A little over a year ago, Susan Davis, and former Chairwoman of Grameen Foundation said to me, “In the wake of 9/11, there was a lot of talk about developing partnerships with progressive groups in the Middle East, but few actually took the risk and did anything. Grameen Foundation took a big risk and did jump in.
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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.
Camilla Nestor, Grameen Foundation’s Senior Vice President for Global Solutions, teaches a financial inclusion course at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. As part of her course, students submitted blog posts that were evaluated by professors and Grameen Foundation’s communications staff. The first of the two winning posts is featured here.
During our recent workshop on designing products for adoption and scale in Mumbai, I heard many memorable ideas, concepts, examples and analogies. One that has stuck in my mind is Ujjivan’s Samit Ghosh likening the shift we are trying to make to moving from catching rabbits to catching elephants.
I have watched many people set out to start something completely new as a way to increase social impact. I have even started a few such ventures – such as Grameen Foundation – myself. It takes a lot to launch a successful start-up, including courage and, dare I say, cojones. There is significant risk involved, and with the upside of transformation comes the often looming downside of humiliating failure.
Grameen Foundation and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) have released a new policy brief on ICT in agriculture for the upcoming World Summit of the Information Society review and conference (WSIS+10) to be held in June 2014. Titled "e-Agriculture: Looking back and moving forward", the brief provides recommendations for governments and project implementers on the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in agriculture and rural development. Some of the key points focus on measuring the impact of ICT interventions and the challenges facing women and youth.
The recommendations are based on discussions from an online forum the two organizations hosted to gather different perspectives from practitioners about the major achievements and challenges of using ICTs in agriculture. In the forum, which was held November 25 to December 6, 2013, participants shared their successes and failures and gave examples of possible models to emulate and upscale.