Category: Latin America
There are 27 entries in this category.
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.
May 04, 2009
How can policy and development encourage the use of remittance funds for positive development ends? Tim Ogden and Laura Starita, the editors of Philanthropy Action, together with Heidi Metcalf, the deputy director of the Hudson Institute, tackled that question in Hudson’s 2009 Index of Global Philanthropy and Remittances.
Mar 06, 2009
One part of the Obama administration’s proposed budget provides an example worth following for private philanthropy—investing in effectiveness research. Questions abound in nearly every social area, from education to health to economic development. Behavioral economics is also at work on donors and funders as they make choices about what to invest in. The impulse—as with that cookie—is to earmark money directly for recipients, because the gain seems immediate. But absent any evidence that programs work, it is a false gain. Instead, we should remember to support the research projects that can tell us for sure whether the gain is sustaining or not, and be willing to act on the evidence, even if we don’t like it.
Nov 21, 2008
Attention in the financial markets has been focused on the struggles of developed world institutions. To date, there hasn’t been much coverage of the impact of the financial crisis on microfinance—either on the flow of new capital to microfinance or the impact on MFIs that have borrowed money in hard currency while making loans in local currencies. Roger Frank is a partner at Developing World Markets, an investment banking and asset management firm specializing in microfinance, and has a front-row seat as the credit crisis increasingly impacts emerging market countries and microfinance. Roger spoke with Philanthropy Action recently about how the credit crisis is affecting investors and MFIs.
Sep 16, 2008
May 22, 2008
It seems that everyone except for the US Congress has woken up to the food crisis. The topic has made the cover of many magazines, and is featured almost daily in major national newspapers. Most debate has now turned to the causes and solutions, if any, to the situation. While there are some silver linings, the biggest dark cloud of all is centered over Washington, DC this week where the US Congress will overturn a presidential veto and pass the 2008 farm bill.
Apr 16, 2008
Rapidly rising food prices around the world are capturing front page headlines daily. The problems in the agricultural sector of been decades in the making and will take several years to fix.The biggest danger is that in the rush to short-term fixes, we’ll simply create more distortions that don’t deal with the real issues and make future food crises even worse.
Feb 13, 2008
Recent news events from some of the world’s poorer regions are providing more real-life examples of Paul Collier’s main theories from The Bottom Billion. In his book, and illuminated in our recent interview, Collier argues that there are four under-researched “traps” that lock a handful of the world’s countries, with a total population of close to one billion, in a cycle of despair.