April 25, 2016 by Steve Hollingworth
Last month, I had the opportunity to speak with dozens of Grameen Foundation supporters and volunteers during a live web chat. As part of the Grameen Family, you inspire me, and your questions point to issues at the core of our mission.
You asked: Is it truly possible to reach the poorest of the poor with financial services delivered over mobile phones? What will Grameen Foundation tackle next? Why do we emphasize women, and how can we ensure that women are in the forefront of, rather than left behind, the new wave of digital development?
And that’s just the beginning. Your questions also touched on the role of culture and language in using digital technology for development, and strategies for financial inclusion going forward.
We covered a lot of territory in one hour. But this is an extended conversation, and one in which Grameen Foundation’s country and program leadership are central.
Therefore, over a series of monthly blog posts, our country directors and program experts in digital financial services, mobile agriculture and mobile health will reply to your questions. We will start with this: Is it truly possible to reach the poorest of the poor with financial services delivered over mobile phones? And, if so, how?
Spoiler alert: The answer is yes. The mission is critical. The complexity lies in the “how.” How do we use some of the world’s most advanced technology to empower its poorest people to change their lives?
We will share our insights into this and more through our new blog series, Last Mile DigitalDev. We hope it will generate more conversation, more innovation, and more connection.