What does it take to design and create savings products that are useful and safe for poor people? In a guest piece for the CGAP Microfinance blog, Debbie Dean -- Grameen Foundation's Microsavings Project Director -- discusses the team's experience working with CARD Bank in the Philippines. Together, they are integrating poverty data and financial data to better understand the savings behavior of CARD's existing clients and the markets it is serving, as well as to design products to fill needs where there are gaps. Her guest blog post is part of a special series on savings.
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.
A network of people who support Grameen Bank and its founder, microfinance pioneer Professor Muhammad Yunus, has put together a short, factual summary of the recent confrontation between Professor Yunus/Grameen Bank and the Bangladesh government. It’s meant to be a quick read that will help people separate fact from fiction, with plenty of links to key documents for those who want to dig deeper. There has been much misinformation circulated in the media and around the web about these issues, so we hope this will prove to be a reference that people can easily share, to enable supporters of microfinance to spread the truth. This fact sheet will be updated as conditions change; to read, share or download the most recent version of this fact sheet in PDF format, visit the Friends of Grameen website.
Sandra Fernandez is a Social Media Intern for Grameen Foundation.
Over nearly the last year, we’ve been piloting our Mobile Technology for Community Health, or MOTECH, initiative in the remote Upper East Region of Ghana. MOTECH’s two key services – Mobile Midwife and Nurse Application – provide maternal health information via mobile phones to both pregnant parents and their community nurses in rural areas. The system was launched in July 2010, and we’ve experienced many successes ever since. As is expected with any new projects, it’s also been an intensive learning process. Here’s a short overview of some of the lessons we’ve learned.
Georgina Allen is a marketing and communications intern, based in our Seattle office.
David Edelstein, Director of Grameen Foundation Technology Center, speaks about the poverty-fighting potential of the mobile phone.
It’s been 10 years since Grameen Foundation established its Technology Center in Seattle to empower poor people through information and communication technology. On Tuesday, May 17, we hosted an open house to celebrate this milestone and thank the donors and supporters who help make our work possible. Almost 200 people attended!
Steve Wright is Director of the Social Performance Management Center at Grameen Foundation.
The team at the Grameen Foundation Social Performance Management Center (SPMC) is trying to solve a problem fundamental to poverty alleviation: how to accurately measure who is reaching the poor and to what extent. The Progress out of Poverty Index® (PPI®) is the necessary first step toward addressing those questions. An easy-to-use tool, it enables microfinance institutions (MFIs) to obtain consistent, measurable and reliable data, as well as giving them the ability to use the results to improve their services to the poor. The PPI is currently the industry-standard poverty measurement tool used by MFIs globally.
Over the last four years, Grameen Foundation staff has heard from MFIs, as well as from MFI networks and associations, that they need to integrate PPI data with their management information systems to gain critical business intelligence (for example, to learn how a particular loan product is performing at a particular level). We have worked closely with these organizations to understand their requirements and prototype the tools that they need.
Today, we’re delighted to announce that we will be creating a PPI management tool that users will access via the Internet. This new, cloud-based PPI application – made possible by generous funding from The Moody’s Foundation and built on the Force.com platform from Salesforce.com – will make the PPI even more dynamic and easier to use, enabling more organizations to use it to collect, analyze and report social performance data.