Posts Tagged ‘poverty’

Catch the Skoll World Forum on Social Entrepreneurship TODAY

Sadly, the Skoll World Forum on Social Entrepreneurship, March 28-30, 2012 at the University of Oxford, England,  is by invitation only. Sadly, I won’t be there. But I can live vicariously through the Internet!

Why have a world forum on social entrepreneurship? Because it matters! A lot.  By the way, this link is to Skoll Foundation CEO Sally Osberg’s post on the Huffington Post.  And Ariana Huffington is a featured speaker at the forum this year.

 

 

For those of us who can’t be in Oxford, video recordings of select presentations are available online and also in live stream. Here’s the schedule:

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Let’s bring clean water to 100 people! (It’s World Water Day. And it’s my birthday present!)

Water is for the global good!

For my birthday, April 6, I want to get clean water to 100 people. Want to help?

You can give $43 now (my age, ugh!) or anything at all. Hey,  $10 is great.

Go to:  http://mycharitywater.org/theglobalgood

All – 100% – will go to a clean water project like a well or a filtering system. If we reach our big goal of $2000, we will bring clean drinking water to 100 people.  Clean water to drink, and not for one day either. Every day. As they say, “Water changes everything.”

 

 

 

I know it sounds silly, but ever since I read the novel Dune, I’ve been fascinated by the idea of a planet– our planet– without water. I’m a sci-fi fan. When clean drinking water becomes so rare and so precious, what does that look like? Who owns the water?

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Recommended Reading

This book should top the list for anyone in global development:

 Poor Economics: A Radical Rethinking of the Way to Fight Global Poverty

Authors Banerjee and Duflo, both MIT economists, take a close look at the poor and the decisions they make. With over fifteen years  research in dozens of countries, they suggest that poverty programs and actions should be “radically rethought”. To be effective, these programs need to change to to reflect the reality of poverty as evidenced.

Maybe…we had it all wrong? Some of these insights really challenge basic assumptions. For example, we assume the poor don’t have enough to eat, right? But Banerjee and Duflo observed that given more money, the poor didn’t buy more food, they bought better food (in similar amounts).

I don’t pretend to know all the implications of Banerjee and Duflo’s work, but I find it fascinating and think the impacts, if and when applied to poverty programs, could be profound.

For more, go to the book’s companion website:

Companion Website — Poor Economics

Have you read a great book on development lately? Recommend it here!!

50% Fewer Live in Extreme Poverty…and….

Five years before the 2015 deadline, the world has achieved one of the Millennium Development Goals to reduce extreme poverty by half.

Check out the New York Times article on March 6, 2012:

Dire Poverty Falls Despite Global Slump

Definitely this is a huge achievement to be celebrated!!  And a word of caution comes from the Trickle Up President Bill Abrams. One caveat is how we understand and define poverty. The gross numbers for poverty have fallen, but the numbers of the ultra-poor (living on $1.25/day or less) haven’t improved all that much.

Why would that be? Continue reading

The Big Idea: (UPDATED) Simple Truths About Mobile Money via NextBillion.net

Check out NextBillion.net’s latest blog post:

The Big Idea: (UPDATED) Simple Truths About Mobile Money.

Financial Inclusion is development-speak for access to banking services for the poor. Some people in development– banks?– think we need to reach the poor and “unbanked“.

That would be 2.7 billion unbanked people in world. The premise is that even if, or perhaps especially if, you have very little money and/or you live in the countryside, your money is safer at the bank.

One way to deliver financial services, when you have no brick and mortar bank,  is through cell phones. Mobile technologies have created a wealth of opportunities (pun intended) for global development.

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All things being (more) equal, we’re happier people.

I recently viewed the video “How Economic Inequality Harms Societies“.  Here Richard Wilkinson, author of The Spirit Level, explains how gaps in income distribution hurt societies.

The bigger the gap between the rich and the poor, the bigger society’s problems. Conversely, the more homogeneous a people are, in terms of income, the greater the well-being and happiness in the society.

And, according to Wilkinson, the determining factor for social well-being is not how rich or poor a given society is overall. Rather, it’s how similar the individuals in the population are to one another in terms of the distribution of wealth.

It would stand to reason, by this argument, that what we need to increase well-being is not more money per se. We need to close the gap between the rich and the poor. Continue reading

I got mine…?

Last month (January 2012) the Inter-American Development Bank attempted to answer the question:

Does Inequality Breed Altruism or Selfishness?

The answers are based on data about Brazil’s redistributive programs, also known as cash transfer programs.

One conditional cash transfer program in Brazil is called Bolsa Familia Continue reading

Scratch-offs + cell phones = energy.

Read how this social entrepreneur is bringing a pay-as-you go system to provide the world’s poorest people access to solar energy:

  1. Get a unique code from a scratch-off card.
  2. Send a text with the code to a local service.
  3. The service that will then credit the specified personal solar cell.

From the Sun (Bypassing the Grid) to the BoP Consumer.

Social businesses are reaching and improving the lives of the world’s poorest Continue reading

Can famine be fixed?

From the Poverty Matters blog:   Famine isn’t an “anomaly”, but the predictable result of a broken–and complex– system of food production and distribution.  Hunger, of course, is not just a problem limited to Africa or elsewhere in the developing world, but a global challenge.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/global-development/poverty-matters/2012/jan/30/famine-predictable-result-broken-system

MSNBC reported in 2006 that the number of people in the world who are obese had surpassed the number of people who are undernourished.

What can be done to “fix the system” so that people do not unnecessarily starve?