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Our Staff Writers and Editors offer insights on the latest news, events, interviews and other happenings from the development through enterprise and base of the pyramid universes
Friday, May 29, 2015 — No Region Specified

Inequality Has Transformed Surviving Childhood Into a Global Postcode Lottery

Source: The Guardian

You may already know the grim statistics: every day, 17,000 children under the age of five die; nearly half of them are newborn babies.
Friday, May 29, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Young Founders of STAWI Win $15,000 Thomas J. Bata Legacy Award for Responsible Entrepreneurship in East Africa

Source: PR Newswire

At a reception in Nairobi today the Bata Shoe Foundation announced that STAWI, a Kenyan business that processes perishable fruits, grains, and cereals into gluten free flour, is the winner of the $15,000Thomas J. Bata Legacy Award for young responsible entrepreneurship in East Africa. Two runners up - GreenChar and KARIBU Solar Power - received $5,000 each. The Award was established in 2014 in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the birth of the late CEO of the Bata Shoe Organization, known as "Shoemaker to the World." It provides funding and mentoring for young entrepreneurs inEast Africa who demonstrate a commitment to the values that guided Mr. Bata's leadership of the organization for four decades.
Friday, May 29, 2015 — South Asia

Smokeless Tobacco – A Major Cause for Concern in India

Source: The Health Site

Wrapped inside betel leaves and placed in the corner of the mouth, chewing tobacco has been a practice in India for centuries.
Friday, May 29, 2015 — South Asia

Khushi Baby: A High-Tech Way to Track Infant Health

Source: India West

It looks like a dangling, shiny plastic charm, but it’s actually an innovative high-tech device that may revolutionize health care in India. This is Khushi Baby, a small medical device designed to streamline the process of vaccinating children in the developing world.
Thursday, May 28, 2015 — Asia Pacific

Indonesia Turns to Technology to Build its Banking Sector

Source: Wall Street Journal

Indonesia is hoping to get more of its 250 million citizens using formal financial services, and it’s looking to some of the creative tech startups that are already one step ahead for some assistance.
Thursday, May 28, 2015 — South Asia

Why India’s e-commerce startups are going mobile-only

Source: International Business Times

E-commerce companies in India are ignoring the PC and going straight to mobile in the country’s young, but rapidly growing online marketplace.
Thursday, May 28, 2015 — South Asia

PRESS RELEASE: Accion Announces MetLife Foundation Grant to Support Financial Inclusion in Myanmar

Source: PR Newswire

Financial inclusion pioneer Accion announced today that the MetLife Foundation has awarded Accion a $250,000 grant over two years to support its new MFI, Dawn Microfinance, in Myanmar.
Thursday, May 28, 2015 — Europe & Eurasia

Norway's $900 billion sovereign wealth fund to slash coal investments

Source: Associated Press

Norway has made a big move toward dropping investments in coal companies by its massive $900 billion sovereign wealth fund because of their impact on climate change.
Wednesday, May 27, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

New Mothers Get A New Kind Of Care In Rural Nigeria

Source: NPR

How do you help a country struggling to provide quality health care, particularly to its rural citizens?More doctors would be great. New and better clinics would help. But in some places, community health workers are an important part of the solution.
Wednesday, May 27, 2015 — No Region Specified

As Antibiotic Resistance Spreads, WHO Plans Strategy To Fight It

Source: NPR

The world is losing some of the most powerful tools in modern medicine. Antibiotics are becoming less and less effective at fighting infections. The problem has gotten so bad that some doctors are starting to ponder a "post-antibiotic world."
Wednesday, May 27, 2015 — South Asia

PRESS RELEASE: In India, MobiKwik partners with ICICI Bank to let customers add cash to their mobile wallet at branches

Source: TechStory

ICICI Bank will collect cash payments from MobiKwik customers across more than 4000 branches in the country.
Wednesday, May 27, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Mobile money agents ‘making it big’ in Kenya's rural areas

Source: Capital FM

According to a new report by Helix Institute of Digital Finance, in non-Nairobi urban areas, profitability has increased by 26 percent while in rural areas profits for the agents have gone up by 45 percent.
Wednesday, May 27, 2015 — No Region Specified

OPINION: Why turning the Postal Service into a bank isn’t nearly as ridiculous as it sounds

Source: Salon

This remains a tremendous idea to relieve economic inequality and preserve an important public-sector ladder into the middle class; and continued agitation just might get it done.
Wednesday, May 27, 2015 — South Asia

Fighting poverty by helping find jobs

Source: Business Standard

Dedicated to connecting the right job seeker with the right employer in this unstructured segment, Bengaluru-based start-up babajob.com uses the internet, mobile apps and a variety of other routes.
Wednesday, May 27, 2015 — South Asia

Report: Simple mobile services can boost Indian farmers’ income

Source: Mobile World Live

The introduction of a number of simple mobile services in India has the potential to boost the income of two-thirds of the country’s small-scale farmers by up to $9 billion a year by 2020, according to a report by Vodafone.
Wednesday, May 27, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

GlaxoSmithKline Invests £5.85m to Train 9,000 Health Workers in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria

Source: Ghana Business News

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), a British multinational pharmaceutical company, has rolled out a three- year healthcare programme to support the training of more than 9,000 health workers in Ghana, Kenya and Nigeria.
Wednesday, May 27, 2015 — No Region Specified

Viewpoint: Why Proposed WHO Reforms Aren’t Enough to Deal With the Next Epidemic

Source: The Washington Post

Every May, the members of the World Health Organization (WHO) meet in Geneva for the World Health Assembly (WHA). WHA is incredibly important for how WHO operates, as this is the meeting that determines the organization’s policies and approves its budget. This year’s WHA garnered far more international attention, as it was the first time the member-states were coming together to discuss WHO reforms in the wake of its response to Ebola.
Wednesday, May 27, 2015 — South Asia

Why India's farm sector is getting increasing attention from impact investors

Source: Economic Times

Impact investors are now turning their focus to agriculture and its allied fields, after a decade of attention to microfinance, financial inclusion and healthcare.
Tuesday, May 26, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Merck Opens Telehealth Clinics for Patients in Rural Africa Areas

Source: HIT Consultant

Merck, in partnership with Kenya Ministry of Health, kicked off their first telehealth clinics at both of Kenyatta National Hospital in Nairobi and Machacos Hospital as a part of their e-health initiative in Africa.
Tuesday, May 26, 2015 — No Region Specified

PRESS RELEASE: Governments take decisive step towards more affordable vaccines

Source: Doctors Without Borders

Governments meeting in Geneva for the annual World Health Assembly raised the alarm Sunday on the exorbitant rise in the price to vaccinate a child, and took a decisive step towards addressing the problem by passing a resolution which called for more affordable vaccines and greater transparency of vaccine prices.
Tuesday, May 26, 2015 — Latin America

Catholic Trust Looks to Brazilian Fund for Social Returns

Source: The New York Times

A Brazilian investment fund is taking to heart theVatican’s endorsement of leveraging capitalism’s tools to help address inequality.
Tuesday, May 26, 2015 — No Region Specified

What The U.S. Can Learn About Financial Inclusion From The Developing World

Source: Tech Crunch

While every country context is unique, there is much that the U.S. and developing countries can learn from each other.
Tuesday, May 26, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

South Africa Plans to Corporatise Post Bank

Source: CPI Financial

South Africa’s Telecommunications and Postal Services Minister Siyabonga Cwele says the process to corporatise Post Bank is at an advanced state.
Tuesday, May 26, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

5 African Bitcoin Startups to Watch

Source: Disrupt Africa

Bitcoin is gaining traction worldwide, with the first quarter of 2015 seeing record levels of investment pumped into Bitcoin startups globally. Africa is no exception to the trend, with startups springing up with innovative applications for Bitcoin in the African context – disrupting the remittance market, and making the cryptocurrency available over SMS. Here, Disrupt Africa names the five startups leading the way with Bitcoin in Africa.
Tuesday, May 26, 2015 — No Region Specified

Viewpoint: Time for Decisive Action on Antimicrobial Resistance

Source: Devex

A 12-year-old schoolboy from Southern California dies of pneumonia caused by a bacterial infection. A 25-year-old pharmacy worker from England nearly succumbs to sepsis as a result of a urinary tract infection. An Egyptian businessman beats leukemia only to be infected with a resistant type of E. coli. Each of these stories is a real life example of the devastating impact of one of the biggest threats to global health in our world today — antibiotic resistance.
Tuesday, May 26, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

This Startup Pays African Students to Learn How to Code

Source: Co.Exist

Most twenty-somethings in Nairobi are underemployed—and most also can't afford to pay for college to get better jobs. On a trip to the Kenyan capital to give a talk about the future of education, edtech pioneer Jeremy Johnson was asked a difficult question: How is it possible to scale high-quality education if people can't pay for tuition?
Tuesday, May 26, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

The Mystery of the Power Bank Phone Taking Over Ghana

Source: Quartz

Have you noticed an odd bulge in people’s shorts around Accra? It’s likely because, like many of my friends, they’ve recently acquired a new phone. But it’s not the iPhone 6 Plus, and it’s not the Samsung Galaxy S6.
Tuesday, May 26, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Press Release: Orange Launches the 2015 Orange African Social Venture Prize

Source: Orange

Orange (http://www.orange.com) is launching the call for applications for the 5th edition of the Orange African Social Venture Prize. This initiative aims to encourage innovative start-up projects which help to accelerate development on the African continent.
Tuesday, May 26, 2015 — No Region Specified

Mozilla Gives Up on Its Dream of a $25 Firefox Smartphone

Source: The Verge

Mozilla is learning that making smartphones dirt cheap doesn't guarantee success when you're running up against Google's Android operating system. CNET reports that in an email to employees sent out on Thursday, CEO Chris Beard made it clear that the company will soon be changing its mobile strategy. "We have not seen sufficient traction for a $25 phone," Beard wrote. He went on to say, "We will focus on efforts that provide a better user experience, rather than focusing on cost alone."
Tuesday, May 26, 2015 — South Asia

India sees more cashless transactions through internet, ATM as consumers favor virtual payment

Source: Economic Times

Paperless transactions through the internet, ATM, cards and mobile devices have surpassed paper-based ones in the year leading to March 15, reiterating the fact that Indians are moving towards virtual payment.
Tuesday, May 26, 2015 — South Asia

Swiss investor Rianta Capital Zurich is scouting for impact investments in India

Source: Tech In Asia

Switzerland-based impact investor Rianta Capital Zurich has partnered with Villgro, India’s social enterprise incubator, to scout for funding opportunities in agriculture and allied sectors.
Tuesday, May 26, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Kenya's Jamii Bora Bank sheds microfinance tag

Source: Standard Digital

Jamii Bora Bank has announced that it is now targeting Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), in a major change of strategy that has seen it shed the microfinance tag.
Tuesday, May 26, 2015 — South Asia

Analysis: Golden Rice in India: Is It Necessary? What Are Impediments to Adoption?

Source: Genetic Literacy Project

There is a saying in Chinese used to wish others well that means, “may you never live in interesting times.” In a complex world full of conflict, disease, and death, the idea of living in a simpler world without the plagues of the present must seem comforting to most. Sadly, this is not the world we live in, no matter how much one may wish it into reality. For those living in rural India, life can be a constant struggle.
Friday, May 22, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Clinic where doctors access X-ray reports round-the-clock

Source: Daily Nation

Ms Nyokabi Kaguthi runs her dream shop in a field dominated by male medical practitioners. She is the founder and director of Africa Telerad, a startup that provides medical diagnostic reports.
Friday, May 22, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

A Toilet In Every Home: Zambians Celebrate Sanitation Milestone

Source: NPR

A recent daylong event celebrated a milestone in Zambia, where the practice of defecating in the open is all too common. In April, Chienge, in the northernmost province of Luapula, became the first district in Zambia to be declared free of open defecation by the government.
Friday, May 22, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Vodacom's M-Pesa Relaunch Is a Flop

Source: Mobile Money Africa

A second attempt by Vodacom to launch the M-Pesa mobile payments platform in South Africa has flopped.
Friday, May 22, 2015 — South Asia

Amazon and the Bank of India Are Helping Small Businesses

Source: PaymentEye

The State Bank of India (SBI) and Amazon.in have agreed to work together and focus efforts on improving payments and e-commerce solutions for small businesses across the country.
Friday, May 22, 2015 — South Asia

India's Street Dentists Filling Gap for the Poor

Source: AsiaOne

Ignoring noisy buses and curious onlookers, street dentist Allah Baksh plunges his hands into a patient's mouth to fit a sparkling set of dentures for $12 (S$16) in the Indian city of Bangalore.
Friday, May 22, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Building the Business Case for Health Sector Strengthening

Source: Devex

As the Ebola virus in West Africa wanes, multilateral and bilateral donors along with NGOs and country governments are making a concerted push to strengthen health systems across the developing world to protect against future health crises.
Friday, May 22, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Findex: Sub-Saharan Africa Continues to Be the Leading Frontier of Financial Inclusion

Source: The Huffington Post

Half of the world's population lives and works in the informal economy - not by choice, but by necessity. In the language of economists, poor families in developing countries are consumption-smoothing households and capital-consuming, self-employed entrepreneurs at the same time. As a result, they need a broader range of financial services to manage inevitably irregular income and expense spikes, accumulate working capital, build assets, and mitigate risks. Lacking better alternatives, they often resort to informal financial mechanisms, such as moneylenders, pawnbrokers, and rotating savings clubs, which can be very unreliable and expensive.
Friday, May 22, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Zimbabwe Uses the Most Condoms in the World, Reduces HIV Infections

Source: International Business Times

Zimbabwe’s condom usage now tops that of any other country in the world, with over 109 million condoms used in 2014. These safe sex practices have helped the southern African country lower the number of HIV infections, according to data collected by the state-run National Aids Council (NAC) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).
Friday, May 22, 2015 — South Asia

Angel Investing 2.0 – Will Angel Investing Go Online in India?

Source: YourStory

The last one year has seen a huge surge in angel investing in the Indian startup ecosystem. As a platform that has now become the largest marketplace for startup funding; we have been witnessing how the ecosystem has evolved over the last 18 months. In early 2013 when LetsVenture was founded, startup funding was traditionally done through offline networks and fundraise was challenging; our intent was to make fundraising faster and efficient for the founders.
Thursday, May 21, 2015 — No Region Specified

OPINION: Surgery so simple a gardener can do it – but he probably shouldn’t

Source: Reuters

The poorest one-third of the world’s population receives about 4 percent of surgical care. Africa has roughly 1 percent of the number of surgeons in the United States. Liberia has three surgeons for a population of 4 million. Failure to address this inequity is economically and politically reckless.
Thursday, May 21, 2015 — South Asia

The Key to a Global Nutritional Crisis Might Be a Simple Iron Fish

Source: Good

In 2009, Christopher Charles came up with a surprisingly simple and astonishingly effective tool to increase dietary iron intake without resorting to pills: A small metal fish – a symbol of luck in Cambodian culture – that can infuse food with the proper amount of necessary iron to ensure better overall nutrition.
Thursday, May 21, 2015 — No Region Specified

Bitcoin Microfinance Can ‘Reach Anyone with a Cell Phone Who Wants a Friggin’ Loan’

Source: Coin Telegraph

How bitcoin — or other cryptocurrencies — along with microfinance and mobile technology could form a new platform that would make it easier to dole out loans and charity.
Thursday, May 21, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Nigeria's GTBank Introduces New "Short Code" Channel for Mobile Money Transfers

Source: This Day Live

Guaranty Trust Bank Plc (GTBank) said it is applying a breakthrough innovation to enable funds transfer on the mobile phone for the first time in Nigeria for the bank’s customers.
Thursday, May 21, 2015 — No Region Specified

‘Socially Responsible’ Investing Has Beaten the S&P 500 for Decades

Source: MarketWatch

Socially responsible investing is gaining major traction, thanks in part to the emergence in the U.S. of “impact investing,” a concept that started in the U.K.
Thursday, May 21, 2015 — South Asia

India's Jan Dhan financial inclusion drive hits customer service barrier

Source: The Hindu Businessline

Creating new accounts is not enough. Banks’ behaviour towards low income clients is a major roadblock
Thursday, May 21, 2015 — No Region Specified

Socially Responsible Investors Focus Most on the Environment

Source: Millionaire Corner

Investors who wish to promote social responsibility are most focused on the environment and invest accordingly, according to a new Spectrem Group study.
Thursday, May 21, 2015 — South Asia

India Bats for Health Research Alliance Among NAM Nations

Source: Moneycontrol

Batting for greater collaboration in health research among non-aligned group of countries, India today said the member nations should use their "collective bargaining" power for making new medicines and medical technologies available to all at affordable costs.
Thursday, May 21, 2015 — No Region Specified

Rapid TB Testing May Transform Global Health Care

Source: Vaccine News Daily

Scientists recently created a rapid antimicrobial resistance test that allows health professionals to diagnose and treat tuberculosis (TB) faster than ever, which may lead to a transformation of global health care.
Wednesday, May 20, 2015 — No Region Specified

From condoms to toilets, why good design is essential for improving global health

Source: Vox

The use of human-centered design principles can help people lead better lives.
Wednesday, May 20, 2015 — No Region Specified

Forget The Fitbit: Can Wearables Be Designed For The Developing World?

Source: Fast Company

UNICEF, the design firm Frog, and the global mobile processor company ARM are teaming up to find ways that sensor and wearable tech can benefit the world's poorest populations.
Wednesday, May 20, 2015 — South Asia

The Little Red Dot Saving Lives in India

Source: Yahoo News

Because nearly every Indian woman wears a bindi – a beauty accessory in the shape of a small dot worn in the center of the forehead – Grey for Good decided to create iodine-coated bindis that could act as a daily supplement if worn for at least four hours.
Wednesday, May 20, 2015 — No Region Specified

PRESS RELEASE: OPIC awards seven clients Impact Awards for excellence in development

Source: OPIC

OPIC recognized seven clients for excellence in development at its May 19 Impact Awards. Clients were recognized for projects that bring electricity to remote villages in India, financial services to small businesses in the Middle East, affordable education to poor families in Sub-Saharan Africa and much more.
Wednesday, May 20, 2015 — No Region Specified

What's Next for the Grand Challenges?

Source: Devex

Innovative solutions take 15 years to reach their full potential. For the “grand challenges” model of development, now over a decade old, that means the clock is ticking.
Wednesday, May 20, 2015 — No Region Specified

Study: Less Than Half of Foundations Use Impact Investing

Source: Philanthropy.com

The survey found that 41 percent of respondents said their foundations currently use impact investing, 6 percent plan to in the future, and 20 percent don’t plan to.
Wednesday, May 20, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Uber Partners with Discovery Health to Deliver Flu Vaccinations in South Africa

Source: CPAfrica

Uber has partnered with Discovery Health to provide South Africans with access to flu vaccinations directly through its app.
Wednesday, May 20, 2015 — No Region Specified

What if Crowdfunding Becomes the Leading Source of Finance for Entrepreneurs or Growing Companies?

Source: Forbes

Can crowdfunding offer a viable source of funding to growth orientated businesses around the world? 2015 promises to be a big year for crowdfunding in terms of the role it may play in getting entrepreneurial ventures off the ground. What might that world look like if it became the leading source of finance for companies starting out? To that end, one has to better understand the phenomenon and its rapid expansion to date.
Wednesday, May 20, 2015 — Asia Pacific

World Bank Group President Pledges Up to $11 Billion in Support to Indonesia

Source: The World Bank

World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim pledged up to $11 billion in new financing in the next three to four years to Indonesia, the fourth most populous country in the world.
Wednesday, May 20, 2015 — South Asia

PRESS RELEASE: Lafarge launches 'Housing Microfinance Academy' in India

Source: La Farge

Lafarge, a leader in building materials, launched the Indian chapter of 'Housing Microfinance Academy' in Mumbai earlier this week.
Wednesday, May 20, 2015 — No Region Specified

Ripple scores $28 million funding round

Source: Finextra

Digital currency outfit Ripple Labs has closed a $28 million Series A funding round that includes IDG Capital Partners and the venture arms of CME Group and global data storage company Seagate Technology.
Tuesday, May 19, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Vodacom’s M-Pesa Growth Still Not Reaching South Africa

Source: Mobile World Live

Vodacom identified mobile money service m-Pesa as a growth engine but its 2014/15 results showed this to be truer internationally than in South Africa.
Tuesday, May 19, 2015 — No Region Specified

JPMorgan Chase says $34 million already committed to Detroit

Source: Detroit News

One year after pledging to invest $100 million in Detroit over five years, JPMorgan Chase & Co. says $34 million has so far been committed in the Motor City.
Tuesday, May 19, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Uber Battles Locals for Future of African Taxis

Source: The Wall Street Journal

In the traffic-clogged, potholed streets of Kenya’s capital city, there is a battle waging for the future of the African taxi ride that is pitting local startups eager to become the “Uber of Kenya” against, well, Uber.
Tuesday, May 19, 2015 — No Region Specified

OPINION: Financial Education Is Not Enough in Today's Economy: We Need Financial Capability

Source: Huffington Post

Knowledge and opportunities are part and parcel of financial capability: the combination of financial education and financial inclusion via safe and affordable financial products.
Tuesday, May 19, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

More businesses in Kenya adopt cashless payments

Source: Spy Ghana

More businesses in Kenya are embracing cashless payments as security of the system is enhanced and Kenyans see the benefits of using it.
Tuesday, May 19, 2015 — No Region Specified

Silicon Valley’s Clean Tech Investors Eyeing Sustainable Food, Experts Say

Source: Undercurrent News

Food is becoming the epicenter of the growing responsible investment movement in the San Francisco Bay area's Silicon Valley, panelists said during the impact investing discussion at Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Sustainable Food Institute last week.
Tuesday, May 19, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Kenya’s million dollar bitcoin startup BitPesa expands to Tanzania

Source: Venture Burn

Kenyan bitcoin startup BitPesa is expanding to neighboring Tanzania about a year after it launched its mobile-friendly digital currency exchange.
Monday, May 18, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Money Keeps Moving Toward Somalia, Sometimes In Suitcases

Source: Foreign Policy

Some financial companies in the U.S. resort to carrying cash on airplanes to keep remittances flowing to needy Somalis.
Monday, May 18, 2015 — South Asia

From Alibaba to Xiaomi, why Indian Prime Minister Modi must chase China’s booming tech companies

Source: Quartz

The direction that China’s internet and e-commerce companies are heading dovetails perfectly with the Digital India campaign, which aims to create “digital infrastructure, deliver services digitally and digital literacy.”
Monday, May 18, 2015 — No Region Specified

Fossil fuel divestment at colleges more about the conversation than the money

Source: The Denver Post

The key question is what impact does divestment have on the fossil fuel companies and on the university and foundation finances.
Monday, May 18, 2015 — No Region Specified

Aid Burst Lifts People Out of Extreme Poverty

Source: Nature

Giving some of the world’s poorest people a two-year aid package — including cash, food, health-care services, skills training and advice — improves their livelihoods for at least a year after the support is cut off, according to the results of an experiment involving more than 10,000 households in six countries.
Monday, May 18, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Opinion: Entrepreneur-Led Development - A New Model for Africa

Source: AFK Insider

Aid-based approaches have improved untold millions of lives across the continent, but it is the economic opportunity side of the development coin that will have more catalytic impact in driving development on the African continent, says Tony Elumelu.
Monday, May 18, 2015 — No Region Specified

Global Financial Injection 'Needed to Transform Development of Antibiotics'

Source: Medical News Today

"No new classes of antibiotics have been created for decades and our current drugs are becoming less effective as resistance increases," O'Neill explains, of the rationale behind the report.
Monday, May 18, 2015 — Europe & Eurasia

Cambridge University to Adopt Ethical Approach to Multibillion-Dollar Fund

Source: The Wall Street Journal

One of the world’s oldest—and richest—universities has decided to adopt a more “ethical” approach to investing its multibillion-dollar endowment fund.
Friday, May 15, 2015 — No Region Specified

Women-Led Startup Develops Cost-Conscious Medical Devices for Emerging Countries

Source: MedCity News

Sisu Global Health co-founder and CEO Carolyn Yarina painted a pretty dire picture of emerging countries’ limited access to medical devices during he company’s pitch at DreamIt Health Baltimore. To tackle that problem, it is working with physicians, nurses and engineers in some of these countries to develop sanitary and safe medical devices than what they currently use that are more affordable than devices that are the standard of care in the U.S.
Friday, May 15, 2015 — No Region Specified

D-Rev CEO: We Build Medical Devices for People who Live on Less than $4 a Day

Source: KQED

Most medical equipment companies don’t regularly top “most innovative” lists. But D-Rev isn’t your typical medical device maker. The San Francisco-based non-profit wants to help the world’s poorest individuals, who subsist on less than a few dollars per day. Its products include an $80 prosthetic knee and a phototherapy device to treat infants with jaundice.
Friday, May 15, 2015 — No Region Specified

Bill and Melina Gates: Autopsies Could Prevent Epidemics, Save Countless Lives

Source: The Huffington Post

Bill and Melinda Gates believe that performing "minimal autopsies" on dead children could save countless lives.
Friday, May 15, 2015 — South Asia

India's Axis Bank Taps WhatsApp for P2P Mobile Payments

Source: Finextra

India's Axis Bank has launched a mobile payments service that lets users send money to each other through WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, email and phone contact lists.
Friday, May 15, 2015 — No Region Specified

How Moven’s New App Encourages Savings, Eliminates Product Silos

Source: The Financial Brand

Moven introduces a mobile banking application that uses real-time contextual insight to encourage savings, discourage impulse purchases and provide emergency funds seamlessly on a mobile phone or wearable device.
Friday, May 15, 2015 — South Asia

Solar-Powered ATMs to Deliver Clean Drinking Water in Pakistan

Source: The Express Tribune

Punjab province is set to launch an innovation for water-short Pakistan: Solar-powered ATMs that dispense clean water when a smart card is scanned.
Friday, May 15, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

In Africa, the Future of Insurance Is Micro and Mobile

Source: The Africa Report

Telecoms companies are redefining Africa's insurance landscape, using their brand recognition and wide customer reach to offer micro-insurance products to the tens of millions of uninsured Africans.
Friday, May 15, 2015 — No Region Specified

US to Coordinate Efforts, Mobilize Investment for Global Entrepreneurship

Source: Devex

Think entrepreneurship is critical for global development? This week the U.S. government indicated it does too with the announcement of a new initiative aimed at coordinating its global entrepreneurship efforts and spurring additional investment.
Friday, May 15, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Ecocash Users in Zimbabwe Can Now Make Mobile Money Transactions in Local Languages

Source: New Zimbabwe

Users of EcoCash, the mobile money offering of Econet Wireless, are now able to transact in local languages after the company announced new enhancements to the platform.
Friday, May 15, 2015 — No Region Specified

What It Takes to Lift Families Out of Poverty

Source: NPR

Eighteen years ago, Dean Karlan was a fresh, bright-eyed graduate student in economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He wanted to answer what seemed like a simple question:
Friday, May 15, 2015 — No Region Specified

Press Release: JPMorgan Chase 2014 Corporate Responsibility Report Reflects Focus on Cities as Engines of Economic Growth

Source: Market Watch

JPMorgan Chase & Co. today released its 2014 Corporate Responsibility report, highlighting steps the firm is taking to support economic growth and address critical challenges facing cities around the world. The report, Global Strength: At Work in Cities, features case studies of work the firm is doing to help cities address these challenges as well as innovative and sustainable solutions designed to create growth and opportunity.
Friday, May 15, 2015 — No Region Specified

Alex Counts to Step Down As President and CEO of Grameen Foundation

Source: Grameen Foundation

A little more than 18 years ago, I began my journey as the founding President and CEO of Grameen Foundation (GF). Professor Muhammad Yunus provided me with $6,000 in seed funding and enormous amounts of his time and wisdom, and of course the Grameen brand. Since then, thousands of people and organizations joined me on this journey to contribute to the global movement to eliminate poverty. Grameen Foundation became a daring and caring community of practical idealists that applies the values embodied by Professor Yunus and his team at the global level.
Friday, May 15, 2015 — No Region Specified

What Entrepreneurs Can Learn From the World of Crowdfunding

Source: Forbes

Since Kickstarter and its chief rival Indiegogo launched, the tech and web industries and have seen a wealth of entrepreneurs make their case before the crowd. Looking to fund everything from tech gadgets to movies and charitable causes, entrepreneurs of all stripes have turned to the crowd to bring their ideas to a mass market.
Thursday, May 14, 2015 — South Asia

Money Order Service Not Discontinued, Says India’s Department of Post

Source: The Economic Times

The Money Order service, the old and trusted mode of remittance, was very much available, the Department of Post today said, strongly refuting the reports otherwise.
Thursday, May 14, 2015 — No Region Specified

Experts Call for Global Research Fund for Antibiotics, Ebola and Other Neglected Diseases

Source: The Guardian

There were no drugs to treat Ebola in the outbreak that devastated three west African countries, other diseases of the poor are neglected and the pipeline of new antibiotics has dried up. Experts are calling for a $10 billion fund to pay for research and development ahead of the World Health Assembly in Geneva next week.
Thursday, May 14, 2015 — South Asia

India's Bad Loans Situation May Not Have Peaked Yet, Says RBI Chief

Source: Yahoo!

India's banking system may not yet have seen the peak in bad loans, the Reserve Bank of India Governor Raghuram Rajan said on Thursday, adding the central bank was working with lenders to recognise and resolve these non-performing assets.
Thursday, May 14, 2015 — No Region Specified

Press Release: TriLinc Global Impact Fund Makes Impact Investments in Africa and Latin America

Source: Business Wire

TriLinc Global Impact Fund (“TriLinc” or the “Company”) announced today that it has recently approved $3.97 million in trade finance transactions to companies in South Africa and Argentina. The transaction details are summarized below.
Thursday, May 14, 2015 — No Region Specified

Older Investors Opening Up to Socially Conscious Investing

Source: InvestmentNews

Younger investors have long been interested in socially conscious investing, but a new report from Spectrum Group indicates that older investors — loath to “throw away” money — are starting to turn to funds that espouse a cause, as long as they get a return.
Thursday, May 14, 2015 — No Region Specified

Call for $2B Global Antibiotic Research Fund

Source: BBC

The global pharmaceutical industry is being called on to pay for a $2bn (£1.3bn) innovation fund to revitalise research into antibiotics.
Thursday, May 14, 2015 — Latin America

New GSMA Report Finds That Latin America and the Caribbean Have Fastest Growth in Mobile Financial Services Globally

Source: Business Wire

At the Mobile 360 Latin America event today, the GSMA issued the report, ‘Mobile Financial Services in Latin America and the Caribbean: state of play, commercial models and regulatory approaches’, which examines the current state of mobile financial services across Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) region. The report outlines important advances in mobile money adoption in the region, showing that nearly two thirds of markets have at least one live mobile money service. Today, there are a total of 37 mobile money services, accounting for roughly 14.9 million registered mobile money accounts, in 19 countries1 in the region. This includes seven new services launched in Brazil, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Panama and Peru since 2014.
Thursday, May 14, 2015 — No Region Specified

Viewpoint: Why "Design for Development" Is Failing on Its Promise

Source: Fast Company

A couple of years ago, I had a moment of crisis about the role of design in tackling the challenges of our time.
Thursday, May 14, 2015 — South Asia

Walmart Taps Alipay to Bring Mobile Payments to 25 China Stores

Source: CNET

The world of mobile payments in China keeps heating up.
Thursday, May 14, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

African Development Bank Invests $50 Million in Indigenous Power Developer CEC Africa

Source: CPI Financial

The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank (AfDB) approved on 29 April 2015 a $50 million investment in CEC Africa Investments Limited, a multinational power company headquartered in Nigeria and Zambia.
Thursday, May 14, 2015 — No Region Specified

Report: Over One-Quarter of Investors Under 45 Have Significant Investments in Socially Responsible Companies

Source: ThinkAdvisor

Millennials and Gen Xers are more comfortable with robo-advisors, and women are more risk averse, according to surveys of investors and financial advisors. Now comes another difference between these investors and others: They are more inclined toward socially responsible investing.
Thursday, May 14, 2015 — South Asia

India: The Fight to Become a Science Superpower

Source: Nature

With her jeans, T-shirt and spirited attitude, Tapasya Srivastava could pass for a student as she works in her brightly lit cancer-biology lab on the University of Delhi South Campus. Srivastava, who oversees a team of eight researchers, is thrilled that she earned “a small research space of my own” in 2010, while still in her thirties. “With a decent list of publications under my belt, I am one of the few who have studied and undergone training entirely in India,” she says.
Thursday, May 14, 2015 — South Asia

Apple-Alibaba Tie-Up to Bring Apple Pay to China?

Source: CNBC

Apple is in talks with Alibaba to bring its mobile payments system to China, according to an interview with Chinese news agency Xinhua.
Wednesday, May 13, 2015 — Latin America

How NGOs Can Help Unleash Cuban Remittances

Source: Devex

Remittances to Latin America and the Caribbean set a new record high last year, at a total of $65.4 billion, the Inter-American Development Bank revealed Tuesday.
Wednesday, May 13, 2015 — No Region Specified

Viewpoint: Philanthropy Starts After Profits Are Tallied

Source: The New York Times

Foundations are the new Birkin bags. Everyone who is anyone has one. Giving is now chic. Far from being in denial about it, many wealthy people fret over rising inequality these days, in public and in private.
Wednesday, May 13, 2015 — South Asia

India Needs to Improve Healthcare As Part of Global Millennium Development Goals: WHO

Source: The Economic Times

India and many other southeast Asian countries need to improve their record on public healthcare, the WHO said today as it warned that the world will fall short in achieving the UN's Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) on many indicators by the end of this year.
Wednesday, May 13, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Lessons From Liberia Prompt a Renewed Call for Global Health Security

Source: The Science Times

Although Ebola has finally been contained in Liberia, there is much to learn from this latest outbreak. Health officials are taking heed of the valuable lessons gained from the successes, and more importantly, the failures, of this most recent epidemic.
Wednesday, May 13, 2015 — No Region Specified

This Bank of America Exec Helped Create a Virtual Mentoring Program to Connect Women Around the World

Source: The Business Journals

She spent one week in South Africa, and one week in Belfast, Ireland. Both trips were with different women, but the purpose was the same: To mentor businesswomen across the globe.
Wednesday, May 13, 2015 — Latin America

Harnessing Social Impact Investing in Latin America

Source: The Huffington Post

For many, Latin America is associated with a laundry list of negatives: drugs, corruption, gang violence and transnational crime. However, our new reportHarnessing Social Impact Investing in Latin America, helps to dispel some of these myths. In fact, in the realm of social impact investing, it is on the forefront of rapidly-changing global trends.
Wednesday, May 13, 2015 — No Region Specified

Press Release: SOCAP Open Is Live, Accepting Session Ideas for SOCAP15

Source: PitchEngine

SOCAP, the world’s largest conference for social enterprise and impact investing, launches SOCAP Open and is accepting session ideas for SOCAP15, now through June 7th.
Wednesday, May 13, 2015 — Latin America

Colombia Water Works: Turning Trash Into Cisterns

Source: Miami Herald

For more than a decade, Cecilia Uribe has relied on a higher power to provide a basic utility: water. In her sprawling neighborhood on the outskirts of Colombia’s capital, municipal water only ran twice a month, she explained, “so I would just wait for my God to make it rain.”
TAGS:water
Wednesday, May 13, 2015 — No Region Specified

Press Release: Wave Closes $10 Million Investment to Provide Tools for Owners of Small- and Micro-Businesses

Source: Yahoo!

Wave (waveapps.com) has closed a $10 million Series C investment with participation from CRV, The Social+Capital Partnership, OMERS Ventures, and a strategic investor in the global fintech software space. This brings total investment in Wave to $35 million, with the new funds earmarked for ongoing innovation and development of small business financial tools.
Wednesday, May 13, 2015 — South Asia

Buddhist Monk in Thailand Relies on Karma for Lending Success

Source: The Wall Street Journal

Buddhist monks aren’t really known for dipping into the material world of finance. Phra Subin Paneeto, though, says he felt he didn’t have much choice when he saw his neighbors near Thailand’s border with Cambodia were struggling to make ends meet.
Tuesday, May 12, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Cash Aid Feeds Business Surge in Northern Kenya

Source: Reuters

When the government of Kenya began giving cash instead of food aid to poor people in Kenya's drought-stricken northern region, the aim was to help them buy food more efficiently and conveniently.
Tuesday, May 12, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Nigeria: Cement Firm Partners With Microfinance Bank to Build 5,000 New Homes

Source: allAfrica

A NEW deal has been sealed between a cement firm, Messrs United Cement Company of Nigeria (UNICEM) and microfinance bank for the building of 5,000 new housing units in the country.
Tuesday, May 12, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Viewpoint: What If African Nations Operated As One Big Innovation Ecosystem?

Source: Quartz

With the fourth edition of the Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA) around the corner, I am eagerly waiting to meet the creators of the latest innovations that were shortlisted for the Award. I find myself preoccupied with a subject that both excites me and exasperates me in equal measures: building African innovation ecosystems.
Tuesday, May 12, 2015 — Europe & Eurasia

Vodafone's M-Pesa Mobile Money Service Goes Live in Albania

Source: Telecompaper

Vodafone Albania officially launched the M-Pesa mobile payment service during a press conference held in the capital Tirana. Vodafone Albania is the second Vodafone operator in Europe to offer the service, following Vodafone Romania in April 2014.
Tuesday, May 12, 2015 — No Region Specified

Gates Foundation Partners With Emory Global Health Institute to Form Child Health Network

Source: Atlanta Business Chronicle

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundationnamed Emory Global Health Institute, which houses the U.S. office of the International Association of National Public Health Institutes (IANPHI), its lead partner in its new global health surveillance network aimed at preventing childhood mortality in developing countries.
Tuesday, May 12, 2015 — South Asia

Viewpoint: Contributory Social Security Schemes Launched Last Week in India Could Be Game Changers

Source: The Indian Express

The prime minister launched three welfare-enhancing pension and insurance schemes on May 9. In a country where less than 10 per cent of the population has insurance cover and almost nobody in the unorganised sector has a pension plan, these three schemes are expected to play a significant role in providing social security for the poor.
Tuesday, May 12, 2015 — No Region Specified

Viewpoint: Does Virtual Currency's Past Dictate Its Future?

Source: Mobile Payments Today

After almost 20 years in the payments industry, I've learned to appreciate its history. That's why, with the growing popularity of virtual currency over the past couple years, I decided to do some digging into its past.
Tuesday, May 12, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Africa Gamble: Rising Sports Betting Piggybacks on Mobile Revolution

Source: AFKInsider

“It costs me almost nothing and I can win a lot!,” Rajab Wesonga, 36, told AFKInsider as he placed his bet for the week on Sportpesa, Kenya’s most popular sports betting mobile website.
Tuesday, May 12, 2015 — No Region Specified

Does "Socially Responsible Investing" Mean Anything to You?

Source: Millionaire Corner

The unusual aspect of socially responsible investing is that while some people swear by it as a way to improve the world and make some money doing so, other investors don’t even know it is a consideration.
Tuesday, May 12, 2015 — No Region Specified

Viewpoint: Are There Really Too Many Venture Capitalists in Impact Investment?

Source: Pioneers Post

For years I have heard those involved in impact investment moan about the extent to which experienced venture capitalists (VCs) are “taking over”: bringing values which will destroy the very essence of the movement.
Tuesday, May 12, 2015 — South Asia

How Telecoms And The Indian Government Stop Net Neutrality in Its Tracks

Source: TechCrunch

Hidden under the guise of enabling the Indian population with faster and more reliable services, the major players in telecoms, such as Airtel and Reliance, have adopted new policies that could undermine the basic building blocks of Internet access in India.
Tuesday, May 12, 2015 — South Asia

Uber Begins Testing Cash Payments in India

Source: The Verge

Uber today announced that it will begin testing a cash payments system in Hyderabad, India, marking a global first for the credit card-based mobile app. In a blog postpublished today, the company described the initiative as an "experiment" in a part of the world where many consumers prefer to pay for services in cash.
Monday, May 11, 2015 — South Asia

Monsoons Near, Nepal Focuses on Sanitation to Stem Illness After Quake

Source: The New York Times

After years of intense effort, officials here in rural Sindhupalchok district had persuaded almost all of the nearly 61,000 households to each build a toilet. Then the earthquake struck, destroying most houses — and the very toilets that could have helped stave off the diseases that can run rampant after natural disasters.
Monday, May 11, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Financial Inclusion in Africa: “Things Are Further Behind Than People Think”

Source: Ventures Africa

Plenty of progress has been made on increasing the size of Africa’s banked population. The trouble is, from the amount of noise that is made about the topic, you would be forgiven for thinking we had fixed the problem when we really haven’t.
Monday, May 11, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Prepaid Meters Scupper Gains Made in Accessing Water in Africa

Source: Inter Press Service

While many countries appear to have met the U.N. Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of halving the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water, rights activists say that African countries which have taken to installing prepaid water meters have rendered a blow to many poor people, making it hard for them to access water.
Monday, May 11, 2015 — No Region Specified

Overcoming the Psychology of the Social Entrepreneur

Source: Entrepreneur

The journey of entrepreneurship, though rewarding in some aspects, can be one of the most psychologically draining experiences one may ever face. According to today’s status quo of existence, the perception of corporate anxiety is well known, supported and actively spotlighted that ascension of the corporate ladder is a dream fully realized. Is the same ecosystem available to entrepreneurs? No. It is the complete opposite. Our culture idolizes successful entrepreneurs and expects that they use their psychological lows to fuel their innovations and breakthroughs. Furthermore, they are expected to display mockery of their struggles to prove perseverance and inspire the next wave of entrepreneurs and transform industry paradigms. Yet this societal expectation comes at a price- a price tag that only entrepreneurs pay with their mind.
Monday, May 11, 2015 — No Region Specified

Bitcoin - The Next Big Thing in Finance (Or Is It?)

Source: The Economist

Asked to name an event that has reshaped finance in recent years, bankers will point to the collapse of Lehman Brothers on September 15th 2008, the nadir of the financial crisis. Fintech types are more likely to mention something that happened six weeks later. On October 31st 2008 Satoshi Nakamoto, a pseudonymous cryptography buff whose real identity remains a mystery, unveiled a project he dubbed bitcoin, “a new electronic cash system that’s fully peer-to-peer, with no trusted third party”. It described what appeared to be a robust framework for a currency that could run without the backing of any government. Enthusiasts proclaimed that finance was about to enter the era of crypto-currencies. Since the need for a trusted third party has traditionally been a large part of the banks’ raison d’être, this could mean that in future they will no longer be required—potentially a much more radical change than the other inroads fintech has made on their business.
Monday, May 11, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Press Release: Botswana-UPenn Partnership Teams with Microsoft to Launch Telemedicine Service over TV White Spaces Network

Source: Penn News

The Botswana-UPenn Partnership (BUP) is collaborating with Microsoft, the Botswana Innovation Hub, and other global partners to launch the first telemedicine service in Africa using TV white spaces to bring internet connectivity to hospitals and clinics across rural areas of Botswana. The pilot project, called “Project Kgolagano,” will provide clinical consultations and diagnoses to a patient population who would otherwise have to travel far distances to the capital city of Gaborone, Botswana, for specialized care.
Monday, May 11, 2015 — South Asia

Alibaba's B2B Plan Could Change the World of Cross-Border Commerce

Source: PYMNTS

Alibaba is a huge fan of the B2B business model. The eCommerce conglomerate, which has overhauled China’s B2C online shopping industry, has launched several initiatives within the B2B market, including partnerships in other Asian economies to launch wholesale eCommerce services in Thailand, Vietnam and Malaysia. The company has also fostered B2B eCommerce startups through its competitionrecently held in Hong Kong to promote innovation and progress in the industry.
Monday, May 11, 2015 — No Region Specified

Eyes on the Prize: Ahmad Ashkar

Source: ArabianBusiness.com

If you’ve followed social entrepreneurship news even slightly in the past few years, you won’t have failed to witness the unstoppable rise of the Hult Prize.
Monday, May 11, 2015 — South Asia

Xiaomi’s Money Market Fund Rolls Out of Beta, to Take on Alibaba and Tencent

Source: Tech in Asia

Like Baidu and Alibaba, Xiaomi is eyeing China’s finance industry and seeing dollar signs. Today the company is officially launching a money-market fund called Huoqibao inside a new standalone app called “Xiaomi Finance.”
Monday, May 11, 2015 — No Region Specified

Hunt for AIDS Cure Accelerates As GSK and U.S. Experts Link Up

Source: Reuters

Britain's GlaxoSmithKline , which decided last week to retain rather than float off its HIV drugs business, is to collaborate with U.S. scientists in developing a cure for AIDS.
Monday, May 11, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Six Nigerian Banks Unveils New m-Payment System

Source: CPAfrica

Mobile payment system just got more convenient in Nigeria as a consortium of six banks have inaugurated the Unified Payments’ electronic money transaction scheme known as PayAttitude.
Monday, May 11, 2015 — North Africa and Near East

Uncertainty Over Vaccine Procurement Worries Donors

Source: DAWN

Pakistan may be facing a serious interruption in vaccine supply as provinces are showing unwillingness to pay for vaccine imports, following the expiration of the current National Finance Commission (NFC) award next month.
Monday, May 11, 2015 — South Asia

Viewpoint: India’s Financial Inclusion Schemes Are Fine, but Why Is the Government Not Addressing Banks' Quality, Cost Concerns?

Source: Firstpost

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his team at the NDA government deserve their due share of credit for initiating efforts to bring a large segment of India’s population to insurance, pension cover at cheaper cost, even as the Congress is crying foul of repacking old UPA ideas.
Monday, May 11, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Airtel and Verifone Team on Mobile NFC Payments in Ghana

Source: Finextra

Mobile network operator Airtel has teamed up with Verifone Mobile Money to bring contactless m-payments to Ghana.
Monday, May 11, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Africa's Surprising Future

Source: CNN

Africa's population is growing rapidly -- and unlike much of the world, it's also getting younger. Based on current trends, the continent's population is poised to increase from just over 1 billion today to more than 4 billion by the end of the century. And while countries like the United States, Japan and many of those in Europe are aging, within the next 35 years, 40% of all our planet's children will likely call Africa home.
Friday, May 8, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Savings Groups Allowed on EcoCash Mobile Money Platform in Zimbabwe

Source: ITWeb Africa

Econet Wireless is now allowing group savings on its mobile money platform, EcoCash, a development the company says will reduce risks associated with cash handling.
Friday, May 8, 2015 — South Asia

Safaricom's M-Pesa Now Runs on Huawei’s Mobile Money Platform

Source: TechCabal

Chinese networking and telecommunications equipment and services company, Huawei has announced that its Mobile Money Platform is now supporting the M-PESA service for Safaricom.
Friday, May 8, 2015 — No Region Specified

Viewpoint: Top Philanthropy Board and Staff Are Paid Over $600 Million a Year. Is That Too Much?

Source: Inside Philanthropy

Not long ago, I wrote about the Ford Foundation's overhead expenses, pointing that it had spent over $1 billion in the past decade on personnel and office space. That's a shocking amount of money that never made it to poor people or starving artists or struggling students or others in need.
Friday, May 8, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

What a Western Union, MoneyGram Merger Would Mean to Africa

Source: AFKInsider

Shares in MoneyGram International, one of the largest money transfer firm s in the world, rallied as much as 41 percent after Bloomberg, citing sources close to the deal, reported that the industry leader Western Union was in “early stage” talks to acquire MoneyGram.
Friday, May 8, 2015 — No Region Specified

Are Small Businesses Being Overlooked in the Fight Against Poverty?

Source: The Guardian

When the dust settles on the sustainable development goals, and the world knows exactly what targets will determine climate and development policy for the next 15 years, the hard work of actually implementing them will be left to individual governments.
Friday, May 8, 2015 — No Region Specified

How Social Media Can Be Used to Track Disease Outbreaks

Source: Global Healthcare

A full nine days before Ebola was even recognized by the World Health Organizations as an epidemic there was something else. HealthMap, a software that mines government websites, social networks and local news reports, identified a “mystery hemorrhagic fever” that was going around.
Friday, May 8, 2015 — No Region Specified

Another Use for Mobile in Microfinance: Getting Honest Feedback On Sensitive Topics

Source: The Huffington Post

When our team first started doing this work four years ago, I used to get asked all the time, "So are you giving out mobile phones?" We use mobile technology to reach invisible populations like factory workers, farmers and, most recently, microfinance borrowers. In the last four years, mobile penetration has continued to skyrocket. India has three times as many mobile phones as the United States, and 78 percent mobile penetration. So the answer is no, we do not need to give out mobile phones.
Friday, May 8, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Smartphone Camera Turned Microscope Could Revolutionize Healthcare in Africa

Source: News Every Day

A device that can turn your smartphone camera into a microscope may change the health landscape of Africa where shortage of diagnostic infrastructure has jeopardized public health.
Friday, May 8, 2015 — South Asia

Viewpoint: India’s Chilling Crackdown on Charitable Organizations “Smacks of Political Payback”

Source: The New York Times

The Ford Foundation is among the world’s best-known charitable organizations, dispensing billions of dollars globally for projects aimed at reducing poverty, fighting injustice, improving education and advancing democracy.
Friday, May 8, 2015 — No Region Specified

Press Release: A Commitment to Improve Global Health Information

Source: World Health Organization

WHO and the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) today signed a Memorandum of Understanding defining areas where they will work together to improve the quality and use of global health estimates to measure the world’s health challenges.
Friday, May 8, 2015 — No Region Specified

Viewpoint: Is This the Big Solution to Failing WASH Projects We've Been Waiting for?

Source: Inside Philanthropy

Water and sanitation projects often go something like this: NGOs show up with equipment, money, and people on hand, drill a well or install sanitation systems and then leave. A handful of locals are typically trained on upkeep and minor infrastructure repairs, but this isn’t always the case. If the wells need to be repointed or major leaks or breaks occur in the pipes, the communities are out of luck. As a result of the dig-and-dash approach, well-meaning projects end up abandoned and communities go back to contaminated water, which can lead to enteric illness and death, as well as economic setbacks.
Friday, May 8, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Former Kiva.org CEO Brings New App, a ‘Branchless Bank’ to Kenya

Source: The Wall Street Journal

The former chief executive and co-founder of nonprofit lending platform Kiva.org, Matt Flannery, on Wednesday revealed his latest initiative Branch International Inc., which he calls “a mobile-based microfinance institution for the world.”
Friday, May 8, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

In Africa, Mobile Money Is on the Move

Source: Mail & Guardian Africa

Moving money across African borders with the click of a cellphone button just keeps getting easier. The mobile money revolution – essentially the use of cellphones to access financial services – is already transforming the face of financial inclusion on the continent.
Thursday, May 7, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Could Stellar Be the Answer to Enable Financial Inclusion Around the Globe?

Source: Memeburn

When the internet first came round in the mid-nineties, people didn’t expect to see impactful tools like open-source libraries like Wikipedia or renting sites like AirBnb or car-sharing ones such as Uber and Lyft. As an open tool, the internet has laid the foundation for these products to be born, reaching audiences far and wide with powerful applications that impact most of our daily lives, whether we like it or not. But a lot of important industries have been left behind in the process. This, however, might be starting to change.
Thursday, May 7, 2015 — No Region Specified

Press Release: A Commitment to Improve Global Health Information

Source: World Health Organization

WHO and the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) today signed a Memorandum of Understanding defining areas where they will work together to improve the quality and use of global health estimates to measure the world’s health challenges.
Thursday, May 7, 2015 — South Asia

After cracking down on Greenpeace, Ford Foundation, Indian gov't could focus on Gates Foundation

Source: Economic Times

After turning the screws on Greenpeace India and the Ford Foundation, the home ministry has now turned its gaze to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Thursday, May 7, 2015 — South Asia

Alibaba enters into strategic partnership with Indian mobile wallet company Paytm

Source: Inc. 42

Through its marketplace AliExpress, Alibaba has entered into a strategic tie-up with Indian mobile wallet company Paytm.
Thursday, May 7, 2015 — Asia Pacific

Visa Pushes for Financial Inclusion in Philippines

Source: Rappler

There is an opportunity for financial inclusion in the Philippines, and VISA is banking on such potential.
Thursday, May 7, 2015 — South Asia

Drone Pilots, AI, Tweets and Texts Speed Up Relief Efforts in Nepal

Source: Voice of America

They are known as digital humanitarians: the thousands of tech-savvy volunteers from around the world who are both physically and virtually converging on the crisis in Nepal and digging through mountains of data to help humanitarian agencies direct their aid.
Thursday, May 7, 2015 — No Region Specified

Gates Foundation Plans Teams to Determine Causes of Child Mortality

Source: The New York Times

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation plans to create a network of disease-surveillance teams in poor countries to do “minimal autopsies” on children to plumb causes of child mortality and also possibly spot emerging epidemics, the foundation announced Wednesday.
Thursday, May 7, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

MTN Rwanda partners with government to let taxpayers pay their taxes using mobile money

Source: PC Tech Magazine

MTN Rwanda has partnered with Rwanda Revenue Authority (RRA) to offer taxpayers an easier way to pay their taxes using the MTN Mobile Money platform.
Thursday, May 7, 2015 — No Region Specified

'Leg Bank' Hope for Changing Amputees' Lives

Source: Medical Xpress

A 'leg bank' - providing life-changing prostheses to low-income people who have lost limbs - is being developed by a team including University of Strathclyde researchers.
Thursday, May 7, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Tanzania: Mobile Banking Deepens Financial Inclusion

Source: allAfrica

One of the drivers of the country's gross domestic product (GDP) by 7.0 per cent last year was financial intermediation, speeded up by inclusive financing.
Wednesday, May 6, 2015 — Latin America

Press Release: Acumen Launches to Tackle Poverty in Latin America

Source: Market Watch

Acumen announced today its expansion to support social entrepreneurship in Latin America. The pioneer in impact investing will be headquartered in Bogotá and will invest in innovative entrepreneurs and enterprises in Colombia and Peru to drive faster, sustainable solutions to poverty and create new paths forward to tackle economic inequality. While extreme poverty in Latin America has declined by half, more than 80 million people still live on $4 a day and more than 200 million are at risk of being pulled back into poverty by economic instability and climate change.
Wednesday, May 6, 2015 — No Region Specified

Cryptocurrency Maker Ripple Labs Fined $700K for Flouting Financial Regs

Source: Ars Technica

Today federal regulators announced a fine (PDF) of $700,000 against cryptocurrency company Ripple Labs for failing to register as a money service business. Ripple Labs built a payment transfer platform that people can use to move real or virtual money, and the company maintains its own cryptocurrency, called XRP II, which loosely compares to Bitcoin. (Unlike Bitcoin, XRP was fully generated before it went on the market, so an equivalent to Bitcoin miners doesn't exist in XRP.)
Wednesday, May 6, 2015 — South Asia

Affordable Housing: Where Success Favours the Brave

Source: Forbes

Affordable and mid-income housing is a beast like no other. It has a business model that bears little similarity to traditional real estate where developers often rely on price appreciation. Here, the margins are a lot lower, and builders must construct township-like projects quickly. A delay can wipe out profits, while buyers don’t have the ability to pay EMIs if projects are held up. Despite these challenges, three companies—Ashiana Housing, Poddar Developers and Value Budget Housing Corporation (VBHC)—have decided to focus on this segment.
Wednesday, May 6, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Safaricom Safe From Being Declared Market Dominant in Kenya, Regulator Says

Source: Mail & Guardian Africa

Kenya's competition regulator said it won’t impose penalties on mobile-phone company Safaricom Ltd. to limit its market dominance as there’s no evidence to suggest the company has abused its position.
Wednesday, May 6, 2015 — No Region Specified

Crowdfunding Site for Global Health Projects Prepares to Launch

Source: Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Over the past several years, crowdfunding websites like Kickstarter, Indiegogo and Kiva have helped people all over the world raise money for a host of activities—artistic endeavors, tech startups, community or personal projects, charities, and more. Now there are plans for a crowdfunding site focused on raising money specifically forglobal public health projects—things like stocking a rural health clinic or providing a water filtration system for a small village.
Wednesday, May 6, 2015 — No Region Specified

Impact Investing Grows, but There's Still a Dearth of Deals

Source: Forbes

A new study found that 146 of the world’s largest impact investors manage a big hunk of change: $60 billion. But they also continue to bemoan a lack of high-quality investment opportunities. And finding a way to exit isn’t easy.
Wednesday, May 6, 2015 — No Region Specified

Complement Your Giving With Impact Investing

Source: The Huffington Post

Individual Americans gave $241.3 billion to charities in 2013, the most recent year for which data are available. They gave even more to their future selves, investing some$300 billion in their retirement accounts. Clearly, $241 billion in donations has the potential to accomplish a lot of good. But what about the investments?
Wednesday, May 6, 2015 — Latin America

Press Release: Acumen Launches Expansion to Tackle Poverty in Latin America

Source: Market Watch

Acumen announced today its expansion to support social entrepreneurship in Latin America. The pioneer in impact investing will be headquartered in Bogotá and will invest in innovative entrepreneurs and enterprises in Colombia and Peru to drive faster, sustainable solutions to poverty and create new paths forward to tackle economic inequality. While extreme poverty in Latin America has declined by half, more than 80 million people still live on $4 a day and more than 200 million are at risk of being pulled back into poverty by economic instability and climate change.
Wednesday, May 6, 2015 — South Asia

Inside the Inflatable Hospital That’s Saving Lives in Nepal

Source: WIRED

For a doctor doing surgery, the most important things to focus on (besides cutting in the right place) are being fast and clean. That’s tough enough to accomplish in a brick-and-mortar hospital—let alone a temporary operating room in the middle of a disaster zone. But that’s exactly what Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders, for you stubborn Anglophones) does best, and it’s what they’ve been doing for the past week in Nepal. A surprisingly critical part of that remote rescue? Blow-up tent hospitals.
Wednesday, May 6, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

How Mobile Money Is Saving Africa $2bn Annually

Source: Ventures Africa

Mobile phones have proven to be potential game-changers inboosting access to financial products and services to people in Africa. This is particularly true for those at the bottom of the socio-economic pyramid as seen in East Africa. It has often been appraised based on its contribution to ‘banking the unbanked’, but mobile money has achieved much more, it has saved the continentnearly $2 billion previously lost annually to inefficient money transfer.
Wednesday, May 6, 2015 — No Region Specified

Western Union Said in Early Stage Talks to Buy Rival MoneyGram

Source: Bloomberg

Western Union Co. is in early-stage talks to acquire smaller rival MoneyGram International Inc., people with knowledge of the matter said, as both companies contend with stiff competition from upstart money-transfer companies.
Wednesday, May 6, 2015 — No Region Specified

Impact Engine Announces Angel Network for Social-Impact Investing

Source: Chicago Tribune

Chicago-based Impact Engine on Tuesday announced a new angel network as a way to tap into a growing interest in social impact companies among local investors.
Wednesday, May 6, 2015 — No Region Specified

Press Release: Greta Bull Appointed New CEO of CGAP and World Bank Group Director

Source: CGAP

The Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP), today announced the appointment of Greta Bull as its new CEO. As CGAP’s CEO, Ms. Bull is also a Director at the World Bank Group.
Wednesday, May 6, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Health Gap Between Urban Rich and Poor Getting Worse

Source: Humanosphere

In cities, access to quality health care varies greatly between the rich and poor, from Lagos to Washington, D.C. The poorest urban children in some developing countries are twice as likely to die as their wealthy counterparts. Steps must be taken immediately to eliminate health inequality, says charity group Save the Children.
Wednesday, May 6, 2015 — No Region Specified

Bitcoin, Mobile Payments Share Some Consumer Adoption Problems

Source: Mobile Payments Today

This all sounded very familiar. Last week, Networld Media Group hosted its first Virtual Currency Today Summit in Boston. Bitcoin enthusiasts filled a room at the Back Bay Hilton with a lot of gusto for the virtual currency's future, specifically the potential for the blockchain technology.
Tuesday, May 5, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Rich Mom, Poor Mom: Growing Gap in Global Access to Maternal Healthcare

Source: The Christian Science Monitor

A new report by Save the Children says mothers and children in the developing world are particularly at risk. But some countries, like Ethiopia, have made major gains in the last decade.
Tuesday, May 5, 2015 — South Asia

Viewpoint: We Need a New Global System of Disaster Insurance

Source: The New York Times

Natural disasters like the devastating earthquake in Nepal constitute a highly uncertain but quantifiable risk. No one can say for sure when a major earthquake will strike. But the fault lines are known. We need a new global system of disaster insurance, akin to how homeowners guard against calamity.
Tuesday, May 5, 2015 — No Region Specified

A Look at Endowments and Responsible Investing

Source: ValueWalk

The April 2015 Commonfund Study of Responsible Investing analyzes policies, practices and attitudes with respect to responsible investing among 200 U.S. colleges and universities of various sizes. The study included 123 private and 77 public institutions who have made a commitment or are considering a commitment to responsible investing. These educational institutions altogether have more than $88.8 billion in endowment assets as of June 30, 2014.
Tuesday, May 5, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Vodacom Tanzania Plans $100 Million Expansion in Rural Areas

Source: Bloomberg

Vodacom Tanzania Ltd., the country’s biggest mobile operator, will spend 200 billion shillings ($100 million) expanding its network this year to tap market potential in rural areas and add mobile-money subscribers.
Tuesday, May 5, 2015 — South Asia

Priority Status for Solar Power Will Aid Smaller Players

Source: GreentechLead

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) recently revised its priority sector lending (PSL) guidelines. Now medium enterprises, social infrastructure and renewable energy (RE) will form part of priority sector, in addition to the existing categories. This has brought excitement to the stake-holders.
Tuesday, May 5, 2015 — No Region Specified

The Global Health Supply Chain Program, the Largest-Ever USAID Award, Is Under Protest

Source: Devex

A partnership of government contractors including John Snow, Inc. is protesting the U.S. Agency for International Development’s decision to award its largest-ever contract to a group led by development consulting firm Chemonics International.
Tuesday, May 5, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Goodbye, Kerosene: How Solar Could Transform Africa

Source: Mother Nature Network

Africa is in the midst of a technological revolution, and it's increasingly solar powered.
Tuesday, May 5, 2015 — Europe & Eurasia

Pocket-Sized Fingerprint Scanner Could Solve Healthcare Bottleneck

Source: Reuters

British postgraduate students have devised a pocket-sized fingerprint scanner designed to help patients in the developing world get improved access to healthcare.
Tuesday, May 5, 2015 — South Asia

Why Is Pakistan So Far Behind Its Neighbors in Financial Inclusion?

Source: Business Recorder

Just this month the World Bank released the 2014 edition of its Global Financial Inclusion (Findex) database. Findex provides useful indicators on savings, borrowings, and payments made by people across the world. The data indicate that the global, adult, banked population stood at 62 percent as of 2014 end, but that still leaves a whopping 2 billion folks that still remain un-banked.
Tuesday, May 5, 2015 — Latin America

Zidisha Launches Its Cross-Border P2P Lending Platform in Haiti

Source: The Next Web

Y Combinator non-profit alum Zidisha is launching its cross-border P2P lending platform in Haiti, its first Latin American market, its founder Julia Kurnia told TNW in an exclusive interview.
Tuesday, May 5, 2015 — No Region Specified

How Facebook Is Changing Internet.org to Make it More Inclusive

Source: Hindustan Times

Internet.org, Facebook’s marquee program to bring people in developing countries online, first came to India in February. Facebook partnered with Reliance Communications to provide almost 40 websites and services free to users — everything from news and weather information to travel sites like Cleartrip. It also included free access to Facebook and Facebook Messenger.
Tuesday, May 5, 2015 — South Asia

In India, More Than 50% of Jan Dhan Yojana Bank Accounts Remain Empty

Source: Livemint

Nearly nine months after the Prime Minister’s Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) was launched, more than half the accounts do not have any balance.
Tuesday, May 5, 2015 — Latin America

Total of $125,000 USD Awarded to Two Local Companies for Financial Technology Business Solutions

Source: Accion

Village Capital and Accion Venture Lab announced the winners of their program, Village Capital-Accion Venture Lab: FinTech Mexico 2015. The program partnered with theMasterCard Center for Inclusive Growth, Pomona Impact, and United IT Consultants, Inc. to support entrepreneurs making financial services more affordable and accessible for Mexicans who lack access to traditional financial services (“underbanked”).
Tuesday, May 5, 2015 — No Region Specified

Press Release: Microfinance Leaders Offer Model Law Resource for Financial Consumer Protection

Source: Center for Financial Inclusion

The Microfinance CEO Working Group has published Client Protection Principles: Model Law and Commentary for Financial Consumer Protection. This Model Law provides a framework of suggested legislation for financial consumer protection in the microfinance and broader financial inclusion industry.
Monday, May 4, 2015 — South Asia

Viewpoint: Nepal Response Shows Why Donor-Advised Funds Are a Boon to Philanthropy

Source: The Chronicle of Philanthropy

In the days immediately after Americans learned of the devastating earthquake in Nepal, they began to send millions of dollars in donations to organizations prepared to put disaster-relief boots on the ground in that historic Himalayan kingdom.
Monday, May 4, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

In a Slum in Kenya, Help Is Just a Click Away

Source: The Christian Science Monitor

In a Nairobi, Kenya, slum, residents used technology to map the area, a key first step in solving problems from waste removal to street lighting. Those with phone can now report problems more accurately.
Monday, May 4, 2015 — No Region Specified

Kiva Zip and Startup Incorporation Service Join Forces

Source: Forbes

If you’re running a social enterprise–or any startup, for that matter–two of the headaches you face are incorporating and raising early funding.
Monday, May 4, 2015 — No Region Specified

Press Release: Fifth Annual Impact Investor Survey Reflects on Industry Growth, Past and Projected

Source: Business Wire

146 of the world’s largest impact investors, including fund managers, banks, development finance institutions, foundations, and pension funds report having committed $10.6 billion to impact investments in 2014, with plans to commit 16% more in 2015. The surveyed sample, which manages $60 billion in impact investment assets, indicates satisfaction with both financial returns and social/environmental impact performance, compared to expectations.
Monday, May 4, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Ethiopia Offers 100% FDI Facility to India for Healthcare

Source: The Financial Express

Ethiopia offered 100 per cent Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) facility to India for setting up hospitals and other healthcare facilities in Ethiopia. The host country will acquire land for Indian entrepreneurs and offer other incentives and tax facilities as well.
Monday, May 4, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Zimbabwe Cellular Regulator Cancels Contract of Third-Largest Operator Telecel

Source: The Citizen

The Zimbabwean government has cancelled the operating licence for Telecel Zimbabwe, the country’s third largest mobile operator by subscriber base.
Monday, May 4, 2015 — South Asia

Crowdfunding Raises Millions for Nepal Earthquake Victims

Source: CNBC

If you want to measure the constructive power of social media, look no further than the crowdfunding campaigns for Nepal earthquake victims, which have proliferated in the days since disaster struck the nation.
Monday, May 4, 2015 — No Region Specified

Viewpoint: The Evolving Microfinance Revolution Has Yet to Run Its Full Course

Source: Devex

Forty years ago, before microfinance was called microcredit, before it even had a name, I made $50 loans to 800 Guatemalan farmers in the form of six bags of 12-24-12 fertilizer, which dramatically increased their yields on the plots of maize and beans they cultivated.
Monday, May 4, 2015 — South Asia

Shadow Financing Indirectly Flowing Into China Stock Market

Source: South China Morning Post

Mix the mainland's red-hot stock market with its opaque shadow lending industry and the result could be a new level of risk in the mainland financial sector.
Monday, May 4, 2015 — South Asia

Viewpoint: India’s MFI Rules Need More Thought, or Else They Can Go Wrong

Source: Livemint

The microfinance industry has witnessed many changes since the 2010 crisis. Recently, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) eased some lending norms for microfinance institutions (MFIs), which will mean enhanced access to credit for customers. Also, the government has proposed that the Mudra Bank (Micro Units Development Refinance Agency Bank) will regulate MFIs. Alok Prasad, chief executive officer, Microfinance Institutions Network (MFIN), a self-regulatory organization for non-banking finance company (NBFC) MFIs, talks about regulatory challenges in the industry and how the future of microfinance may evolve. Edited excerpts:
Monday, May 4, 2015 — No Region Specified

Wall Street's Thinking About Creating Derivatives on Peer-to-Peer Loans

Source: Bloomberg

Monday, May 4, 2015 — South Asia

Saving Nepal: The Information Revolution

Source: Brookings

Communities impacted by the 7.8 magnitude earthquake (and subsequent aftershocks) that struck Nepal on April 25th have a variety of needs, stemming from immediate protection of physical safety and security, access to life saving services, and basic subsistence (food, clean water, shelter) and psycho-social support in the aftermath of an extremely traumatic event. In the case of Nepal and the city of Kathmandu, recent reports suggest that the capital city’s critical infrastructure and services were not sufficiently resilient to protect against an earthquake, that the topography of the region is such that landslides remain a concern, and that socio-cultural factors like caste-based discrimination makes some communities more vulnerable than others.
Monday, May 4, 2015 — South Asia

CNET Founder Eyes Bitcoin Wallet in India

Source: The Times of India

From having founded the pioneering digital publishing platform CNET, selling it for $1.8 billion to CBS and filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy subsequently, Halsey Minor — an American serial tech entrepreneur from the 1990s dotcom boom era — has seen it all. His next big bet is digital finance, which he describes as the "last frontier of internet", with all other consumer-facing segments having been already tapped.
Monday, May 4, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

World Bank $500 Million Facility and Improving Maternal and Child Health in Nigeria

Source: The Guardian Nigeria

The Board of Executive Directors of the World Bank Group, last month, approved a $500 million International Development Association (IDA) credit for Nigeria.
Monday, May 4, 2015 — No Region Specified

Giving Everyone in the World an Address

Source: BBC

Out in the real world, about four billion people on the planet actually live in places that have no street names, no house numbers - in fact, nothing that constitutes a proper address.
Friday, May 1, 2015 — No Region Specified

Warby Parker gets its unicorn horn

Source: Fortune

Add hip eyewear startup Warby Parker to Fortune’s Unicorn List: the company has raised a new funding round of $100 million that pushes its valuation over the $1 billion mark.
Friday, May 1, 2015 — No Region Specified

Solid, heat-resistant vaccine to ease immunisation processes

Source: MedicalXpress

EU researchers have set out to substitute liquid and freeze-dried vaccines for new, solid state candidates. If successful, the research will enable the large scale production of new virosome-based vaccines with increased stability, longer shelf life and less invasive administration methods.
Friday, May 1, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

The Healthy State of Medical Tourism in Sub-Saharan Africa

Source: The National Law Review

Well-known as a destination for experiencing some of the world’s most breathtaking natural assets, the Sub-Saharan African region is making progress in staking a larger claim to the multibillion dollar medical tourism industry and is the fastest growing region for wellness tourism.
Friday, May 1, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Experts: South Africa should invest in public toilets to combat sexual assault

Source: Reuters

Investing in public toilets could reduce the number of sexual assaults in South African townships by almost a third and lower the economic cost of the crime on society, public health experts said on Wednesday.
Friday, May 1, 2015 — South Asia

In Nepal and Beyond, This Corporate Funder Takes on the World's Biggest Disasters

Source: Inside Philanthropy

The UPS Foundation is keenly aware of the unique assets of its parent company, and has carved out an exceptional—and indispensable role—in the realm of disaster philanthropy.
Friday, May 1, 2015 — South Asia

OPINION: Financial Inclusion in India – Easier Said Than Done

Source: Hindu Business Line

Given the numerous players and rapid churn in financial inclusion technologies, regulators face a challenge
Friday, May 1, 2015 — No Region Specified

A Q&A with Audrey Choi, CEO, Morgan Stanley Institute for Sustainable Investing

Source: Just Means

If you think that sustainable investing requires a trade-off around performance, Morgan Stanley's Audrey Choi wants to change your mind.
Friday, May 1, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Kenyan women make a healthy profit selling aloe to cosmetics firm

Source: Christian Science Monitor/Thomson Reuters Foundation

Women herders in Kenya's semi-arid Laikipia County have broken with tradition to export the leaves of a desert plant to Europe, boosting their incomes. Three hundred women in El Poloi have switched from the age-old occupation of goat-keeping to the new and far more lucrative activity of farming aloe, a plant with healing properties. Along the way, they are transforming their economic status and creating educational opportunities for their daughters.
Friday, May 1, 2015 — No Region Specified

How The Internet of Everything Is Helping 'Unbanked' Citizens Around the World

Source: Huffington Post

In the future, if every device is connected to the Internet, what kind of life will those who are financially excluded have?
Friday, May 1, 2015 — No Region Specified

PRESS RELEASE: Financial Professionals Offering Fossil-Fuel-Free Portfolios Nearly Doubled From 2013 To 2015

Source: PR Newswire

The number of investment professionals in the U.S. offering fossil fuel-free portfolios to investors nearly doubled—jumping from 22 percent to 42 percent of those polled—from 2013 to 2015.
Thursday, April 30, 2015 — South Asia

India explores 'heat-proof' vaccines to stop vital medicines going to waste

Source: Daily Mail

As India is witnessing wastage of at least 50 per cent of vaccines stocked by various healthcare agencies owing to heat exposure, the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSO) has decided to explore the idea of developing thermostable vaccines.
Thursday, April 30, 2015 — No Region Specified

Public health: Behind a vaccine

Source: Nature

In August 2014, officials from the World Health Organization (WHO) called global-health specialist Adrian Hill, who is the director of a non-profit vaccine-research centre. They had an urgent question: how soon could the centre launch a clinical trial for an Ebola vaccine? ... Within a month of the phone call, the institute had launched an Ebola-research initiative.
Thursday, April 30, 2015 — South Asia

Price capping takes sheen off condom sales following government decision

Source: The Economic Times

It's the condom makers turn to seek protection as sales of the male contraceptive have plunged drastically following a government decision to dub it an essential drug and cap its price more than a year ago.
Thursday, April 30, 2015 — South Asia

India Cancels Licenses of Nearly 9,000 Charities Over Foreign Funds

Source: Reuters

India has cancelled the registration of nearly 9,000 charities for failing to declare details of donations from abroad, as New Delhi tightens surveillance on foreign-funded non-governmental organisations in the country.
Thursday, April 30, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

We're Learning How to Sell Toilets in West Africa

Source: PSI Impact

With the excitement and buzz of World Water Day behind us I’m left both inspired and concerned. I’m inspired because there is a growing understanding by WASH professionals that it will take market development and systemic change to truly solve the problem. These methods look overall at what is working and not working in terms of WASH services for populations at risk across value chains and within the market system, and then, based on that analysis, develop targeted interventions with pro-poor innovations to make markets work. What is also exciting is the impact that adopting and implementing these approaches might have on the development sector in general.
Thursday, April 30, 2015 — No Region Specified

Nine Humanitarian Businesses Win Bloomberg-Funded Genesis Challenge

Source: Jewish Business News

Genesis Generation Challenge Recipients of this year are: Build Israel and Palestine (BIP); Building Up (Canada); eNable 3d Printed Prosthetics; LAVAN (Israel); Prize4Life (Israel); Sanergy (Kenya); Sesame (Israel); Spark (Burundi); and Vera Solutions (United States, India).
Thursday, April 30, 2015 — South Asia

Acumen Increases Its Efforts to Improve India's Private Education With New Investments

Source: Acumen

Acumen announces its new investment in Ignis Careers andStandard of Excellence in Education and Development (SEED) to improve the current state of low-cost, private education in India. India has the largest kindergarten to 10th grade system in the world with more than 1.6 million schools. More than 96 percent of children, ranging from ages 6 to 14, are enrolled in school. However, the quality of education is poor, and half of the children in Grade 5 can only read at a Grade 2 level.
Thursday, April 30, 2015 — No Region Specified

Bill to Promote Social-Impact Bonds in U.S. Has Support in High Places

Source: The Chronicle of Philanthropy

Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah and Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado are trying again to advance legislation that would appropriate $300 million for state and local social-impact bonds over 10 years.
Thursday, April 30, 2015 — Latin America

Latin American Organizations Campaign to Ban Monsanto

Source: TeleSUR

Doctors, scientists and environmentalists in Argentina, and across Latin America, are demanding a ban on Monsanto products.
Thursday, April 30, 2015 — No Region Specified

Impact investing takes the bite out of auto loan sharks in the U.S.

Source: Dallas News

Michelle Corson, founder of On the Road Lending, pools investors’ money to finance cars for low-income people at decent rates.
Thursday, April 30, 2015 — South Asia

Without broadband, financial inclusion in India will remain a ‘pipe dream,’ says telecom regulator chairman

Source: Indian Express

Advocating deeper broadband penetration to ensure success of Jan Dhan scheme, telecom regulator TRAI’s chief Rahul Khullar today said financial inclusion will otherwise remain a “pipe dream” and merely opening bank accounts will not serve the purpose.
Thursday, April 30, 2015 — Asia Pacific

Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation pushes microinsurance for disaster mitigation

Source: Rappler

The 21 member-economies of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) is pushing for microinsurance to mitigate the impact of natural disasters.
Wednesday, April 29, 2015 — South Asia

Villagers Armed With Smartphones Can Help Stem the Rising Rate of Suicides in India

Source: Quartz

India has among the highest rates of depression in the world. If Deepika Padukone, a leading Bollywood actress, hadn’t talked publicly about her battle with depression, you probably wouldn’t know.
Wednesday, April 29, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Viewpoint: Nigeria: Microfinance Banks - Helping or Killing SMEs?

Source: allAfrica

To say that the Small, Medium Enterprises is the engine room for economic development is to state the least, especially, in the third world countries, where the degree of unemployment is high and where there are so many qualified applicants chasing few and sometimes not available white collar jobs.
Wednesday, April 29, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Native Startup Offers Crypto Remittance Service to Nigerians

Source: CoinTelgraph

Bitstake, a cryptocurrency exchange startup, offers a wide range of solutions to the 178 million people of Nigeria. Unlike most Bitcoin exchanges, which rely on users having access to the Internet in order to serve them, Bitstake has made it possible for its customers to access and use their wallets through SMS.
Wednesday, April 29, 2015 — South Asia

Portal for Blue-Collar Jobs Babajob Raises $10M from Australia's SEEK

Source: VCCircle

Bangalore-based Babajob Services Pvt Ltd, which runs the job portal for blue-collar workers, has raised $10 million from Australian company SEEK Ltd, it said on Tuesday. SEEK has picked a minority stake in the firm.
Wednesday, April 29, 2015 — South Asia

Financial Inclusion: How Banking Is Coming to India’s Countryside

Source: The Wall Street Journal

One of the ways that Indian Prime Minister Modi is trying to get more Indians into the financial system is by delivering state support straight into bank accounts of those who need it rather than via costly price subsidies.
Wednesday, April 29, 2015 — Asia Pacific

Blossom Offers Islamic Micro-Financing in Indonesia Using Bitcoin

Source: Tech in Asia

A startup that recently relocated from San Francisco to Jakarta aims to shake up micro-finance in Indonesia.Blossom‘s concept can be said to be breaking ground: it operates onBitcoin and targets the global Muslim community.
Wednesday, April 29, 2015 — No Region Specified

Bill Gates: You Can Help the World Save 34 Million Lives

Source: Quartz

If I told you that we could save the lives of, say, 10 million people, mainly by doing things we already know how to do, that would get your attention, right?
Wednesday, April 29, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

How Has Rwanda Saved the Lives of 590,000 Children?

Source: BBC

In 2000, one of the UN's Millennium Development Goals committed the world to reduce child mortality rates by September 2015. At the time, out of every 1,000 live births, an average of 90 children died before the age of five.
Wednesday, April 29, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Scientists Race to Beat Mosquito Resistance in Fight Against Malaria

Source: Reuters

Mosquitoes are rapidly developing resistance to insecticides used in bed nets that millions of people rely on to protect them from malaria, experts say.
Wednesday, April 29, 2015 — No Region Specified

A New Inning for Impact Investing

Source: Forbes

For years, a nascent movement led by passionate pioneers out to change the world has been slowly but surely taking shape. Quietly, these early fearless leaders have been championing the idea that businesses can be a tool for social good, beyond the jobs that they create. Specifically, they’ve been building the movement for a new class of investors and entrepreneurs to lock arms and build companies that provide products and services that address daunting social challenges, and generate a financial return for investors. These companies are found in many sectors, including large markets such as education, energy, transportation and healthcare that are ripe for disruption.
Wednesday, April 29, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Former MTN Uganda Staff Get 9 Years’ Jail for Mobile Money Fraud

Source: PC Tech Magazine

The Anti-Corruption Court yesterday convicted six MTN staff after they were found guilty of illegally gaining access to the mobile money system and wired cash amounting to more than Shs3 billion to various money agent lines that they shared thereafter.
Tuesday, April 28, 2015 — South Asia

Other Countries Like US, Russia May Soon Follow the Model of India’s Financial Inclusion Drive

Source: The Economic Times

The Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana programme, the drive launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to ensure at least one member in every household in the country had a bank account, could soon emerge as a worldwide template for achieving rapid financial inclusion.
Tuesday, April 28, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Kenya and Rwanda Are Competing to Become East Africa's Medical Tourism Hub, Says Frost & Sullivan

Source: TravelDailyNews International

A diverse set of forces, including favourable economic factors, a supportive regulatory environment, and a high disease burden will make Kenya and Rwanda among the most attractive countries in East Africa. The consolidation of the rising middle class and heightened healthcare awareness will drive up per capita healthcare expenditure and provide lucrative opportunities within these markets.
Tuesday, April 28, 2015 — No Region Specified

Why You Should Root for a Robot to Take Your Doctor’s Job

Source: The Washington Post

You don’t have to look far to find concerns about how technology will steal our jobs. It’s been widely noticed that automation is making machines more powerful and shortening the list of current jobs that only a human can do.
Tuesday, April 28, 2015 — South Asia

8 Million People May Be Affected by Nepal Earthquake, Says U.N.

Source: Reuters

Up to eight million people have had their lives disrupted after a deadly earthquake shook Nepal, said the United Nations, adding there was an urgent need for relief materials ranging from tarpaulin sheets and clean water to soap and medicines.
Tuesday, April 28, 2015 — No Region Specified

Press Release: OPIC to Launch Call for Global Development Investment Funds Proposals

Source: Overseas Private Investment Corporation

The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the U.S. Government’s development finance institution, today announced its 2015 Global Engagement Call for Proposals from fund managers seeking OPIC financing for private equity investment funds.
Tuesday, April 28, 2015 — South Asia

Press Release: Accion, FMO and Triodos Investment Management Form Consortium to Strengthen Financial Inclusion in Myanmar

Source: Accion

Financial inclusion pioneer Accion, the Dutch development bank FMO, and Triodos Investment Management today announced their plans to invest in and expand Dawn Microfinance, one of the earliest microfinance institutions (MFIs) established in the Republic of Myanmar. The $6.85 million investment is intended to establish the newly incorporated MFI as a premier institution that can serve as a model for the country’s nascent microfinance industry and influence the development of the sector.
Tuesday, April 28, 2015 — South Asia

Indian Microlender Ujjivan Launches Hand-Held Field Tech Devices to Expedite Loan Process

Source: VCCircle

Bangalore-based Ujjivan Financial Services Pvt Ltd, one of the top-tier microfinance institutions in the country, has rolled out hand-held field technology devices as it seeks to take the loan approval process online and expedite disbursals.
Tuesday, April 28, 2015 — Latin America

What Latin America Will Look Like in 2020

Source: Fast Company

Leaders from some of the most innovative companies in Latin America offer their predictions on what the future of the region holds.
Tuesday, April 28, 2015 — No Region Specified

Press Release: Microcredit Summit Campaign Joins World Bank's Financial Inclusion Efforts

Source: PRWeb

The Microcredit Summit Campaign joins the World Bank Group and their coalition of partners -- including MasterCard, Visa, Mandiri, the State Bank of India, Equity Bank, and Bandhan -- in making a commitment to accelerate universal financial access; financial access and inclusion are stepping stones to achieving the end of extreme poverty by 2030. The Campaign will work with its reporting institutions to help them expand their outreach by at least 53 million of the world's poorest families, bringing the overall total of the world's poorest families reached by microfinance to 175 million by 2020.
Tuesday, April 28, 2015 — No Region Specified

Industry Convergence in Financial Services Is Accelerating

Source: TechCrunch

These days everyone wants to create the next Uber for anything, and the word “disruption” is mentioned across boardrooms and management meetings in nearly all industries. But while discussing the true meaning of disruption and which fintech startups are worth keeping an eye on, incumbents are at risk of overlooking players that once were customers and partners that can quickly become new digital competitors.
Tuesday, April 28, 2015 — No Region Specified

MBA Careers Pack Social Impact as Schools Hone Corporate Responsibility

Source: BusinessBecause

The role of business in society has never been greater. The case for corporate responsibility strategies like product innovation, resource efficiency and diverse workforces grows ever stronger.
Tuesday, April 28, 2015 — South Asia

IFC Invests in Cambodia’s PRASAC Microfinance Institution Ltd. to Expand Lending for Micro and Smaller Businesses

Source: The FINANCIAL

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, has provided a loan of up to $10 million to PRASAC Microfinance Institution Ltd., Cambodia’s largest organization of its kind, to increase lending to micro, small and medium enterprises in the rural and agricultural sectors.
Tuesday, April 28, 2015 — No Region Specified

Press Release: MasterCard Fndn. Announces $150,000 Award for the Most Client-Centric Organization Advancing Financial Inclusion

Source: GlobeNewswire

The MasterCard Foundation today announced the opening of its Clients at the Centre Prize competition, a US$150,000 initiative to find and recognize the most customer-focused organization working to enable poor people in developing countries to access formal financial products and services.
Monday, April 27, 2015 — No Region Specified

'Do-good' Companies Can Do Well for Investors, Wharton Researchers Say

Source: Chicago Tribune

Impact investing is a nice idea — and for many critics that’s precisely the problem.
Monday, April 27, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

New App for Managing HIV Treatment Failure

Source: Science and Development Network

A health informatics specialist in Rwanda has developed a computer-based application to help clinicians reduce medical errors in managing HIV treatment failure.
Monday, April 27, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Rwanda Launches Cross-Border Mobile Money Remittance Service

Source: Spy Ghana News

MTN Rwanda, one of Rwanda’s leading mobile network operators, Sunday announced the launch of a pioneering cross-border Mobile Money remittance service between Rwanda and Kenya.
Monday, April 27, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Africa Trumps World Giants in Payment Tech

Source: ITWeb Africa

Africa is ahead of the US in terms of the rate of payments innovation, while Europe is lagging way behind.
Monday, April 27, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Half of World's Rural Populations Cannot Access Health Care

Source: The Economic Times

More than half the population of rural areas worldwide do not have access to basic health care, with four in five rural Africans lacking services, the United Nations said Monday.
Monday, April 27, 2015 — No Region Specified

Press Release: Citi Supports Teach Children to Save Campaign to Help Educate And Prepare Kids for Positive Financial Futures

Source: PR Newswire

Citi will once again help thousands of young students across the country receive basic financial education as the bank supports American Bankers Association's (ABA) annual Teach Children to Save campaign for the 15thconsecutive year. The national program, designed to encourage local youth to develop positive financial habits early in life, marks April 24th as Teach Children to Save Day to raise awareness of the importance of teaching children about saving. Beginning in March and continuing for months after Teach Children to Save Day, hundreds of Citi volunteers will teach thousands of children in grades K-12 in classrooms and after-school programs in financial education events in major cities across the country.
Monday, April 27, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Safaricom to Open M-Pesa APIs, Completes Data Center Migration From Germany to Kenya

Source: PC Advisor

After two years of intercontinental conference calls, eight test runs and countless hours put in by 320 consultants, Safaricom has successfully migrated its mobile money platform to its data center in Kenya and is expecting to provide better services.
Monday, April 27, 2015 — Latin America

Interview: Infonavit CEO, on Reshaping Mexico’s Mortgage Market

Source: World Finance

Mexico is transforming its urban housing policy, and with the help of key names such as Infonavit and its CEO Alejandro Murat Hinojosa, the country is seeking to implement more sustainable solutions.
Monday, April 27, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

DfID Accused of Heightening Inequality Through Support for Private Sector

Source: The Guardian

Report by campaign group Global Justice Now points finger at Department for International Development over private health and education projects.
Monday, April 27, 2015 — No Region Specified

Once Idealistic, Crowdfunding Is Now an Unholy Hybrid of Retail, Investment, and Risk

Source: Quartz

Dave Bogaty is a coffee junkie. He exclusively buys his beans from a small-batch roaster in Brooklyn and scouts out local varieties in every new city he visits.
Monday, April 27, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

World Malaria Day: 5 Breakthroughs in Fighting the Disease

Source: Global Healthcare

Globally, 3.3 billion people in 106 countries are at risk of malaria. In 2013, only one in five African children with malaria received effective treatment, 15 million pregnant women did not receive a single dose of preventative drugs and an estimated 278 million in Africa still live in households with no insecticide-treated bed net, according to the World Health Organization.
Monday, April 27, 2015 — No Region Specified

Mobile Payments: The Company Driving the Greatest Innovation Today (Hint: It’s Not Apple)

Source: ITProPortal.com

Every week the technology world holds its breath with anticipation as the latest tech giants make new strides into the mobile payments sector.
Monday, April 27, 2015 — South Asia

Guj Govt to Revive Telemedicine Project as PPP Model

Source: Deccan Herald

Gujarat Government is all set to revive its telemedicine project, which had failed to take off earlier due to technological hurdles, as a PPP model by roping in private hospitals and experts from Canada.
Friday, April 24, 2015 — Latin America

Brazilians Spraying and Praying for Dengue Vaccine Breakthrough

Source: Bloomberg

A cup of cloves, a half-liter of alcohol and a dollop of body oil: You won't find this homemade mosquito repellent in Brazilian drugstores, but the recipe went viral after a worried sanitarian posted a cell phone video on Facebook last week.
Friday, April 24, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Study: Ebola Outbreak Likely Driving Malaria Deaths

Source: Yahoo!

The collapse of health services in three west African countries devastated by Ebola may have caused some 11,000 additional deaths from malaria, a preventable and curable disease, researchers said Friday.
Friday, April 24, 2015 — South Asia

A Former New York Investment Banker Takes on Financial Inclusion in India

Source: Forbes

When she left New York five years ago, a former Wall Street investment banker had a plan for a new business in India. Today, that plan has become a growing company tackling financial inclusion in a way few have considered to date, in India’s evolving, highly unique, growth environment.
Friday, April 24, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Ugandan MPs Ask Government for Greater Mobile Money Regulation

Source: New Vision

Members of Parliament grilled Information, Communication Technology (ICT) state minister, Nyombi Thembo over lack of a law to regulate mobile money services and safeguard clients’ money.
Friday, April 24, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Mali's Farmers Count on National Fund to Expand Climate Insurance

Source: allAfrica

A lack of rain in the middle of last season caused Seydou Diarassouba's sorghum crop to fail.
Friday, April 24, 2015 — No Region Specified

Viewpoint: The World Bank: Why It Is Still Needed and Why It Still Disappoints

Source: The World Bank

The decade or two after WW2 saw many of the world’s poorest countries gain their independence from Colonial rule, and they were hoping to rapidly become less poor. Economics taught policy makers in those countries that a higher investment rate is crucial to assuring faster economic growth. Being a poor country makes it harder to finance the required investments from domestic savings. Yet rich countries should have ample savings available that might be profitably diverted to this task. In an ideal world, global capital markets could be expected to bridge the gap. But 70 years ago those markets were thin and/or not trusted as a source of finance.
Friday, April 24, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

World's First Malaria Vaccine Moves Closer to Use in Africa

Source: Reuters

The world's first malaria vaccine, made by GlaxoSmithKline, could be approved by international regulators for use in Africa from October after final trial data showed it offered partial protection for up to four years.
Friday, April 24, 2015 — No Region Specified

Campaign Launched to Cut Price of Penumonia Vaccine

Source: OneWorld

A global campaign is calling on GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and Pfizer to slash the price of the pneumonia vaccine in developing countries to $5 or less per child.
Friday, April 24, 2015 — No Region Specified

GoSun Grill: The Only Solar Cooker That Cooks Day or Night

Source: EcoWatch

Earlier this year, we featured the GoSun Stove, a compact fuel-free cooker powered by nothing more than the sun’s rays. Now, the forward-thinking company is trying to launch their GoSun Grill—a larger and perhaps improved version of the cooker since it feeds many more people.
Thursday, April 23, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

To get people to build toilets, turn to subsidies

Source: Humanosphere

The one public bathroom in Ponkrum collapsed a few years ago. An effort to build a new one yielded a large pit that is used for trash, not defecation. For the people living in the small village near the Ghanian coast, there is no other option than going out in the open.
Thursday, April 23, 2015 — No Region Specified

OPINION: Protecting pregnant women from malaria – a missed 'quick win'

Source: Unicef Connect

In the eight years since we commemorated the first World Malaria Day, millions of women and children have continued to die from a disease that is both preventable and treatable. Malaria takes the lives of more than 1,200 children under the age of 5 every day – the staggering equivalent of 50 children every hour.
Thursday, April 23, 2015 — No Region Specified

How 'financial savvy' can prevent future pandemics

Source: Devex

The Ebola outbreak in West Africa highlighted not only the weakness of health systems, but also the lack of dialogue between global health professionals, risk analysts and private sector actors, according to World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim.
Thursday, April 23, 2015 — South Asia

I’m seeing the most progress in Bihar, says Melinda Gates

Source: The Times of India

At a time when foreign-funded NGOs are under the government's scanner, Melinda Gates, Padma Bhushan awardee and co-founder of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, says NGO activism is needed for society to thrive. She was speaking to Sagarika Ghose of The Times of India.
Thursday, April 23, 2015 — South Asia

Three focus areas to boost jobs

Source: The Hindu

Micro entrepreneurship, artisanship and agriculture are the three promising areas where huge number of jobs can be created, according to Ravi Venkatesan, former Chairman of Microsoft India and presently Chairman of Senior Venture Partners (SVP) India, a network of philanthropists.
Thursday, April 23, 2015 — Latin America

Assured Labor Raises $6.75M, Has Connected Workers With 100K Jobs In Latin America’s Informal Sector

Source: Tech Crunch

Long before LinkedIn went public or before a plethora of on-demand startups began washing the Bay Area and other U.S. cities with services at the click of a button, there was this startup from an MIT grad called Assured Labor.
Thursday, April 23, 2015 — No Region Specified

Germany pushes climate insurance as alternative to traditional development aid

Source: Euractiv

Germany's Environment Minister wants the G7 to look at insurance policies as an alternative to traditional development aid.
Thursday, April 23, 2015 — No Region Specified

OPINION: Where the Hell Is All the Climate Funding?

Source: Inside Philanthropy

Less than 2 percent of all philanthropic dollars go to fighting the existential threat of climate change, and much of it comes from just a handful of funders. Where is all the money?
Thursday, April 23, 2015 — No Region Specified

OPINION: Why I’m Done With the Foundation World

Source: Brookfield Group

I’m done. I’ve spent 10 years working in the charity sector and my conclusion is that the organisations that finance it are so bad at their jobs, that they make the rest of us bad at ours.
Thursday, April 23, 2015 — South Asia

India accounts for about a fifth of the global population without bank accounts

Source: The Hindu

Recent statistics released by the World Bank highlight not only the strides made by India on the financial inclusion front, but also the challenges ahead.
Thursday, April 23, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Somalia's Premier Bank to bring ATMs, debit cards to Mogadishu

Source: Reuters

Somalia's Premier Bank has struck a deal with Mastercard and will issue debit cards and install ATM machines in the capital of the war-ravaged country, the Islamic lender's top executive said on Wednesday.
Thursday, April 23, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

'Mobile money is not the only option in Sub Saharan Africa'

Source: IT Web Africa

Mobile money platforms may have taken root in Sub Saharan Africa but they are not the only innovation disrupting the financial services sector in the region, with new technology-based finance platforms also seeing rising uptake, experts say.
Wednesday, April 22, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

In Africa's battle against AIDS, a key player hits a crossroads

Source: The Christian Science Monitor

The Catholic Church administers 25 percent of all AIDS treatment worldwide, especially in hard-to-reach rural areas. But it's facing new obstacles as funding declines and African governments are under pressure to provide services themselves.
Wednesday, April 22, 2015 — No Region Specified

OPINION: Understanding How Gut Microbiota Affect Child Health

Source: Impatient Optimists

To many of us, diarrhea may seem like an acute condition or minor annoyance. But for children in the world’s poorest places, the repeated bouts of diarrhea they endure can have lasting consequences.
Wednesday, April 22, 2015 — No Region Specified

PRESS RELEASE: Global vaccination targets ‘off-track,’ warns WHO

Source: World Health Organization

Progress towards global vaccination targets for 2015 is far off-track with 1 in 5 children still missing out on routine life-saving immunizations that could avert 1.5 million deaths each year from preventable diseases.
Wednesday, April 22, 2015 — Asia Pacific

In China, Alipay Wallet follows WeChat with launch of mobile city service payments

Source: Tech In Asia

China’s tech giants are working hard to make sure that consumers use their phones to pay for things. Today Alipay Wallet, the Alibaba-affiliated mobile wallet, announced it now enables Chinese users to fulfill municipal fees in 12 cities.
Wednesday, April 22, 2015 — Asia Pacific

Indonesia calls for new global financial order

Source: Reuters

Indonesian President Joko Widodo called on Wednesday for a new global financial order that is open to emerging economic powers and leaves the "obsolete ideas" of Bretton Woods institutions in the past.
Wednesday, April 22, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Challenges of Emerging Risks Underwriting in Insurance in Nigeria

Source: This Day Live

Recent social and environmental developments in Nigeria have underscored the need for Nigerian insurers not only to consolidate on local risks they are familiar with but to pay more attention to emerging risks.
Wednesday, April 22, 2015 — No Region Specified

OPINION: Impact Investors: Don’t Sacrifice Returns, Take On More Risk

Source: Green Tech Media

Even impact investors must demonstrate replicable, attractive returns.
Wednesday, April 22, 2015 — No Region Specified

Women: The Next Wave of Angel Investors?

Source: Forbes

Females have historically made up less than 15% of the angel investors in the United States. Having more women on the funding side matters.
Wednesday, April 22, 2015 — South Asia

Nepal commits to modernize economy through digital payments

Source: Enterprise Innovation

Nepal recently announced an ambitious commitment to modernize its economy through digital payments, which include joining the Better Than Cash Alliance to foster inclusive growth and transparency.
Tuesday, April 21, 2015 — No Region Specified

China and UHC in Africa

Source: Devex

The Ebola crisis was a tragic awakening for people around the world about the crucial importance of strong health systems. The numbers are staggering. As a result of the virus — and the weak systems that were unable to contain it — more than 10,000 people have died in West Africa. The social impact of such a large-scale health crisis is incalculable, and the devastating economic fallout in the region will be felt for some time.
Tuesday, April 21, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

IFC, MasterCard in $250M Risk Sharing Pact to Drive Financial Inclusion

Source: The Guardian Nigeria

International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, and MasterCard have signed an agreement to establish a risk-sharing facility, which is expected to provide millions of people in emerging markets access to electronic payments, a crucial next step in their ongoing collaboration to increase universal financial access by 2020.
Tuesday, April 21, 2015 — No Region Specified

Solar Crowdfunding: In Need Of A Kickstart

Source: Forbes

Solar power is going intergalactic. In an announcement late last month, SolarCity SCTY +1.77%, the country’s largest installer of rooftop solar arrays, announced that private space company SpaceX had scooped up $90 million of its corporate bonds.
Tuesday, April 21, 2015 — South Asia

Why Is Apple Inc.'s Mobile Payment System Struggling in the World's Largest Smartphone Market?

Source: The Motley Fool

China is a great market for Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL ) . In fiscal Q1 2015, the company reported $16.1 billion in revenue from the greater China region (which includes Hong Kong and Taiwan), up 70% year over year.
Tuesday, April 21, 2015 — No Region Specified

The Year of Mobile Payments

Source: TechCrunch

Ask most people what the state of mobile payments is today, and they’ll tell you it’s just kicking off. With Facebook announcing the option to send money to friends via Messenger and the release of Apple Pay last year, 2015 has excitedly been dubbed “The Year of Mobile Payments.” Yet what most people don’t realise is that these services are already lagging 10 years behind.
Tuesday, April 21, 2015 — South Asia

Tech Companies Struggle to Get World on Internet

Source: Wall Street Journal (subscription required)

When Sumarni, a 39-year-old woman in a rural village in Indonesia, first cradled a smartphone in her hand about two years ago, her reaction was “bingung,” the word for “confused” in Indonesian. As she looked at the Android phone’s sleek, black surface, she asked herself: “Where are the buttons?”
Tuesday, April 21, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

MTN & Vodafone Interconnect Their Mobile Money Services

Source: CNBC Africa

In a move focused at deepening financial inclusion in East Africa, MTN and Vodafone have agreed to intersect their mobile money services.
Tuesday, April 21, 2015 — No Region Specified

Why Researchers Say Fake and Low-Quality Drugs Are a ‘Global Pandemic’

Source: The Washington Post

Fake and substandard drugs are responsible for tens of thousands of deaths around the globe each year, and the persistent lack of reliable medicines in poor countries threatens to roll back decades of efforts to combat malaria, tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS and other conditions, researchers said Monday.
Tuesday, April 21, 2015 — No Region Specified

Google Wallet Funds Are Now FDIC-Insured

Source: Yahoo!

Google (GOOGL) is making a big change to its mobile payment service, Google Wallet, Yahoo Finance has learned. Funds that are left in Google Wallet will now be FDIC-insured, which means Google users’ money is now a whole lot safer — and they probably never even knew it.
Tuesday, April 21, 2015 — South Asia

India’s ICICI Bank Launches ‘Tap n Pay’ NFC Based Contactless Payments

Source: Trak.in

ICICI Bank today announced launch of new innovative NFC (Near Field Communication) based contactless payment system in partnership with Tech Mahindra. Called “Tap n Pay”, it allows users to make over-the-counter payments without using any cash or card. The users have to just tap the NFC enabled tag or mobile phone at the merchant’s point-of-sale device to make payments.
Tuesday, April 21, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

The Cookstove That Could Save 4 Million Lives Per Year

Source: Mashable

Growing up, Phil Ferranto never thought about how people cooked around the world. He took it for granted, like many of us do, thinking most people had access to some type of stove to feed their families.
Tuesday, April 21, 2015 — No Region Specified

How the World Bank Should Help the Planet's Poorest: Pay Them

Source: Bloomberg

Last weekend the World Bank issued a report on the dramatic rise in global access to financial services. From 2011 to 2014 alone, 700 million people worldwide opened a bank account or joined a mobile money service.
Tuesday, April 21, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Faster Internet Access Means More Cyberattacks for Africa

Source: PC Advisor

The rapid development of Internet access throughout Africa has not been accompanied by an equivalent increase in awareness of security issues, opening up the possibility of a rise in cyberattacks.
Tuesday, April 21, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Mobile Money Remittances in Africa to Reach $33 Billion

Source: NewsDay Zimbabwe

MOBILE money remittances in sub-Saharan Africa are projected to reach $33 billion in 2015 as the services are growing above 6% in more than three countries with increasing mobile connectivity, WorldRemit has said.
Tuesday, April 21, 2015 — No Region Specified

Global Fund Launches Online Platform for Strategy Development

Source: The Global Fund

The Global Fund partnership has launched a consultation as part of a process to engage a wide range of stakeholders in developing its 2017-2021 strategy.
Monday, April 20, 2015 — No Region Specified

Missoula Author's Book Details Big Data Initiative on Global Health

Source: Missoulian

What if you had a map that told you what sickened, killed or affected the health of every person across the world? And how would you make it?
Monday, April 20, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Rwanda: MTN Launches Mobile Money School Fees Payment Service

Source: allAfrica

MTN Rwanda has partnered with 21 schools from across the country to enable parents pay school fees using the telecom's mobile money platform.
Monday, April 20, 2015 — South Asia

Report: India's Microfinance Sector Poised to Grow Robustly in Next Five Years

Source: VCCircle

The microfinance sector, which is seen as a vehicle of financial inclusion, has seen a boom over the past year as government has laid more emphasis on financial inclusion. The sector is expected to grow robustly in the next few years as large players consolidate their position in their market.
Monday, April 20, 2015 — South Asia

Number of Women Tobacco Users Rising

Source: The Times of India

The number of women consuming tobacco products has doubled over 15 years, according to a report by the Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI).
Monday, April 20, 2015 — No Region Specified

The Innovative OS That’ll Bring PCs to the Developing World

Source: WIRED

Much has been made about the mobile “revolution” in the developing world, the way that smartphones have enabled the citizens of so many poorer countries to leapfrog into the 21st century without having to bother with all the awkward technological steps in between.
Monday, April 20, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Signs Ebola Spreads in Sex Prompt a CDC Warning

Source: The New York Times

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revised its guidelines on Ebola transmission on Sunday night, urging survivors to abstain from all forms of sex or use condoms every time “until more information becomes available,” rather than three months as previously recommended.
Monday, April 20, 2015 — No Region Specified

Bitcoin Survey: 1 in 4 Bitcoin Users Defrauded by Exchanges

Source: Crypto Coins News

It is always interesting to learn about the Bitcoin community with a good ‘ole survey every few months, and this Spring is no different. Bitcoin in Ireland is producing this global survey and intends to get feedback from over one thousand Bitcoin owners over the next couple of months. We have the preliminary results of a sample of about one hundred and fifty respondents so far.
Monday, April 20, 2015 — No Region Specified

Basic Surgeries Can Avert Deaths in Developing Nations

Source: Science and Development Network

Basic surgeries such as delivering babies via caesarean section are some of the most cost-effective health measures in developing countries, potentially averting 1.5 million deaths each year.
Monday, April 20, 2015 — No Region Specified

Visa's Plan to Connect 500M to Financial Mainstream

Source: PYMNTS

Visa’s CEO Charles Scharf has got a plan to connect half a billion additional consumers to the financial mainstream in the next five years.
Monday, April 20, 2015 — Asia Pacific

Under Fire In India, Facebook’s Internet.org Launches in Indonesia

Source: TechCrunch

Facebook’s ‘free web’ Internet.org program has expanded into Indonesia, a country with a 250 million population, marking its second largest launch in Asia to date.
Friday, April 17, 2015 — South Asia

Here's Why Facebook's Internet.org Is Crumbling in India

Source: Mashable

A group of Internet companies have withdrawn support from Internet.org, the buzzy Facebook-backed service that aims to bring people in developing countries online, following a backlash in India over net neutrality.
Friday, April 17, 2015 — South Asia

Indian Microfinance Company Equitas Finance Plans IPO, Looks to Raise Up to Rs 1,500 Crore

Source: The Economic Times

Chennai-based microfinance company Equitas Finance is said to be planning an initial public offering (IPO) that could mean substantial returns for exiting private equity and venture capital funds. The company that's 98% owned by a dozen private equity and venture capital funds is looking at raising around Rs 1,200-1,500 crore by selling a stake of up to 25%, said three people involved with the plan.
Friday, April 17, 2015 — No Region Specified

MasterCard to Collaborate With the Alliance for Financial Inclusion

Source: Finextra

Today, MasterCard and the Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI) signed a strategic partnership agreement that will enable a close collaboration within AFI’s Public-Private Dialogue Platform (PPD).
Friday, April 17, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Nigeria Is Projected to Be the First African Country to Hit $1 Trillion in GDP by 2030

Source: Quartz

Nigeria’s economy will more than double in the next 15 years, according to projections from the United States Department of Agriculture. Today, with an annual GDP of around $500 billion, Africa’s largest economy is 27th in the world. By 2030 it is expected to climb up to 19th place just ahead of the Netherlands.
Friday, April 17, 2015 — South Asia

Clean Cookstoves Could Change the Lives of Millions in Nepal

Source: Inter Press Service

When 26-year-old Laxmi married into the Archaya household in Chhaimale village, Pharping, south of Nepal’s capital Kathmandu, she didn’t think she would be spending half the day in the kitchen inhaling smoke from the stove.
Friday, April 17, 2015 — No Region Specified

Why Water Is Key to Beating Poverty

Source: CNN

Extreme poverty is one of humanity's grave injustices. Across the world, more than 1 billion people live on less than $1.50 a day for all their needs -- food, housing, medicine, water, sanitation, everything. What's more astonishing is that 748 million people around the world do not have access to clean water. And 2.5 billion people do not have access to basic sanitation -- that's one out of every three individuals on the planet. Think about that for a second.
Friday, April 17, 2015 — No Region Specified

Hospitals As Debtor Prisons

Source: The Lancet

In low-income and middle-income countries (LMICs), systematic research regarding the prevalence and personal consequences of patients who are unable to pay their medical bills has been scarce. However, news headlines frequently tell a simple story of detention—eg, “Kenyan mothers too poor to pay for treatment locked up in hospital”. Similar reports are found in Burundi, Ghana, India, Liberia, Nigeria, the Philippines, and Zimbabwe.
Friday, April 17, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Mobile Money to Power Global Remittances

Source: Spy Ghana News

Global remittances will grow slowly in 2015, but accelerate again in 2016/17: global remittances are projected to reach $586 billion in 2015, at a slower growth rate of 0.4% due to economic conditions. However, remittances are expected to accelerate again to reach an estimated $636 billion in 2017.
Friday, April 17, 2015 — No Region Specified

Equity Crowdfunding Hits $662 Million in 2015

Source: CNBC

Booming investments in real estate are leading the way among equity-crowdfunded projects, which rose to $662 million in the first quarter of 2015, a big jump from the $483 million recorded in the final quarter of 2014.
Friday, April 17, 2015 — No Region Specified

Bamboo Finance Announces the First Close of Financial Inclusion Fund II

Source: Insurance News Net

Bamboo Finance, a private equity firm specializing in investing in business models that benefit low-income communities in growth markets, today announced the first close of $31 million in its second financial inclusion focused fund with investments from Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America (TIAA-CREF) and AXA-IM.
Friday, April 17, 2015 — South Asia

Village Women Run Safe Water Franchises in Arsenic-Hit India, Bangladesh

Source: Reuters

Rural housewives in countries such as India and Bangladesh, where ground water has high levels of arsenic, are being encouraged to set up businesses to sell safe water to save lives in their communities and earn some income.
Friday, April 17, 2015 — No Region Specified

Social Impact Bonds Spread to New Zealand

Source: The National Business Review

The Ministry of Health is well down the track to pilot the country's first social impact bond, originally mooted 18 months ago, which would pay out on measurably improved social outcomes such as reductions in alcohol and drug use or recidivism.
Friday, April 17, 2015 — South Asia

Policy Gridlock, Red Tape Still Hindering Investments in India: Standard & Poor’s

Source: The Financial Express

Flagging off “developing challenges” from the ground, global rating agency Standard and Poor’s on Thursday said a policy logjam and “red tape” have hindered investments in India.
Friday, April 17, 2015 — South Asia

Press Release: First Ever in India: MoneyOnMobile Enables Mobile Money Order via SMS

Source: PR Newswire

MoneyOnMobile (MOM), India's leading mobile payment solutions provider, has announced the introduction of one of its kind instant 'Mobile Money Order' service via SMS. This is the first time inIndia that "mobile money order via SMS" has been offered. MoneyOnMobile had earlier announced the launch of its app-based domestic Mobile Money Order service for customers in January 2015.
Thursday, April 16, 2015 — South Asia

Canada, India Fund 5 Innovations to Improve Health in India, With Focus on Mothers and Children

Source: Phys.org

Grand Challenges Canada, funded by the Government of Canada, and the Grand Challenges India initiative of the Department of Biotechnology, Government of India, today announced an investment of $2.5 million (CAD) in five health innovations in India. Many of these novel projects aim to improve maternal, newborn and child health (known as 'MNCH'), which is Canada's flagship development priority, and a tremendous challenge for the Government of India.
Thursday, April 16, 2015 — No Region Specified

The Condom With the Most Studs in the World

Source: PSI Impact

Is there such thing as a perfect condom? The type of condom that’s effective, yet comfortable? One that adds excitement instead of interrupting the heat-of-the-moment?
Thursday, April 16, 2015 — South Asia

New Ways of Delivering Healthcare

Source: India Today

One of the biggest barriers to realising the national agenda of "healthcare for all" is tackling the existent complex, disorganised and expensive system of healthcare.
Thursday, April 16, 2015 — Asia Pacific

Microinsurance Program Lets People Trade Their Garbage for Free Health Care in Indonesia

Source: Aquila Style

In what is an innovative first for the region, a company in Indonesia is now offering to recycle your trash for two free visits to the doctor. Now, how clever is that?
Thursday, April 16, 2015 — South Asia

China Is Fertile Ground for Growing Internet Finance

Source: Caixin Online

The recent establishment of private Internet banks has ushered the banking industry into an era where banks need no brick-and-mortar offices. Technologies like big data make this possible, yet there is disagreement over how much potential Internet finance has.
Thursday, April 16, 2015 — Europe & Eurasia

Viewpoint: Health Can Tackle (and Measure) Inequities

Source: Devex

We know that globally there are sufficient funds available to provide basic health services to everyone, everywhere.
Thursday, April 16, 2015 — No Region Specified

The IRS’s Secret, Successful Low-Income Savings Program

Source: Stanford Social Innovation Review

While April 15th is generally referred to as “tax day,” that’s true for less than 20 percent of filers. For most working households tax day falls in February or early March. It’s the day when they receive their refunds, not when they file.
Thursday, April 16, 2015 — No Region Specified

Press Release: Massive Drop in Number of Unbanked, Says New Report

Source: The World Bank

From 2011 and 2014, 700 million people became account holders at banks, other financial institutions, or mobile money service providers, and the number of “unbanked” individuals dropped 20 percent to 2 billion adults, says a new report released today.
Thursday, April 16, 2015 — No Region Specified

The Slow Global Spread of Savings Accounts

Source: The New Yorker

Last year, researchers travelled around the globe to talk about personal finance with a hundred and fifty thousand people, representing a range of socioeconomic classes, and living both in cities and in remote, rural parts of more than a hundred and forty countries.
Thursday, April 16, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Why Ethiopian Financial Services Industry Is Slow on Mobile Banking

Source: AFKInsider

Ethiopia’s heavily regulated financial service sector is one of the least developed on sub-Saharan Africa with over 80 million people from a population of 94 million still unbanked, despite the rapid economic growth the horn of Africa nation has experienced over the last decade.
Thursday, April 16, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

2014 Mobile Money Transfers Up By 80 Percent in Zimbabwe

Source: allAfrica

The value of mobile money transfers rose by 80 percent to $1,4 billion in 2014 against the prior year in tandem with the now widespread use of cell phones in Zimbabwe.
Thursday, April 16, 2015 — No Region Specified

Gender Gap Persists for Bank-Account Holders

Source: The Wall Street Journal

A persistent gap between the portion of men and women who have bank accounts is confounding experts despite huge leaps in access to banking services and the financial system globally.
Wednesday, April 15, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Disease Detection Gets a Boost With Plans for a CDC in Africa

Source: NPR

In 1946, a malaria outbreak across the Southern U.S. catalyzed the formation of what would eventually become the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Wednesday, April 15, 2015 — South Asia

India's Social Entrepreneurs Promised "Maximum" Support From Minister

Source: Pioneers Post

The Indian government will put its ‘heart and soul’ into supporting social entrepreneurship – the minister for science, technology and earth sciences has pledged.
Wednesday, April 15, 2015 — No Region Specified

Entrepreneur and Artist Aim to Curb Global Infant Mortality Rate

Source: Fox News

When Jane Chen and Drue Kataoka met at the Forum of Young Global Leadersin 2012, they quickly formed a friendship based on their shared passion for carrying out socially impactful work. They both came from significantly different backgrounds — Chen is the co-founder of Embrace, a startup that hopes to curb high worldwide infant mortality rates by way of the low-cost Embrace infant warmer, while Kataoka is a visual artist whose often interactive work aims to bridge the perceived gap between art and technology. Flash forward three years, and the two women have launched a unique collaboration that combines Chen’s business and Kataoka’s art to raise awareness of and ultimately decrease high global infant mortality rates.
Wednesday, April 15, 2015 — No Region Specified

Shhh! Don't Tell Institutional Investors, but Sustainability Drives Returns in Real Assets

Source: The Huffington Post

ImpactAlpha.com - Dave Chen and his team at Equilibrium Capital in Portland, Ore., don't generally pitch pension funds and other institutional investors on the firm's thesis that environmentally and socially beneficial practices can drive operational efficiencies, reduced risk and above-market, or 'alpha,' returns.
Wednesday, April 15, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Airtel Money Hits Over 1 Million Transactions in a Month in Ghana

Source: 97.3 Citi FM

Airtel Ghana, multiple award winning company has attained another great milestone with its Convenient, Secure and Instant mobile money service.