The World Health Organization Thursday declared Liberia Ebola-free for the second time.The declaration for the second time follows an outbreak of the disease in Lower Margibi County that claimed three lives days after the country was first declared Ebola-free by the WHO.
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and MasterCard are joining forces to create an innovative new alliance against hunger.
Zimbabwe is running short of BCG vaccine meant to protect newborn babies from contracting tuberculosis (TB) — one of the six infant killer diseases.
Roopa Kudva, 51, took charge of the India operations of New York-based impact investor Omidyar Network in early July.
Judith Joan Walker, director and COO of African Clean Energy, has started manufacturing and distributing a multifunctional cookstove that doubles as an energy source.
Global Health Corps just sent its latest cohort of fellows to their yearlong posts developing health and social justice solutions in places like Zambia, Malawi, and Rwanda.
Low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) have been left out on technology investments in healthcare research due to the huge financial needs and difficulties in sourcing them.
InVenture Capital Corp., a provider of small loans by cellphones, has raised $10 million in Series A funding, Yuliya Chernova reports for Dow Jones VentureWire. The company has a mobile app that can be downloaded by users, who then can request a loan. Once the user has granted the app access to their device, the company’s algorithm evaluates the activity on their mobile money accounts, such as how much they deposit and withdraw, the timeliness of their utility bill payments, and thousands of other nuggets of information such as social media, demographic, and communications patterns, to make a loan decision in minutes. The company currently operates in Kenya and Tanzania. Data Collective led the Series A round, which includedLowercase Capital, Collaborative Fund, Female Founders Fund and individual investors.
Iluméxico, the Mexican social enterprise focused on solar power, has joined the Business Call to Action (BCtA) with a commitment to bring its Solar Home Systems to 50,000 off-the-grid rural homes – approximately 300,000 people – by 2020. This commitment includes the creation of 180 new jobs, of which 90 will be designated for women and 70 will be based in rural communities.
Nobel laureate and founder of Grameen Bank, Muhammad Yunus, is all set to roll out his flagship social business, in a joint venture with corporates in India soon. Yunus’ social business marketing company — Yunus Social Business (YSB) India —is in talks with a slew of corporates in India who can be joint venture partners in the social business venture, a model where profits are ploughed back to the company. These profits can be then used for employment generation and affordable healthcare.
Professor Badr El Din A. Ibrahim, President of the Microfinance Unit at the Central Bank of Sudan, discusses why Shari'ah-compliant financing is key.
Uber Technologies Inc. is negotiating cheaper deals for new vehicles with Kia Motors Corp. to boost its number of drivers fivefold in the Nigerian city of Lagos, Africa’s biggest, to 3,000 by the end of next year.
After decades out of favor, the intrauterine device is making a comeback. This small, T-shaped form of birth control, which is placed in a woman’s uterus and prevents pregnancy for between three and 10 years, has carried a stigma in the United States ever since the 1970s, when one notoriously flawed model, the Dalkon Shield, caused septic miscarriages and infertility in thousands of American women. But now, health-care providers are trumpeting the safety—and efficacy—of the models currently on the market. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists concluded as early as 2005 that IUDs and hormonal implants (which are inserted in a woman’s arm) are the most reliable forms of birth control, and should be among the top options offered to all women; the American Academy of Pediatrics released a similar recommendation in 2014.
When India launched the Jan Dhan (people’s wealth) program a year ago, many observers regarded it as an experiment that would fail. But while the program may not have measured up to the claims of its proponents, evidence shows it has had some positive impacts.
Convenient access to banking infrastructure is something many people around the world take for granted. Yet while the number of people outside the formal financial system has substantially decreased in recent years, 2 billion adults still do not have an account with a formal financial institution or mobile money provider.
Eko Devices, a Silicon Valley start-up, has received FDA approval for its digital stethoscope, which brings the power of modern technology to an already essential device. The implications could be huge for patient care.
Viral hepatitis is the seventh leading cause of death worldwide. Together, hepatitis B and C cause approximately 80 percent of all liver cancer deaths and kill close to 1.4 million people every year — more than either HIV or tuberculosis.
India ranks lowest among South Asian countries in breastfeeding practices with only 44 percent of women being able to breastfeed their babies within one hour of delivery.
Emergency infectious disease outbreaks like Ebola and MERS, as serious as they are, have become black holes, sucking the necessary ingredients from health systems that could be allocated toward saving babies.
Government of India joins the United Nations' Better Than Cash Alliance to share success stories from the world's largest financial inclusion program.
The central banks of four East African countries are conducting a study that will set the baseline for money transfer fees across the region.
Mobile wallet and payment services such as Paytm and Mobikwik are tying up with kirana stores in semi-urban and rural areas as they seek to grow in regions underserved by banks.
Citibank India is in talks with digital payment companies and telecom operators to kick-start its financial tech accelerator program.
With the increasing ease of using them for purchases through mobile apps, bitcoins are quickly transitioning from being trading units to shopping currency.
With the review of the mobile money guidelines, which allows for the participation of the telecommunication companies, the adoption of this form of banking is expected to get a significant boost.
The Center for Global Development has been working with the Overseas Development Institute to look into humanitarian cash transfers, and will launch its report on September 14.
People are slowly moving towards using digital and electronic payment modes, but payment startups face challenges such as customer awareness, fears about security, and concerns about product or service delivery.
New Business Call to Action member’s loans will build 20,000 homes by 2020.
A branch of Partners In Health has helped reduce deaths through careful protocols.
The World Health Organisation's Report on the Global Tobacco Epidemic 2015 is largely ignored in India. Its single-line message: Raising tobacco taxes can help curb smoking.
A couple of months ago, I received an interesting package in the mail. It looked like a standard manila envelope, but inside was a device that could quite possibly revolutionize the way we view the microscopic world. I'm referring to the Foldscope, an origami-based optical microscope that is small enough to fit inside your pocket.
The Pakistan Medical and Dental Council says more than 70 percent of medical students are women. But most of these bright female undergraduate doctors do not actually go on to practice; only 23 percent of registered doctors are female.
The Global Forum for Research and Innovation for Health recognised that health care innovations take more than research, but the challenges of "scaling up" and efficient collaboration were largely missed. We need to focus more on the development process following academic studies.
A short stroll through Casablanca's Derb Ghallef "informal market", with its endless stalls of goods and services, offers a panorama of the entrepreneurial spirit and capacity of Morocco's youth: entrepreneurship, innovation and the Silicon Valley. These are all seductive terms that have been touted by everyone from private sector leaders to politicians as panaceas to a wide range of problems plaguing the world. However, in the context of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) where there is a pronounced youth bulge , these words can still hold meaning and potential where four out of five unemployed individuals are inactive and, often, disaffected youth between the ages of 15 and 34.
Achyuta Samanta's pioneering work in social entrepreneurship has earned him global recognition and brought him awards galore. KISS (KIIT Institute of Social Sciences), a school for 25,000 tribal children, which Samanta founded in 1992, is his greatest passion for the moment. While KISS is acclaimed widely, its finance model still remains an enigma to many. In an interview with Dillip Satapathy and Jayajit Dash, Samanta shares his thoughts on future of KISS and KIIT and the status of education as a whole.
India has set itself a challenging target to reduce the maternal mortality rate to 70 per 1,000 live births, and for neonatal and under-five to 12 and 25 per 1,000 births, respectively, under the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to be achieved over the next 15 years.
In a recent Lancet article, Dean Jamison reports on a set of committee conclusions that calls on every country, no matter what its circumstances, to commit to universal health care. I can no longer say that no “real” economist would say such a thing.
A team of four IIT-H professors have proposed a two-tier-cardiology framework in which electrocardiogram (ECG) records can be transmitted even when available resources such as power and bandwidth are limited.
India makes lifesaving medicine that Africa can afford — and U.S. pressure mustn’t cripple that, says Maha Rafi Atal.
Microfinance institutions saw a healthy 69% growth in their gross loan portfolio in the April June quarter compared to that in the same period of last year.
Only about half of all adults in Latin America and the Caribbean had a bank account, and only 14% had formal savings - and a host of companies recognize the opportunity.
Firstmonie, the mobile money platform of First Bank of Nigeria Limited, has partnered with Mobile Media Info Tech Global Limited to commence a new mobile wallet capability that allows consumers to purchase services on international merchant websites. This initiative is the first of its kind in the African mobile money and payment landscape.
"I absolutely believe that business, done in a responsible way, is a credible alternative to delivering up your kids to being radicalized," says FINCA president Rupert Scofield.
Water, sanitation and hygiene are part of a new World Health Organisation strategy to fight neglected tropical diseases which afflict more than 1.5 billion people, the WHO said on Thursday.
On Sunday, Kolkata-based microfinance institution (MFI), Bandhan Financial Services formally converted itself into a full service commercial bank, thus becoming the latest private sector bank in the country. Bandhan is one of the two entities, which were given full-service banking licences by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in April, 2014, from a list of 25 aspirants that included big business houses. The other is IDFC.
Spending on healthcare is a key component of a household's monthly budget. Any unforeseen illness that requires expert consultation or hospitalization or undergo a medical procedure burdens the pocket.
SAS CORES high on a global index measuring progress in financial inclusion in emerging markets.
A new video game from Abertay University students and University of St Andrews scientists is taking on humanity’s oldest disease, tuberculosis.
MobileMoneyAfrica will host the RemitAfrica conference on Nov 04 – 05 in Lagos, the economic capital of Nigeria, Africa’s largest remittance nation.
A Cornellian’s nonprofit that helps parents in developing countries remember their children’s vaccination dates with bracelets has completed an initial study in Peru and Ecuador and is moving into trials and evaluations in three countries on three continents.
Mobile technology has accelerated financial inclusion for the so-called under served — people with inadequate access to traditional banking institutions — according to a newly released Brookings report.
Here's a very clever idea: A book that not only contains information about clean drinking water printed on its pages, but the actual pages themselves can be torn off and used as high-tech filters that will remove 99% of bacteria from the filtered water. The idea came out of Dr. Theresa Dankovich's chemistry PhD work at McGill University in Montreal, during which she invented a new bactericidal silver nanoparticle paper and a green method of producing it using cheap and benign processes. She and her team are now trying to make the Drinkable Book a reality to contribute to the effort to bring clean water to the 663 million people who don't have access to it, according to the World Health Organization/ UNICEF Joint Monitoring Project.
Much of the world will go to sleep tonight under a corrugated iron roof, a quite bumpy, ill-fitting way to cover a house. They'll get hot in summer, get no insulation in winter, and the thing will probably crack and corrode before too long.
Every day, plant species across the globe are disappearing. The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) reports that approximately 75 percent of the Earth’s plant genetic resources are now extinct, and another third of plant biodiversity is expected to disappear by 2050. Up to 100,000 plant varieties are currently endangered worldwide.
As the global development community prepares to finalize a new set of goals and targets for the next 15 years, big data has become a key part of discussions. The post-2015 agenda has 17 sustainable development goals and 169 associated targets, and big data could be essential to monitoring and measuring progress.
Kuapa Kokoo Farmers' Union - a farmers' cooperative, has introduced a telemedicine project to help effectively tackle the health needs of the Ghanaian cocoa farmer.
People around the world are living longer, but many are also living sicker lives for longer, according to a study of all major diseases and injuries in 188 countries.
The Royal Microfinance institution launched its operations in Cambodia on Thursday, bringing the total number of micro-lenders in the kingdom to 50.
Improved access to insurance can boost the resilience of vulnerable communities to recurrent disasters such as droughts and floods in Sub-Saharan Africa.
On Sunday, August 23, as I was enjoying some of the final days of summer visiting friends in New Hampshire, I noticed that I had been tagged in a tweet by Dean Karlan, the founder and president of Innovations for Poverty Action. He provided a link to an article about FINCA that included extensive quotes from its CEO, Rupert Scofield. He asked Rupert if he really believed microfinance could reduce terrorism, and asked me what I thought (“whatcha think?” was the precise formulation of his question). Hetweeted again on Monday, asking whether I was “still going to stand by [my] claim that no microcredit leaders make grandiose and overselling impact claims?”
Fence-sitters, naysayers, and doubting Thomases amongst investors who always sought proof that impact investing - investments made with the intent of generating environmental and social benefit alongside a financial return - is worthwhile and profi table can now write out their cheques without losing sleep.
The World Health Organization said Tuesday it will study the idea of using sanctions to punish countries that do not comply with global health regulations, following widespread failures in the response to the Ebola outbreak.
To provide health care facilities in rural areas, the government today launched a telemedicine initiative in collaboration with Apollo Hospitals under which people can consult doctors through video link.
A government task force has recommended changes in the existing drug price regulation which could result in a spike in prices of essential medicines. These include suggestions to pull several medicines out of price control, which is likely to impact drugs used in treatment of diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular diseases as well as antibiotics.
Five university students majoring in information technology and engineering have invented a device and accompanying app, which they’ve named the Her Health BVKit, to allow women to test for vaginal infections at home.
Ghana’s per capita income is $31 a week, according to the World Bank. But the roughly 500 female farmers who cultivate and harvest the leaves of moringa oleifera trees in the Tamale region of the West African nation earn five times that amount. That's because the women supply ground leaves of the nutrient-rich moringa plant to Oakland-based Kuli Kuli Foods, which markets and sells energy bars, teas and nutrition supplement powders made from the "superfood" at stores including Whole Foods.
In one single move, Safaricom has potentially pulled the rug from under Equity Bank's poorly hidden plan to eat their lunch, dinner and breakfast.
In an effort to help Tanzania's authorities secure village land rights, USAID launched a project to map geographic and demographic data using mobile phone technology, with the aim of speeding up land rights registration.
New agreement enables customers to receive money directly to M-Pesa accounts in Tanzania.
There have two big developments in financial inclusion in the country in the past few days, whose significance stands out despite the din arising from the recent global stock market crash.
Jim Rogers spent 25 years as the chief executive of electric and natural gas utilities in the U.S., the last seven as head of Duke Energy, the biggest electric power company in the country. Now, in his retirement from the energy business, Rogers has taken on a new mission: Bringing electricity to the 1.2 billion people in the world who live without it.
The competition, organized by Siemens Stiftung, seeks to identify innovative technical solutions to tackle global challenges in basic supply in the developing world.
In India, stories of doctors being drunk, using rusty instruments or bicycle pumps during surgery, or ordering unjustified procedures are increasingly common.
They range from the simple to the astounding, the familiar to the science fictional. Sensors are all around us, capturing information and turning it into something else: an electrical signal, the basis for a decision, a diagnosis, a warning.
In Lagos, smog has quickly become another aspect of city life. In the city of more than 21 million people – known to some as “Africa’s first city” – the majority of residents live near industrial plants, breathing in exhaust from thousands of cars and millions of generators providing power to the city.
A quick, paper-based blood test which can simultaneously detect the Ebola, dengue and yellow fever viruses has shown promising results in tests, say researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the United States.
India ranked ninth out of 21 countries for its overall financial and digital inclusion efforts, according to the 2015 Brookings Financial and Digital Inclusion Project (FDIP) Report and Scorecard that was launched on Tuesday.
While this “of the people, for the people, by the people” approach to raising money may see itself as divorced from anything happening on Wall Street, that’s hardly the case.
The social enterprises will receive mentoring from venture capitalists and entrepreneurs on how to scale their ideas.
The social network is rolling out a "Donate" button for all nonprofits to use on their Facebook Pages and link ads.
It's packed with calcium, protein, and vitamins — and putting it in your smoothie will also send money to African farmers.
How the new, very purple “Caya” is trying to make an old-fashioned birth-control option relevant again.
The first thing that strikes you as you enter the Makomboki Tea Factory is the air. It's clear, absent of the dark smoke that billows from the boilers of Kenya's other tea factories. Of the 66 tea factories under the management of the Kenya Tea Development Authority, Makomboki is the only one that doesn't use firewood in the processing of its tea.
ePaisa, an Indian payment processor that offers mobile based cash and card payment applications for small and medium businesses has now included bitcoin as one of the payment options.
Last week, the foundation announced a major streamlining of its priorities; this week it gave a glimpse of how it would operate by unveiling a “big bet” on curbing climate change. Here are four takeaways from this makeover worth spotlighting, along with one question to ponder.
A fresh storm is brewing between Kenya’s financial services giants, Safaricom and Equity Bank, over the rates being levied to consumers making transactions across the two service providers.
As part of this partnership, Uber riders across India can now pay for their trips using Airtel mobile wallet service – Airtel Money.
Having pioneered mobile money solutions like MPesa and crowd-sourcing platform Ushahidi, Kenya’s innovative, resilient and global-looking tech community is working on the next big thing.
The venture capital investing boom has sent billions of dollars to startups that serve the upper crust of society with an app to deliver your laundry or order a valet to park your car, yet many VCs continue to resist investing in viable businesses bringing toilets, water and electricity to the rural poor.
Intellecap Impact Investment Network has invested Rs 10 million in Mumbai-based waste management company Sampurn(e)arth in syndication with Zurich-based family office Rianta Capital and Primarc Group Director Siddharth Pansari of ah! Ventures.
Communications minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Thursday said the government will revive the postal department by using over 1.5 lakh post offices for furthering financial inclusion.
Over the next decade or so, payment banks' functioning has the potential to bring about another revolution in the banking sector.
Mobile payments and e-commerce application Paytm is launching a messenger function directly connecting buyers and sellers.
Consumers are skipping straight from cash to mobile finance.
If you’re thinking about joining this growing movement, here's what you need to consider before you get started.
Stanford psychologists found that applicants for microloans are more likely to win approval if the photograph they send along with the application evokes a positive emotional response.
Bidders linked to the country’s top three mobile operators – Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and Idea Cellular – as well as newcomer Reliance Jio Infocomm and Telenor were among eleven winners of payments bank licenses in India.
Kenya Bankers Association plans to launch an interbank mechanism to enable interoperability across member banks for all retail payment streams, aiming to eat into M-PESA’s market share.
Two researchers are urging greater regulatory oversight of e-cigarettes in poorer countries, where sales of the devices are growing.
Washing your hair in Chicago could help bring clean water to rural Kenya. That's the premise behind a new charitable campaign launched by Walgreens and Unilever that is enlisting customers to buy into the cause with shampoo, deodorant and body wash.
Nearly a year into India’s ambitious plan to end open defecation by 2019 and nongovernmental organizations fear it’s being derailed by an overwhelming focus on building toilets instead of changing behavior.
For many of us, the little comforts of everyday life include a piping-hot cup of coffee to kickstart the morning, or a glass of Merlot at the end of a tough day in the office. But there are countless places around the world where a simple glass of clean, drinkable water is considered a luxury.
Better access to district hospitals may have prevented close to 50,000 of the estimated 72,000 deaths in India due to acute or sudden abdominal conditions in 2010, according to a study published in Lancet Global Health journal.
Four in five households in Bangladesh have access to financial services, thanks to improvements in the networks of banks and microfinance institutions as well as a booming mobile banking segment, according to a new study.
Norway's $1.15 trillion Cdn sovereign-wealth oil fund announced this week that it will sell its stakes in four Asian companies over environmental concerns, underlining how willing it is to take an activist approach to companies that fail to meet its ethical standards.
Three years after India’s first credit bureau for microfinance institutions (MFIs) opened shop, teething troubles continue to prevent lenders and borrowers from making full use of it.
Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s finance affiliate unveiled a wealth-management app on Tuesday to help less well-heeled Chinese buy into hundreds of funds and track stocks from Hong Kong to the Nasdaq off their smartphones.
A new study suggests that China's hands-off approach may enable recipient governments to prioritize projects according to personal or political concerns rather than the needs of the recipient population.
The World Health Organization has called for more research on ways to battle malaria caused by the Plasmodium vivax parasite, in the wake of a surge of infections in Western India.
In Washington D.C., recently, more than a dozen senior officials and politicians from Myanmar, some from groups with histories of deep mutual distrust, joined together in an extraordinary effort: to eliminate malaria from their deeply fragmented country. This is move that could have a dramatic effect on the global fight against the deadly parasitic disease.
In a first dual-country trail, researchers from India and China have together discovered cost-effective ways to improve the quality of primary care and clinical outcomes in resource-limited settings through smart mobile application which could have major benefits for the general population who suffer known cardiovascular diseases.
Vietnam’s healthcare market expenditure is expected to grow from $12.90 billion in 2014 to $27.48 billion in 2020 or a compound annual growth rate of 13.4 percent, according to research analyst firm Frost & Sullivan.
Almost three-quarters of investment professionals worldwide (73 percent) take environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) issues into consideration in the investment process, according to the CFA Institute ESG Survey.
African entrepreneurs and technologists are coming up with solutions to solve their own energy problems.
Momentum for Smart Campaign Certification Accelerates; Six Million ‘Protected’ Clients Added in Last Six Months.
In India, 95% of all payments have been made through cash - but a number of factors could catalyze a digital shift.
Mobile payments globally will rocket to US$1 trillion in value by 2017, up from an estimated $500 million this year.
MobiKwik, India’s largest independent mobile payments network, today announced a new partnership with StoreKing that expands MobiKwik’s cash-less and card-less payment management to 10,000 retail stores in 600 small towns and 5,000 villages.
The telecom company is struggling to put a dent in Safaricom’s dominance, but they are getting left behind.
Social enterprise CommonBond, which runs a business plan competition for social entrepreneurial-minded MBAs, just held its second contest. The winner of the $10,000 prize: Sanlaap North America, a nonprofit that helps to rescue human trafficking victims and provides them with housing, medical care, therapy and legal aid in Calcutta; it also runs for-profit Zesa, which trains and employs residents of their shelters and other girls and young women, helping them learn marketable skills, and also funds Sanlaap’s operations.
The venture capital investing boom has sent billions of dollars to startups that serve the upper crust of society, yet many VCs continue to resist investing in viable businesses bringing toilets, water and electricity to the rural poor.
About 27,000 people in West Africa have been infected with the Ebola virus and more than 11,000 of them have died since the outbreak began last year. Many could have been saved if an effective vaccine had been available. But the world relies on drug companies to create new vaccines and medications, and they have no financial incentive to do so for diseases that mostly affect poor countries. Clearly, the world needs a better mechanism for vaccine development.
On a sweltering day in August, the towering ferris wheel and massive roller coaster of China's Jiyanghu Ecological Park, a two-hour train ride from Shanghai, stand eerily silent.
Given all the dark and terrible events happening around the world right now, the plight of a 22-year-old living in a tent in Geneva may seem fairly inconsequential. And yet, the story of David Hyde – an unpaid United Nations intern who set up camp by Lake Geneva to save money – has clearly struck a chord with many all around the world. It's already had some small consequences, too: Hyde has resigned from his internship due to the media pressure.
The time when microfinance was seen as the miracle cure to lift people out of poverty is long gone. The funding crisis in India in 2010 and evidence of mixed impacts from microfinance have contributed to a greater understanding of both its strengths and weaknesses. While microfinance is usually associated with income generation, rather than taps and toilets, growing evidence shows that it could be a solution for funding sanitation facilities in developing countries.
How do you design a developmental solution or provide a digital tool for a poor and inaccessible area where visitors are tracked by Maoists? An area so remote that barely any telecom network works, where more than 90% of the population lives in villages.
Tanzania's rapid uptake of mobile phones and massive investment in rural network coverage is helping disaster and humanitarian organisations in the country speedily disseminate and collect information.
After seven years of wrangling toward the final terms of an ambitious free trade agreement that will join 12 Asia-Pacific nations, only the thorniest of market access and intellectual property issues remain unresolved in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Of these, perhaps the most contentious concerns how long pharmaceutical companies should have exclusive intellectual property rights covering the clinical trial data they compile as they develop novel biologic medicines. U.S. negotiators have stood fast in advocating for 12 years of data protection — the standard that Congress enshrined into U.S. law following extensive deliberation — while other TPP parties have sought to limit the regulatory data protection period to as little as five to seven years.
Ellen Remmer had wanted to align her investments with her values for years, seeking to put her money into stocks and bonds that would have an impact beyond the returns. For her, this meant investing in organizations that either improved the lot of women and girls or helped the environment.
India’s largest lender, State Bank of India is slated to launch its mobile wallet, SBI Buddy, on Tuesday.
The low-premium life and accident insurance schemes introduced by the government recently have elicited huge response, attracting 11 crore subscribers in just three months.
Developing countries like China, Brazil and India will drive nearly half of the growth in drug spending in the near future. Here’s how Big Pharma could play the trend.
A new generation of economists is trying to transform global development policy through the power of randomized controlled trials.
After over a year in power, the Narendra Modi government's decisions to cut federal welfare spending on the poorest of India's 1.25 billion people have come in for a sharp criticism, including from within his cabinet.
Project Welcome Home will provide housing and supportive services for the chronically homeless and aims to improve quality of life and reduce reliance on costly government services.
The MasterCard Foundation has announced the opening of a US$35 million Scaling Competition under its Fund for Rural Prosperity.
Africa’s middle class is rising and they have money to spend. About a third of the continent spends between $4 to $20 a day—a group that is expected to grow to 42% by 2060, according to data from the Africa Development Bank (pdf). That’s more than a billion people.
Telephones have always been a fundamental part of the remittance process, Ahmed Ismail says with a wry laugh; when they ring early in the morning, it tends to be costly.
On May 17, 1984, Warren Buffett gave away the secret that has made his face the first result when you Google “the greatest investor of all time.” He opened a speech with the stories of ten investors, including himself, whose portfolios consistently outperformed the S&P 500. It’s no coincidence, Buffet insisted1, that their careers shared a common thread: tutelage under Benjamin Graham, who, as it happens, is the second person who comes up in the Google search.
As a brand developer, I’ve met countless social entrepreneurs all over the world: people with an extreme passion for social or environmental impact. They have a lot to master in order to make their ventures succeed – from setting up a production chain, to technology, HR, complex investment structures, and more.
The global health sector, particularly in the developing countries, faces critical workforce shortages. Africa ranks the lowest in the availability of health personnel. Sub-Saharan Africa is home to 12 percent of the world’s population and bears 25 percent of the world’s burden of diseases, but has only three percent of the world’s health workforce.
Remittances to Africa have grown rapidly in recent times, and it forms an integral part of the $500 billion global money transfer market. This is because several African nations rely heavily on money sent home by friends and relatives working abroad. Hundreds of Africansare migrating daily to keep growing the influx. But the biggest gainers in this have for long being a few firms, whose near-monopoly costs the continent about $2 billion annually in remittance fees. However, a new breed of companies are causing much needed disruption in the money transfer market and are putting consumers back in control of their money.
IFMR Holdings, a leading financial inclusion platform in India, has announced that they have raised US $25 million in equity from Accion, a financial inclusion pioneer, LeapFrog Investments, a specialist investor in emerging-market financial services, and Lok Capital, an Indian impact investment firm.
The Government Accountability Office has denied a bid protest filed in response to the U.S. Agency for International Development’s award decision on the Global Health Supply Chain – Procurement and Supply Management project, the agency’s largest-ever contract, valued at $9.5 billion.
U.S. automotive giant Ford has geared up to extend Smart Mobility for connectivity, mobility, autonomous vehicles and big data through Ford vehicles for reaching out to under-served communities in urban and rural Africa. The plan incorporates Data Driven Healthcare with a view to improving healthcare services in rural areas.
Earlier this year, I shared a video where I drank water made from feces. (My review: It was delicious.) Today the machine that produced the water, the Janicki Omni Processor – or JOP – is in Dakar, Senegal, as part of a pilot project that could ultimately save lives and reduce disease in poor countries.
Fledgling social enterprise Rethaka sells backpacks for school kids that do a few things at once: Made from recycled plastic bags, they first of all address the plague of waste from that material. And with a charger powered by solar energy, they provide light for children who lack electricity at home, while also reducing the use of kerosene, which causes a great many accidents and illnesses. Its CEO, 22-year-old Thato Kgatlhanye, founded the company and developed the product, called Repurpose Schoolbags, while attending a university in Johannessburg, South Africa.
There was a time when non-communicable diseases (NCDs) seemed too exotic to matter in slum areas like Kibera, Nairobi; Dharavi, Mumbai; or Cité Soleil, Port-au-Prince. Until recently, the global health community has focused on immediate threats, lifting millions out of poverty and preventing deaths throughout the world. It’s worth celebrating.
Jaime Rojas keeps his antiquated cellphone on the dashboard of his taxi. He can’t use it to play games or check Facebook, but his “dumb phone” has recently become a powerful tool: He can use it to buy gas, receive fares and send money to family.
Most people probably don’t think of Kenya as an innovation and technology hub, but in 2007 it became the launching pad for M-Pesa, a transformativemobile phone-based platform for money transfer and financial services. Since then, M-Pesa has undergone explosive growth: in 2013, a staggering 43 percent of Kenya’s GDP flowed through M-Pesa, with over 237 million person-to-person transactions. M-Pesa is nearly ubiquitous in the daily lives of Kenyans due to a range of services that include money deposit and withdrawal, remittance delivery, bill payment, and microcredit provision.
London-based money transfer services provider WorldRemit has partnered with Zimbabwe-based EcoCash service to launch instant mobile money transfers in Burundi.
South Africa paid tribute to women across the country on National Woman’s Day, which was held on 9 August 2015.
Uganda is among eight countries set to receive USD50m (Sh177b) by the Master Card Foundation Fund for Rural Prosperity to fund innovations aimed at improving access to finance in rural populations in sub Saharan Africa.
As E-commerce firms continue to become popular and more people have started using online payments, frauds in mobile payments too are increasing, said a report from Deloitte India.
On a stormy day in Dakar, Tina Gomis, a local woman in Sicap Mbao, laughs at the idea of selling her own excrement to the government. But this may soon become a reality in a city with a reputation for terrible waste management.
When the government isn't providing clean sanitation, Sanergy is showing that there's an opportunity for local entrepreneurs to step in.
It has been one full year since polio was detected anywhere in Africa, a significant milestone in global health that has left health experts around the world quietly celebrating.
In recent years, microfinance—distributing small loans to the poor -- has been at the center of an intense debate about the ethics of charging low-income customers high interest rates and then making a profit from them.
Investing in companies that create social, environmental and economic value is a trend that has been increasing worldwide. This type of triple-bottom-line investing is commonly called impact investing and last year, financial services giant JPMorgan estimated that the market was worth $60bn worldwide — and growing.
The Mexican government has banned free baby formula at hospitals in an effort to encourage breastfeeding.
The runaway success of mobile money products like M-Pesa, which first took off in Kenya, has inspired dozens of copycats around the world. Many countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America now have services allowing people to store and transfer money using their cellphones. But there's something different about Ecuador's new Sistema de Dinero Electrónico. It's being operated not by a private phone carrier or financial company, but Ecuador's left-leaning government.
Pope Francis heartened environmentalists around the world in June when he urged immediate action to save the planet from the effects of climate change, declaring that the use of "highly polluting fossil fuels needs to be progressively replaced without delay."
A high-decibel emphasis on economic growth notwithstanding, a multitude of states continues to do poorly on the indicators of social development, especially health. An unhealthy workforce cannot build a healthy economy. Over the past decade, the cost of treatment has seen a double-digit rise, far outpacing average inflation, in both rural and urban India, according to a recently published National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) report.
It’s been 10 months since India officially launched Swachh Bharat, a national cleanliness drive, which, among other things, aims to put an end to the practice of open defecation in the country by 2019.
In the beginning, "effective altruism" was mostly about fighting global poverty. Now it's becoming more and more about funding computer science research to forestall an artificial intelligence–provoked apocalypse.
In an age of quick fixes and silver bullets we are uncomfortable with shades of grey. But like it or not, it’s complicated.
I love country music. I even went to see Dolly Parton in Sydney a few years ago, when she came to Australia and brought her very own star-spangled retro tour bus.
Indian firm Paytm, whose parent is backed by Ant Financial, claimed it is the first mobile wallet in the country to pass 100 million users.
AvailaMed, a United States based Information Communication Technology (ICT) Company, is set to launch its Electronic Health Record (EHR) health data recording and Business Intelligent (BI) Reporting System in three health facilities in Ethiopia, the company’s official announced.
The developing world is increasingly using mobile banking apps to move money, but new research shows those apps are often poorly coded and pose security risks.
A growing global population highlights the need for family planning resources, healthcare workers, and better access to healthcare.
It might be time to start unfriending some of your buddies on Facebook.
The money remittance industry sees over US$34 billion sent to sub-Saharan Africa each year, accounting for an average of 5 per cent of GDP on a country-by-country basis. However, for those sending and receiving money, the systems in place are inefficient and time-consuming.
Social Choice International Equity and Social Choice Low Carbon Equity Funds launched in response to growing investor interest.
Far from the world’s fears about Ebola and MERS, a quiet revolution is taking place in the diagnosis of a disease much more prosaic but far more threatening: childhood diarrhea. After pneumonia, diarrhea is the deadliest threat to infants worldwide, killing about 700,000 every year.
In a small house in rural Kenya, a young woman gives birth to a healthy little girl. Before anyone can celebrate, the mother starts bleeding. The woman will die soon if the bleeding doesn't stop.
Ahead of the September, 2015 target date of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the Federal Government said Nigeria has attained the targets set on HIV/AIDs and Maternal Mortality in the country.
Awamo, a fintech firm firm formerly known as BCB Biometric Credit Bureau, has revealed that it is taking a biometric microfinance solution it has developed to Uganda thanks to $550,000 it has raised in Series-A funding.
More and more companies are tapping into the Asian market when it comes to financial technology investment, as the region has seen growth in remittances while some countries have weak banking sectors. This opens up a market gap that could make room for bitcoin opportunities later on.
Recent crises — from the earthquake in Nepal to the Ebola epidemic in West Africa — have been wake-up calls: too many primary health care systems are under-resourced and fragmented, leaving countries unprepared to reach everyone with needed health services. This is true when disasters strike, and it’s also true in times of relative calm.
Saathi was founded by Kristin Kagetsu, Amrita Saigal, Grace Kane, Ashutosh Kumar and Zachary Rose. The aim was to develop a small scale manufacturing process that would produce affordable sanitary protection from waste banana tree fibre.
Ghana's health sector is destined for serious crisis this week as attempts to resolve the current strike by public health sector doctors failed to yield any positive results.
If it's true that you can't talk about global development without discussing gender equality, it's also true that you can’t dive deep into gender in poor countries without talking about menstruation. However, the international conversation on this topic tends to be in hushed tones. Sometimes, even the most pragmatic global health and development experts get uncomfortable when the subject comes up.
Kenya’s mobile money transfer market is headed for interesting times, with the latest results from the regulator showing small ‘outlier’ firms eating into the market dominated by the well-established players.
Close on the the heels of MasterCard launching a digital wallet for Citibank India customers, rival global payments gateway Visa will be starting a new payments service for Indian customers in September.
Four-year-old Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm Social+Capital Partnership plans to invest over $1 billion in Indian companies in sectors such as financial services, energy, infrastructure and agriculture.
While most of Latin America has been reducing poverty, Mexico is moving in the other direction: new official figures reflect an increase in the number of poor in the last two years, despite the billions of dollars channeled into a broad range of programmes aimed at combating the problem.
For the AIIB to be an effective political instrument, it needs to be a successful financial and development institution. That will be very hard to fully pull off.
A Q&A with GiveDirectly co-founder Paul Niehaus, on how GiveDirectly hopes to improve individual lives and reshape international giving.
China may be the world’s biggest mobile market, but all eyes in the tech industry are now turning toward India, with its rapidly growing appetite for smartphones.
Information communication technologists are optimistic that mass mobile phone usage launched in Africa, will drive the continent’s economy and make the millennial generation to become the leading tellers of the emerging app economy.
Pierre Omidyar established the eBay Foundation in 1998 with an endowment of pre-IPO eBay stock. The foundation has always been modest in size, which is probably why we haven't written about it before. It had assets of $30 milllion in a recent year, and gives out between $3 million and $5 million annually to a limited set of grantees.
Hardly a day passes without a new article on how businesses are analyzing the needs, wants and spending trends of millennials. In the US alone, millennials (or Generation Y), those born between 1980 and 2000, represent 30 percent of the population. By 2025 they will be 75 percent of the workforce.The impact that millennials are starting to have on the global economy, the environment, and politics is enormous.
A big supplier of cheap lifesaving drugs to developing nations, India admirably balances public health needs with private profits and innovation. But it is under pressure to change this model.
Health experts from the African continent and beyond are meeting in Tanzania at a workshop to enhance community-based disease outbreak detection and response in East and Southern Africa.
With the Addis Ababa Action Agenda on financing for development now set in stone, one question has come to the fore among the ranks of the global development community: What will be the impact on human development and rights issues of the so-called new financing mechanisms — blended, nongrant and private sector financing — promoted in the Addis agenda?
Zimbabwe's central bank on Wednesday capped lending rates for finance institutions at 18% and moved in to reform the banking sector in a bid to improve economic activity and enhance stability.
Only 15% of Pakistanis use Digital Financial Services, and there has been no significant increase in the user base or registrations between 2013 and 2014, said a Financial Inclusion Insights (FII) survey report.
Kenya is the clear hub for impact investing in East Africa, accounting to more than half the impact capital deployed in the region, according to new research by the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) and Open Capital Advisors.
Lack of awareness and inaccessible healthcare have led to gross under-reporting of illnesses in India.
A super-hip campaign brings a condom brand back from the brink in Kenya.
An experimental vaginal gel containing a drug used to treat the AIDS virus could prevent half of cases of genital herpes, according to a study done in South Africa. Among women who used tenofovir gel, the annual rate of infection with the genital herpes virus, known as herpes simplex virus type 2 or HSV-2, was 10.2 percent versus a rate of 21 percent for women who used a placebo gel.
Lat week, the medical journal the Lancet published preliminary results on the efficacy of an Ebola vaccine in Guinea, and everybody got really excited – especially about one particular figure. The vaccine, the results suggested, was 100 percent effective at protecting against Ebola ... But that number probably means less than you think it does.
China is moving to limit the lightly regulated world of internet payments, an initiative that some critics warn could stifle development in one of the most innovative sectors of the economy.
Why is Good Ventures worth watching closely? For a few reasons, all of which are exemplified in its grant to GiveDirectly, its biggest give to date.
Solar power costs just keep on falling, and with $7 trillion of investment piling into the sector, the momentum is now unstoppable.
With emerging needs in urbanisation, industrialisation, digitisation, education, financial inclusion, and global integration, the following 10 developments will shape the banking industry in India’s journey towards a $20 trillion economy.
With so much ambition on the table, the post-2015 agenda could raise some tricky questions about living standards, environmental sustainability, and what exactly rich countries like the United States are agreeing to do over the next 15 years.
For a minute there, it looked like Safaricom might have to break up its business.
Sisu Global Health is developing a medical device that doctors could use to recycle a patient’s blood lost through traumatic internal bleeding. The company later this year will launch a clinical study of the device, called Hemafuse, in partnership with the University of Zimbabwe.
Each year, 16 million people die prematurely before the age of 70 from NCDs. Strikingly, 4 out of 5 of these deaths occur in developing countries like Kenya, making such diseases one of the major development challenges of the 21st century. If countries don’t change tack on NCDs, an estimated $7 trillion could be lost in developing countries over the next 15 years.