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

01/22/2013 by

Mobile AppsThe world’s largest democracy is the new testing ground for what could be the largest plan for putting cash directly into the hands of the poorest people. Cash transfer programs have been successful in Latin America and parts of Africa, but India could be the best example of how to deliver these programs on a large scale.

It’s certainly a gargantuan task. But, overall, it’s a good initiative, with the long-term benefits outweighing the very real obstacles it faces. The most significant impact could be the network of agents (or business correspondents) that will be created to service the transfer system. They could potentially support the other financial needs of the poor, helping India move closer to the goal of true financial inclusion.

01/22/2013 by

Some call mobile phones the great equalizer. With one click, poor farmers in rural Uganda can have the same access to information as a rancher in Texas. Because of this, many expect the dramatic growth of phones in the developing world to bring boundless opportunities.

But according to a GSMA report released in October, we actually ended 2012 with about 2 billion fewer mobile phone subscribers than previously thought. GSMA’s estimate of 3.2 billion subscribers by the end of the year (growing at a rate of 16 % per year) is at odds with another report by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) – one of the main public sources of information often cited for this data – that put the count at 6 billion and growing.

01/08/2013 by

Originally posted at Next Billion. Leo Tobias is a Technology Program Manager at Grameen Foundation.

12/14/2012 by

By Christopher Tan, Chief Executive Officer, Asia Region, Grameen Foundation Christopher (“Happy”) Tan is Grameen Foundation’s CEO for the Asia Region, where he is responsible for defining and executing the organization’s regional long-term strategy and overseeing its various investments and programs there. A native of the Philippines, he has almost 15 years of experience in development finance, nonprofit management and public interest law, having worked for ShoreBank Advisory Services (SAS), the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC/Chicago) and SALIGAN in the Philippines.

11/22/2012 by

For the 12 days leading up to Thanksgiving in the U.S., we’re featuring 12 stories from six different countries we work in, as a way of saying, “Thank You” to our supporters, who make our work possible. We hope that you enjoy seeing the difference that you’re making in the lives of poor people around the world, every day.

Ibu Marni, a 44-year-old mother of two, lives in the village of Kunciran, outside the Indonesian capital of Jakarta. She joined Grameen Foundation as a Village Phone operator in late 2009. Grameen Foundation operation manager Ellen Sasha shares her story:

Ibu Marni spent years creating businesses out of her home, ranging from selling groceries to renting out video games, only to watch each one fail due to rising costs, increased competition and complaints from neighbors. Each failure put her deeper into debt, and when her husband lost his job as a construction worker, she struggled to find new ways to support her family. As an optimist with an entrepreneurial spirit, however, she never gave up.

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