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
Thursday, October 1, 2015 — South Asia

Collectives Help Rural Women ‘Lean In’

Source: The Hindu

In the world of microfinance, women’s collectives have acquired a great deal of prominence globally and are known by various names such as Self Help Groups (SHGs), Joint Liability Groups (JLG), or Village Saving and Loan Associations (VSLA). There is a strongly held belief that the formation of these groups has transformed the lives of women, improving their financial status due to the direct links between the microcredit, obtained through the group, and the livelihood activities financed by this credit.
Thursday, September 3, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Dutch Social Entrepreneur Works To Save Lives In Africa With High Tech Stove

Source: Forbes

Judith Joan Walker, director and COO of African Clean Energy, has started manufacturing and distributing a multifunctional cookstove that doubles as an energy source.
Monday, August 17, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Mobile Communications Helping Humanitarian Organizations in Tanzania

Source: ITWeb Africa

Tanzania's rapid uptake of mobile phones and massive investment in rural network coverage is helping disaster and humanitarian organisations in the country speedily disseminate and collect information.
Thursday, August 13, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

MasterCard Foundation to Invest in Ugandan Companies

Source: New Vision

Uganda is among eight countries set to receive USD50m (Sh177b) by the Master Card Foundation Fund for Rural Prosperity to fund innovations aimed at improving access to finance in rural populations in sub Saharan Africa.
Thursday, July 23, 2015 — Latin America

Peru Government Installs National Strategy for Financial Inclusion

Source: Peru this Week

As the Peruvian Finance Minister, Alonso Segura, declared last December, social inclusion is “the foundation of Peru’s growth.” To make this possible, they increased the budget for social inclusion programs for the current year by 20%.
Friday, July 17, 2015 — South Asia

Rural India Healthier Than Urban India, Malayalees Sickest

Source: Indiaspend

As much as 86% of the rural population and 82% of the urban population is without health-expenditure support. The average medical expenditure for treating one ailment without being admitted to hospital was Rs 509 in rural India and Rs 639 in urban India. Up to 58% of hospital care occurred in private hospitals in rural India; it was 68% in urban India.
Monday, June 8, 2015 — South Asia

Life Without Light in Rural India: Why Solar Lanterns Can't Compete With the Grid

Source: The Guardian

Chanda sometimes wakes long before dawn to sweep her house and beat the husk off her rice. Now in her 70s, Chanda has long since lost her sight. The sound of her morning activities reverberates down the narrow, unpaved street of the Adivasi colony, through the mud brick walls of the homes stacked either side, waking her neighbours. Next door, Leena complains but is sympathetic. “Living without electricity is like being blind,” she says. “You move around your home and cook without being able to see. Even in the day it is the middle of the night.”
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.
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.
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 — 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.
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.
Monday, April 13, 2015 — No Region Specified

How to Serve Remote Customers Who Live on Less Than $2 a Day

Source: Forbes

The worlds of business and charity are increasingly merging. Social enterprises engage in activities that don’t perfectly fit in either of these worlds. Blending the two is a powerful tool: the solutions are often more effective, more innovative, and above all more sustainable.
Tuesday, March 24, 2015 — South Asia

Viewpoint: To Reach India’s Rural Poor, Why Not Try Television Banking?

Source: Business Line

The Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) was envisioned to provide universal financial inclusion to rural and urban households. The mission includes not only providing universal banking access to all households but also micro-insurance. The government and commercial banks have accomplished the remarkable feat of opening 12.8 crore accounts within the last six months. While this is a laudable achievement, a number of issues related to servicing these accounts, mostly in remote and far-flung areas, may need to be addressed.
Thursday, December 11, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Why Mobile Wallets Will Be Offered to 120,000 Zambian Farmers

Source: Ericsson

MTN Chief Sales and Distribution Officer Amos Jere told journalists at the Zambia Agriculture Show that MTN Zambia plans to work with 120,000 farmers in the next farming season through the Ericsson Wallet Platform. Quoted by the Lusaka Times, he said that the company is in the process of rolling out our mobile money platform to integrate MTN Mobile Money with all banks in the country and added that some 4,000 subsistence farmers in the country have already been successfully paid through the platform for their cotton sales in Eastern Province.
Tuesday, December 2, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

A New Milk Can for The Developing World, Funded by Bill Gates

Source: Co.Exist

When you buy milk in America, it generally comes from farmers with hundreds of cows. They do their own milking with mechanized equipment, and, generally, their own pasteurization and bottling. In Kenya, it's different. About 80% of the country's milk comes from small-scale farmers with a few cows, who milk by-hand. They don't do bottling and, instead of trucks to get to market, they go by bike or foot.
Monday, December 1, 2014 — South Asia

Global Health Looks To BRAC and Gates Foundation for Mobile Money

Source: Forbes

Bangladesh is going digital. Not in smart watches, sensor-based clothing or electronic health records, but in money. Mobile money. Money, that according to BRAC and the Gates Foundation could improve the economic and health outcomes of the country, especially of women and children. With a healthy appreciation of the complexities in scaling digitally, faith in innovation at the grassroots level and years of planning, these organizations just might make mobile money the future of finance.
Thursday, June 5, 2014 — No Region Specified

Rwanda: Microsoft Chief Urges Youth, SMEs to Tap Into Online Resources to Drive Productivity

Source: AllAfrica

Increasing youth employment and enhancing small-and-medium enterprises (SMEs) development through Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) to boost the continent's productivity and alleviate poverty were some of the key issues at the just-concluded African Development Bank meetings.
Friday, May 16, 2014 — No Region Specified

Polio vaccinations administered under army cover in Pakistan

Source: India Today

Here's yet another example of how ugly terrorism can get: Health workers in Pakistan's restive Khyber tribal region are administering polio drops to children below 10 years of age under army protection.
Friday, March 14, 2014 — No Region Specified

Latrine numbers up

Source: The Phnom Penh Post

The number of Cambodian rural households with access to latrines increased from 23 to 33 per cent in 2013, a Ministry of Rural Development report released yesterday says.
Wednesday, December 4, 2013 — Sub-Saharan Africa

South Africa: Rural Health - Grossly Unequal but Some Hope

Source: All Africa

While there are significant unmet health needs in many parts of South Africa, they are particularly acute in historically disadvantaged rural areas.
Thursday, November 7, 2013 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Why mobile money can work in rural areas

Source: IT News Africa

Mobile money is an important means of facilitating the transfer of funds across rural areas in Africa, but services are often designed to function in a specific way – which might not be to the benefit of all who are making use of them.
Thursday, September 12, 2013 — No Region Specified

A 'fishy' way to prevent dengue

Source: Devex

The Asian Development Bank and the World Health Organization have found their latest weapon against dengue-carrying mosquitoes: larvae-eating guppy fish. A recent trial study in select villages in Cambodia and Laos found out dengue cases can be significantly reduced by putting the fish in water tanks and containers near the stagnant water areas where the insects thrive especially during the rainy season.
Wednesday, August 14, 2013 — Sub-Saharan Africa

A Stove That Cooks With Molten Salt

Source: Co.Exist

Using the sun instead of fuel to cook is an important innovation for the developing world, where fuel is scarce and fumes from burning can be deadly. This stove doesn’t just use the sun--it uses the sun to heat up salt until it melts.
Monday, June 10, 2013 — South Asia

A social media platform for the rural masses

Source: Mint

Mobile Vaani is an interactive voice response system that enables people to share and create content
Monday, June 3, 2013 — South Asia

'Future proofing' the agriculture sector

Source: Bangkok Post

Asian economies stand vulnerable to climate change. Some of the most significant impacts are expected to hit the agriculture sector.
Friday, March 1, 2013 — No Region Specified

What Do You Have in Common with a Low-Income Indian Mother? More Than You Think

Source: GOOD

Unfortunately, people are not rational actors; we are trained creatures of habit, molded and formed by our culture and personal experiences.
TAGS:rural, urban
Friday, January 25, 2013 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Healthcare Initiative to Train 1 Million Health Workers for Rural Africa

Source: RYOT News

Across sub-Saharan Africa, community health workers using mobile phones and broadband access to sophisticated medical resources are delivering health care to where it is most needed, among the rural poor. A new campaign aims to greatly expand that effort by training, equipping and deploying one million health care workers by the end of 2015, reaching millions of underserved people.At the World Economic Forum today, Rwanda President Paul Kagame and Novartis CEO Joseph Jimenez joined Earth Institute Director Jeffrey Sachs in announcing the campaign, which will be overseen by a steering committee at the Earth Institute and will be run through the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network ( as part of its Solutions Initiative.
Tuesday, November 6, 2012 — South Asia

Husk Power Systems raises $5 million for expansion

Source: The Hindu Business Line

Husk Power Systems, a Bihar-based company that runs micro power plants on agricultural waste, has raised Series A equity financing of $5 million (Rs 27 crore) from co-investors Bamboo Finance, Acumen Fund, and LGT Venture Philanthropy.
Wednesday, September 26, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Coke Applies Supply-Chain Expertise to Deliver AIDS Drugs in Africa

Source: The Daily Beast

Coca-Cola CEO Muhtar Kent tells Daniel Gross his company is expanding a project that helps nonprofits deliver vaccines in rural Africa more quickly.
Monday, August 20, 2012 — No Region Specified

SolarKiosk: Mobile Modular Power for Really Remote Areas

Source: GOOD

For those who’ve grown up constantly plugged into the power grid, it’s almost impossible to think of life without an endless supply of outlets, power cords, and technology. But for an estimated 1.5 billion people around the world, power—from cutting and burning firewood to lighting kerosene lamps, paraffin, and candles—doesn't come easy.
Thursday, March 22, 2012 — South Asia

Growth Busts Poverty

Source: The Times of India

Poverty estimates between 2004-05 and 2009-10 show a sharp reduction in the absolute number of the poor by 52.5 million to 354.7 million.
Wednesday, February 15, 2012 — South Asia

Social Innovators Seek to Balance Economic Sustainability and Impact

Source: Business Standard

Bridging the digital-divide in India has long been a cherished dream. While much is yet to happen, IT industry body Nasscom has taken initial steps to identify business models that can change the access of technology at the bottom of the pyramid. This year too, Nasscom presented awards to six businesses that are trying to bring social innovation. The awards showcase the impact and learnings from the ideas of winners that have gained shape, acceptance and success.
  • Managing Partners

    William Davidson Institute
  • Sponsoring Partner

    Citi Foundation
  • Content Partners

Subscribe to Our E-Newsletter

For Email Marketing you can trust

Found an Article we're Missing?Found an Article we're Missing?

Submit An Article


Social MediaSocial Media

Facebook Twitter

Story Snapshot