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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

01/15/2014 by Alex Counts

Just as increasing use of a “gender lens” has transformed thinking about and the practice of international development in recent decades, so too can behavioral economics in the near future.  In some cases, this discipline explains and reaffirms current practice.  In other cases, the study of behavioral economics provides an alternative explanation of why some things work and others don’t.  In still other cases, it suggests that current thinking and so-called “best practices” are wrong and counter-productive.  Now and then, it prompts us to consider readopting a practice that has fallen out of favor. 

Now, I will comment on the specific insights and implications I see for microfinance and international development when looked at through a behavioral economics lens.

01/13/2014 by Alex Counts

The field of behavioral economics – the intersection of psychology and economics – is fairly new.  This is a partial explanation of why its lessons have not yet been applied much to microfinance and anti-poverty programs generally.  But this is clearly changing, and none-too-soon, as microfinance in particular is in need of reinvention and rebranding. 

In fact, I am coming to believe that thoughtful applications of behavioral economics can be a central part of defining and realizing the idea of “responsible microfinance” that the Microfinance CEO Working Group and others are championing and also “full financial inclusion” that moves the dial on poverty. 

12/23/2013 by

At Grameen Foundation, we’re committed to sharing our experiences and insights with others. Only together can we leverage the resources and know-how to connect the world’s poor to their potential. In this spirit, we offer up four lessons learned or affirmed through our work, along with relevant resources we or others have published over the course of 2013.

CARD Bank saver, with ATM card
CARD Bank savings client with her new ATM card

Human networks are critical to overcoming the gender barriers and literacy challenges faced when delivering products and services to the poor

This year, we published several resources related to better understanding and utilizing human networks to eliminate global poverty:

12/19/2013 by

Grameen Foundation and Grameen Foundation India has worked with Intellecap to create a 4-part highlighting challenges and solutions for various aspects of the Business Correspondent Model. This blog was created by Kimberly Davies and Abby Addis. Click here for full studies about dormancy, the business model, channel innovation, or operational challenges.

12/18/2013 by

By Kimberly Davies. Originally posted at

A human-centered design (HCD) methodology is gaining more traction as a way to ensure products that are developed actually solve real problems for their target users. But while this approach has led to a number of great products in recent years, many of them get stuck in the implementation phase, only to collect dust on a shelf.

That's why, on November 5th, forty international development practitioners including representatives from Africa, Asia and Latin America convened in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania to discuss why creating innovative products for the poor isn't enough. We engaged in some much-needed discussion about creative ways to ensure that new products actually get to market and reach the end users the products are designed to help.


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