There are 75 entries in this category.
May 31, 2010
Nov 16, 2009
Impatient optimists are like investors in subprime mortgages in 2007. They can be so blinded by the upside that they fail to do their due diligence. In the end, their impatience and pursuit of outsize returns fuels waste and disappointment. Patient optimists, by contrast, have lowered their expectations of any particular program or intervention, but not their belief in a better world over the long term. If we’re going to succeed in making the world a better place, we need to convince more people to lower their expectations, too.
Oct 28, 2009
This has been a banner year for gathering real evidence about microfinance. But does all of this research matter? Will it change what donors believe about microfinance? In other words, is microfinance more like autism or Hormone Replacement Therapy?
Oct 12, 2009
Today I saw a Kiva document that, for me, points to a far bigger problem with Kiva than those already pointed out. Two points in the document floored me. First, all losses from Kiva-securitized loans are borne by the Kiva user. Second, Kiva’s monthly repayment reports are not based on actual repayment data.
Oct 07, 2009
Rwanda is a place where the generally accepted and reported narrative is increasingly diverging from the facts on the ground. The narrative is well-known: Since the genocide, Rwanda has made steady progress in economic growth, stability and reconciliation under the benevolent and enlightened leadership of President Paul Kagame who is attracting economic investment from the business community rather than by soliciting aid.
But the narrative is breaking down at all levels. Rwanda is starting to look much more like a bitter tragedy than an inspirational new model.
Jun 22, 2009
A year ago the global food crisis was front and center in international circles. Today, you’d be hard pressed to find the phrase appear at all. But the problems so evident last year have not been solved, they’ve mostly just been displaced from their position at the top of the crisis list. With the rapid spread of Ug99 wheat stem rust, we could be facing a food crisis soon that utterly dwarfs the last two years.
May 05, 2009
Some thoughts from the first day of the Council on Foundations Conference
Apr 06, 2009
Both those who have praised or condemned Dambisa Moyo’s new book seem to have lost touch—as they fine-tune the language of their point-counterpoint—with an inexorable reality: there is zero chance that Western governments will cut off aid flows to Africa within five years. Is there any practical advice on offer anywhere?
Feb 26, 2009
In December of last year, a group of banks reportedly lobbied the Kenyan finance minister to audit M-Pesa, a mobile funds transfer service offered by the telecommunications firm Safaricom, in an effort to have the service shut down.
Feb 18, 2009
The Rwandan government’s current joint military operations with the Congolese army to finally dismantle the remains of militia groups that participated in the 1994 genocide creates an unequivocal opportunity for philanthropic investment no matter how one feels about the politics of the Rwandan government. For those concerned about the future of East and Central Africa and finally ending the various conflicts that have claimed more than 5 million lives, ensuring that remnants of Hutu militias can create peaceful livelihoods should be a top priority.