Category: South Asia
There are 13 entries in this category.
Oct 29, 2010
Encouraging results from two programs replicating BRAC’s pioneering program targeting the ultrapoor.
Apr 15, 2010
The past few weeks have provided some insight into the impact of rigorous evaluation of philanthropic programs on charities, donors and policymakers. Unfortunately those insights show that we’ve still got a long ways to go if the goal is evidence-based philanthropy and policy.
Dec 21, 2009
Recently I was listening to Rory Stewart’s The Places In Between, the story of his walk across Afghanistan. Near the end of the book Stewart turns his attention to the aid agencies, public and private, that had come rushing into Afghanistan. His observations are worthwhile reading for anyone interested in making international aid more effective, so I’m excerpting them here.
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 24, 2009
Some readers may think the report is fairly damning to the marketing claims of the impact of microfinance—more studies like this in other areas and over longer periods are necessary before we can reject the traditional views though. Ultimately, though, this study is very good news for microfinance because it begins to illuminate what is really happening among borrowers. That information, in turn, can be used to improve the product to make sure that the best products are offered to clients—and the impact of microfinance can improve.
Dec 03, 2008
A recent study of cell phone use by grain traders in Niger adds evidence that cell phones can have a strongly positive development impact by improving information flow in markets. As a result buyers see lower average prices, while sellers get higher average prices. Nokia’s introduction of a low cost handset and Internet service in India may be one of the most promising development initiatives, public or private, of the late 2000’s.
Oct 17, 2008
There is no tenet of microfinance theory more fundamental than the focus on women. The marketing narrative is replete with reasons why a focus on women is sacrosanct. To quote Muhammad Yunus: “Women have greater long-term vision and are ready to bring changes in their life step by step. They are also excellent managers of scarce resources, stretching the use of every resource to the maximum.” And of course, we all “know” that women invest more in their households and children than men do. Get ready for a surprise.
Jul 16, 2008
A company the size of a merged MTN and Reliance Communications would have the potential to make capital investments in infrastructure that could drive faster subscriber growth in emerging geographies. A larger and more exciting possibility is the possibility of using cellphones to dramatically lower the cost of small transactions.
Jun 25, 2007
While poverty is certainly one of the main factors driving the persistence of slavery it is by no means the only one. In fact, while India and China have succeeded spectacularly at reducing poverty, slavery persists and is quite possibly growing. At root is a tolerance for slavery, whether from corrupt government officials, cultural apologists or passive business partners.
Jun 08, 2007
The fishing industry in Northern Kerala in the south of India, as reported in The Economist, has become an example of how simple tools of information exchange can transform a local industry.