that the conclusions of researchers can be better put into practice:

“We should hold researchers to the standard they hold the rest of us – they should measure whether their research, on which millions of dollars are spent every year, produces any positive change.” -Alex Counts

Read the full post, and check out the discussion in the comments.

10/09/2013 by

Today, Cisco asked us all to share our vision of how the Internet of Everything can improve our world, by "connecting the unconnected".

Like Cisco, we believe that human networks and technology can play a significant role in transforming people's lives. At Grameen Foundation, our mission is to connect the world's poor to their potential. Poor people are already resourceful, clever and hard working. They have to be in order to survive. So imagine if we could connect their ingenuity to tools and information designed specifically with their needs in mind. In fact, we do that every day.

Here are four examples of the amazing things that happen when you connect the unconnected.

10/01/2013 by

Honey Care Beekeeper at work

The Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs or ANDE, recently released a case study (PDF) on Grameen Foundation Pioneer Fund investee and TaroWorks client, Honey Care Africa. The study shows how a multi-faceted, collaborative approach can empower poor farmers in ways that individual efforts alone cannot. Grameen Foundation and other ANDE members including, Root Capital, Open Capital Advisors, and Lundin Foundation provided complementary expertise that helped Honey Care Africa adapt and grow its business in Kenya. The promise of social enterprise will only be fully realized when supported by this kind of vibrant ecosystem.

07/10/2013 by

By Kimberly Davies. Cross-posted from Kiva.

Many industries view similar or related organizations as competitors. I’d like to think that the international development industry is unique in viewing others as collaborators. Since everyone in this industry is working toward a common goal—poverty alleviation—everyone is constantly looking for ways to share findings and learn from each other. Our biggest concern is reaching a common, hugely important mission. Since this desire outreaches any other concerns, proprietary material often does not exist. Discussing failures is encouraged. This may be counterintuitive to impressing funders, but luckily nowadays usually is not the case.

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