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

03/08/2010 by

Darwin Cruz is Online Communications Officer for the Grameen Foundation.

Today is International Women's Day. I first learned about this holiday a few years ago. Back then, I didn't  understand the nature of the celebration or why it's been celebrated for the past 100 years. But now I realize that though in the US it's not yet a major holiday, around the world this day has a big impact.

Take a look at the over 750 events celebrating this day around the world. This year's theme is: Equal rights, equal opportunities: progress of all. I definitely believe in that last statement: unless we are all making progress together, there is no true progress. I wanted to share a couple excerpts from NY Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, a huge advocate for women worldwide. From his book Half the Sky, he writes:

Yet if the injustices that women in poor countries suffer are of paramount importance, in an economic and geopolitical sense the opportunity they represent is even greater. “Women hold up half the sky,” in the words of a Chinese saying, yet that’s mostly an aspiration: in a large slice of the world, girls are uneducated and women marginalized, and it’s not an accident that those same countries are disproportionately mired in poverty and riven by fundamentalism and chaos.

02/26/2010 by

Eric Cantor recounts his story from Barcelona.

My heart was racing as I sat in an auditorium with several hundred of the 45,000+ attendees of 2010 GSMA Mobile World Congress . We were there to hear which of the 100 finalists out of 500 nominations for the Global Mobile Awards - recognizing the top achievements in the mobile world from the prior year – would get the one of the top honors in the industry.

The category of Best use of Mobile for Social and Economic Development was the reason for the aforementioned anxiety, because along with our partners in the AppLab and Google SMS endeavors of the last 2.5 years, Google and MTN Uganda , we had two entries out of the seven finalists. As the results were announced, we weren't sure whether we would win or not. Then the announcement came, it was us – we won the award!

They called my name and we went up on stage to accept the trophy, say our thank you's and give a brief acceptance speech. In my shock, I’m not sure what I said but I am hopeful it was fitting for the moment. This recognition comes at a critical time for Grameen Foundation . Since the inception of AppLab in late 2007, Grameen Foundation and its partners have been focused on leveraging the most successful technological innovation of our time, the mobile phone, to improve lives of the low-income individuals and communities who are always the last to be reached by the market.

02/05/2010 by

Charlene Balick is a Technical Program Officer for Grameen Foundation based in Seattle, Washington.  She has spent considerable time in Haiti working with Fonkoze.

On Thursday, 27 January, my co-worker in the Grameen Technology Center, Scott Everett , organized with some other members of SEAMO (Seattle Microfinance Organization) a benefit to raise funds for Fonkoze.  The event was promoted by other Seattle organizations including Seattle Greendrinks, Re-Vision Labs and Seattle Works.   I was thrilled to have a chance to be a part of the lineup and share stories and photos of clients I had taken during visits to Fonkoze over the past year and half.

02/04/2010 by
Haitian woman with child

Fonkoze client with her child in Haiti

The Huffington Post's Vivian Norris de Montaigu recaps on a Haiti-filled day in Paris, including learning about Grameen Foundation Fonkoze client with her child in Haiti and Fonkoze's unique recovery and relief efforts in Haiti.

The full story is available here.

01/29/2010 by

Alberto Solano joined Grameen Foundation in October 2009 and provides leadership and management oversight for our portfolio and activities across the Americas.  He is leading our economic recovery efforts in Haiti.

Today, Leigh Carter (Executive Director of Fonkoze USA) and I gave a briefing about the current situation and role of microfinance in economic recovery efforts in Haiti.  I also spoke about the role that microfinance plays in relief and recovery efforts after natural disasters and Grameen Foundation's work in the Americas region.

Leigh currently serves as Executive Director and CFO of Fonkoze USA, which is the US-based support partner of FONKOZE.  Leigh provided an overview of Fonkoze, the current situation in Haiti and its long relationship with Grameen Foundation.

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