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

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. 

02/26/2014 by Camilla Nestor

Financial service providers see great potential in using mobile money to drive outreach and scale.  Mobile operators have aggressive strategies to increase market share by capturing new subscribers, which requires deeply penetrating the three billion people who live on less than $2.50 a day.  Yet, many of the services on offer are not designed around the needs, behaviors and capabilities of the poor.  We see the effects of this in low usage rates, preventing services from reaching scale and commercial viability.  In particular, services do not appear to be designed around the needs of poor women, excluding them from participating fully in the mobile revolution.  

02/19/2014 by Debbie Dean

Usability Tests in India

Mobile Financial Services (MFS) has received much attention as a way to further financial inclusion. But as we’ve written before, the mobile phone is not yet accessible enough to reach significant portions of the “unbanked”. Our research found that poor women in particular are left behind. Access, familiarity, convenience and security are significant issues.

At Grameen Foundation, we believe that these barriers can be addressed. We recently expanded on our initial research around gender and mobile financial services, taking a two-pronged approach. The first—which we’ll discuss here—was a partnership with InterMedia to utilize a mixed approach of qualitative and quantitative research methods in India and the Philippines. The second—which we’ll discuss in a separate posting next week—was a qualitative usability study in partnership with CKS in India, the Philippines, and Uganda.

02/08/2014 by
Bill Gates visits Grameen Foundation's MOTECH in Ghana

Bill Gates visits MOTECH, an mHealth joint initiative by Grameen Foundation and the Ghana Health Service

Comment boards lit up around the globe when Bill Gates declared that “by 2035, there will be almost no poor countries left in the world.” Not surprisingly, many scoffed at the idea, often citing examples from various countries. This reaction underscored an important fact that that was also highlighted in the Gates Annual Letter: outdated images of poverty are still very pervasive.

01/24/2014 by

By Juan Forero, Mobile Financial Services & Commercial Manager, Grameen Foundation

Though mobile phones and other technologies hold great promise for improving lives in poor, rural communities, there is still debate about how they can best be used to improve agricultural and rural development. Last November, Grameen Foundation and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) hosted an e-forum to discuss some of the central successes and challenges of emerging and established technologies. The result was a timely dialogue that will inform discussions at the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS+10) Summit, to be held in Egypt this year.[1]

Throughout the wide-ranging exchange, several key topics came to the fore that deserve closer scrutiny in 2014: the influence of measurement, the impact of gender, and the role of public-private partnerships.

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