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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

12/14/2010 by

Jason Hahn is the Information and Communication Technology Innovation (ICTI) Development Manager at Grameen Foundation. The ICTI team develops, tests and advances mobile phone products and services in Uganda, Indonesia, and Ghana to improve healthcare, farming, banking, and more.

After we launched our Community Knowledge Worker (CKW) network in Uganda, I was reviewing a budget report and came across a “babysitting” entry. Thinking this must be an obvious mistake, I contacted our local finance person for an explanation. I discovered that we did pay for babysitting as some of the CKWs we were training were mothers who would not have been able to participate unless we paid for child care. It makes perfect sense now and is a good example of a practical step you can take to ensure that women and men access your programs.

[caption id="attachment_1393" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Hosea Sempa from our training team holds a baby so the father (in picture) and mother (out of picture) can participate in the training."][/caption]

At Grameen Foundation, we’ve learned first-hand the importance of doing what it takes to strive for gender equity in our work. Ensuring that women have equal access to the actionable agricultural information we provide through our CKW network is not just a "feel good" action for us. It is also one of the most practical steps we can take to achieve our goal of improving farmers’ livelihoods through access to information.

In Uganda, women do 85% of the planting, 85% of the weeding, 55% of the land preparation, and 98% of all food processing. This may explain why 90% of rural women in Uganda work in agriculture, compared to 53% of men. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), women in rural areas produce at least 50% of the world’s food. While women are hard at work on farms, we also know that many women do not have access to mobile phones. According to the Women and Mobile Report by the GSMA and Cherie Blair Foundation, women are 24% less likely than men to own a mobile phone in sub-Saharan Africa, and women in rural areas and lower income brackets stand to benefit the most from closing the gender gap in mobile phone ownership.

12/10/2010 by

Ayesha Abbasi was an intern on Grameen Foundation’s Marketing and Communications team from August through November of this year. A senior at American University's Kogod School of Business, Ayesha wrote this blog post as she was preparing to graduate in December.

  

As I walked into the Grameen Foundation office in Washington, DC on my first day back in August, I remember being captivated by the vibrant images of microfinance borrowers from around the globe. One by one, I closely examined the portraits hanging on the walls, trying to understand the relationship between the organization and these individuals with smiles of satisfaction on their faces. Now, having been at Grameen Foundation for more than three months, I am not only aware, but wholeheartedly passionate, about the organization’s noble influence in underprivileged communities around the world.

12/09/2010 by

Alex Counts is president, CEO and founder of Grameen Foundation, as well as the author of several books, including Small Loans, Big Dreams: How Nobel Prize Winner Muhammad Yunus and Microfinance are Changing the World.

12/03/2010 by

Alex Counts is president, CEO and founder of Grameen Foundation, and author of several books, including Small Loans, Big Dreams: How Nobel Prize Winner Muhammad Yunus and Microfinance are Changing the World.

On Nov. 25, Thanksgiving Day in the U.S., I joined Vikram Akula, the founder of SKS Microfinance (India’s largest microfinance institution), for an interview on “Talk of the Nation,” which airs nationally on National Public Radio. This 40-minute interview followed our 90-minute debate at the Asia Society a few weeks earlier. I must say, my heart goes out to Vikram, since for him both sessions took place after midnight his time (he participated remotely from India).

12/02/2010 by

By Alberto Solano, Regional CEO, Latin America and the Caribbean, Grameen Foundation

Eleven months have passed since an earthquake devastated the country of Haiti.

Many of you made a generous gift to help Haitian families rebuild their businesses and their lives and entrusted Grameen Foundation to carry out this important work. I want to report to you on how we used the funds you provided.

Nearly 100% of the $157,000 we raised is now invested in the people of Haiti. Of that, 59% was disbursed within just a few weeks of the earthquake.

“Many partners and friends came to our side during this tragedy. Grameen Foundation was engaged in the response on day one,” said  Leigh Carter, Executive Director of Fonkoze USA

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