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, December 27, 2012 — South Asia

AP microfinance crisis helped Bandhan grow by over 50%

Source: The Hindu Business Line

At a time when many microfinance companies are still reeling under pressure following the crisis in Andhra Pradesh about two years ago, Kolkata-based Bandhan Financial Services is planning to expand. The company plans to apply for a banking licence as and when the Reserve Bank of India comes out with the final guidelines on the subject.
Thursday, December 27, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

VMK launch 'first African-designed' smartphone and tablet

Source: BBC

A smartphone and tablet said to be the first designed by an African company have beenlaunched.
Thursday, December 27, 2012 — South Asia

Tata launches 'Social Enterprise Challenge'

Source: New York Daily News

Mumbai, Dec 27 — Aiming to find the country's most promising social enterprises, the Tata Group has launched the 'Tata Social Enterprise Challenge' in association with the Indian Institute of Management Calcutta (IIMC), a company statement said here Thursday.
Friday, December 21, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Afroindia Introduces Telemedicine For The Underserved

Source: The Guardian Nigeria

A healthcare service provider in Nigeria, Afroindia Medical Services Limited has signed a memorandum f understanding (MoU) with Apollo Group of Hospitals in India to set up 100 Telemedical centres in West and East Africa.
Friday, December 21, 2012 — No Region Specified

Pilot financial index for social investment unveiled

Source: The Guardian

Could an asset class for social impact investment be a step closer to becoming a reality?
Thursday, December 20, 2012 — South Asia

RSBY health insurance scheme launched in Arunachal

Source: Money Control

Itanagar, Dec 19 (PTI) The Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY), a health insurance scheme of the Centre for people living below poverty line was launched today in Arunachal Pradesh.
Thursday, December 20, 2012 — No Region Specified

Silk stabilizer could eliminate need to refrigerate vaccines

Source: Vaccine News Daily

Researchers at Tufts University recently found that a new silk-based stabilizer could get rid of the need to refrigerate vaccines and antibiotics, potentially enhancing vaccine delivery and storage in developing nations.
Thursday, December 20, 2012 — No Region Specified

Skoll Foundation Announces 2013 Award Winners

Source: Skoll Foundation Blog

The Skoll Foundation today announced the winners of its 2013 Skoll Awards for Social Entrepreneurship (SASEs).
Thursday, December 20, 2012 — No Region Specified

5 development innovations to watch in 2013

Source: Devex

Although this year had welcome news about poverty rates falling across the globe, almost two and a half billion people still get by on less than $2 a day. Innovative solutions for tackling global poverty are needed as much as ever. Here are five development innovations to watch in 2013:
Thursday, December 20, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

JP Morgan-linked firm triples cash in Africert deal

Source: Business Daily

A JP Morgan-linked private equity firm, Pearl Capital Partners (PCP), has exited its investment in a Kenyan agricultural firm in a deal that saw it triple its investment in six years.
Wednesday, December 19, 2012 — No Region Specified

USAID Mobilizes Record Amount of Private Capital to Support Small Businesses in Developing Countries

Source: USAID Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – USAID’s Development Credit Authority (DCA) worked with 45 financial institutions in 23 countries in 2012 to unlock up to $525 million in private capital for underserved entrepreneurs in developing countries. The financing, made available through 34 partial credit guarantees, is the most USAID has mobilized in a single year.
Wednesday, December 19, 2012 — North Africa and Near East

Egypt: Impact Investing Is Key to Inclusive Development in Egypt

Source: All Africa

Demographic pressures and years of under investment in meeting social needs suggest that Egypt will not be able to provide jobs, housing and basic services without adopting a wide strategy for inclusive development. Impact investing should be encouraged as one of the strategy's pillars.
Wednesday, December 19, 2012 — North Africa and Near East

The Latest Way to Solve Poverty in the Middle East

Source: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

In the last two years, the US Agency for International Development (USAID) has increasingly focused on supporting social entrepreneurship in the Middle East and North Africa region as a way of tackling the region’s socio-economic challenges that cause poverty.
Wednesday, December 19, 2012 — No Region Specified

Independent evaluation validates UNITAID’s approach

Source: Express Pharma

UNITAID has established itself as a pioneering innovative financing mechanism with a successful business model to improve product markets for HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis in developing countries, according to UNITAID’s first independent Five-Year Evaluation.
Tuesday, December 18, 2012 — No Region Specified

10 facts on the state of global health

Source: World Health Organization

Tuesday, December 18, 2012 — No Region Specified

Vaccine Rule Is Said to Hurt Health Efforts

Source: New York Times

A group of prominent doctors and public health experts warns in articles to be published Monday in the journal Pediatrics that banning thimerosal, a mercury compound used as a preservative in vaccines, would devastate public health efforts in developing countries.
Tuesday, December 18, 2012 — No Region Specified

Maternal health gets a boost in Malawi

Source: Mail & Guardian

On a gray Wednesday morning in the Malawian capital of Lilonge, a group of young people perform a skit for philanthropist Melinda Gates who has come to visit their recreational centre, a drafty room with wooden, board walls and a corrugated iron roof that don't quite meet.
Tuesday, December 18, 2012 — No Region Specified

Ambassador Goosby to lead new Office of Global Health Diplomacy at the U.S. Department of State

Source: U.S. Department of State Blog

Ambassador Eric Goosby, who serves as U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator. has been named to lead the new Office of Global Health Diplomacy at the U.S. Department of State.
Tuesday, December 18, 2012 — South Asia

Delhi Dispatch: Rice, Wheat, and Water Serve Up Equal Helpings of Punjab’s Wealth and Risk

Source: Circle of Blue

NARAINGARH, Haryana, India — The first rain in six months, and a stout and cold wind whipped at the black plastic covering stacks of grain Thursday morning at the Shivshakti Rice Mill, one of 13 mills surrounding this roadside village about 70 kilometers west of Chandigarh.
Tuesday, December 18, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

IFC Announces Partnership to Increase Access to Affordable Sanitation in East Africa

Source: WebWire

Nairobi, Kenya — IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, today announced support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to catalyze the market for improved sanitation and accelerate access to more affordable sanitation solutions for low-income households in East Africa.
Tuesday, December 18, 2012 — No Region Specified

Billionaire Jeff Skoll's Participant Media Details Plans To Launch Its Own Cable Channel

Source: Forbes

Jeff Skoll, the former eBay executive who is dedicated to solving the world’s big problems, has just taken a step to expand his movie company Participant Media – the company behind An Inconvenient Truth, Food Inc. and The Help — into cable TV.
Tuesday, December 18, 2012 — No Region Specified

Global report: Obesity bigger health crisis than hunger

Source: CNN

Obesity is a bigger health crisis globally than hunger, and the leading cause of disabilities around the world, according to a new report published Thursday in the British medical journal The Lancet. Nearly 500 researchers from 50 countries compared health data from 1990 through 2010 for the Global Burden of Disease report, revealing what they call a massive shift in global health trends.
Friday, December 14, 2012 — No Region Specified

Mobile Technology a Game Changer in Developing World

Source: CIO

As much disruption and upheaval as the Internet age has brought to far-flung industries like education, energy and finance, the emergence of mobile computing has a much greater potential for change on a global scale, a group of experts said on Thursday.
Friday, December 14, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

The Need to Scale: Social Enterprises and Community Health

Source: CSRWire

“Community health workers: Now that is a profession that must be compensated.”
Friday, December 14, 2012 — No Region Specified

New, Individual-Level Data on Financial Inclusion: The “Unbanked” Are Deterred by Cost, Documentation, and Travel Requirements

Source: World Bank Press Release

WASHINGTON, December 13, 2012 – Policy makers can boost the number of people using formal financial services through policies that help reduce the cost, documentation requirements, and travel distance associated with accessing a bank account, says a new World Bank research paper.
Friday, December 14, 2012 — South Asia

Will Saral Money reduce corruption?

Source: ZDNet

India's ruling government is making cash transfers an important pillar in its 2014 election strategy, and while others might call it bribery, citizens shouldn't complain if such initiatives help reduce corruption.
Thursday, December 13, 2012 — South Asia

PM says rural-urban divide in telecom growth must be bridged for socially inclusive growth

Source: NetIndian

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today said the full potential of telecommunication in enabling higher growth would not be realised until the use of telephones spread much wider in the rural economy of India as well.
Thursday, December 13, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

How to Light Africa Within a Decade

Source: Forbes

Today, when the sun goes down in Africa, over 150 million homes will not turn on the lights. The reason is simple: they don’t have electricity. Instead, they will extend their day by the dim light of kerosene lamps. Families will huddle around these lamps, inhaling the lung-burning equivalent of two packs of cigarettes each from kerosene fumes.
Thursday, December 13, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Saving Tanzania’s Poorest Children

Source: Inter Press Service

DAR ES SALAAM, Dec 13 2012 (IPS) - Half asleep, Anuary lies exhausted on his bed in Amana Hospital in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania’s capital. His mother, Mariam Saidi, sits on the edge of his mattress, staring blankly out of the window. Every now and then, she turns to wipe her 18-month-old son’s forehead.
Wednesday, December 12, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Reshaping the Future of Cocoa in Africa

Source: New York Times

Seventy percent of the world’s cocoa now comes from West Africa, where family-run farms have proliferated across the landscape in recent decades. Yet in a paradox, the spread of these nonnative cocoa trees often contributes to deforestation.
Wednesday, December 12, 2012 — No Region Specified

Bill Drayton's Five Trends For Social Entrepreneurs

Source: Forbes

At a recent event in NYC, journalist and author David Bornstein interviewed Ashoka Founder Bill Drayton about the future of social entrepreneurship. In case you missed it, here’s a recap from Eli Malinsky of the Centre for Social Innovation.
Wednesday, December 12, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Tanzania free of tetanus in mothers and babies

Source: Saudi Gazette

Dar Essalam —The Tanzanian government yesterday celebrated the introduction of two vaccines to protect children against pneumonia and diarrhea and announced that it has been declared free of maternal and neonatal tetanus (MNT), one of the world’s major causes of deaths in mothers and newborns.
Wednesday, December 12, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Nigeria: Global Fund Happy With HIV, TB Treatment in Nigeria

Source: All Africa

The Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, on Tuesday expressed delight at the level of care and treatment given to persons infected with HIV and tuberculosis in Nigeria.
Wednesday, December 12, 2012 — Latin America

Ban joins Hispaniola effort against cholera

Source: Devex

Ban Ki-moon has announced a new initiative that will support a 10-year effort against cholera in Haiti. This comes amid mounting calls for the United Nations to take responsibility over the spread of the disease in the country.
Wednesday, December 12, 2012 — No Region Specified

In New Brand of Philanthropy, Nonprofits Invest in For-Profits

Source: DealBook

When the W. K. Kellogg Foundation set aside $100 million in 2007 to invest in companies that could produce both social and financial benefits, it was considered revolutionary. Historically, major foundations had used mainly stocks, bonds, real estate and other traditional asset classes to build their endowments.
Tuesday, December 11, 2012 — Latin America

Bolivia Invests $20 Million in Waste Management

Source: Environment News Service

WASHINGTON, DC, December 10, 2012 (ENS) – Bolivia will improve municipal solid waste management services such as collection, transportation, and disposal, with a $20 million loan from the Inter-American Development Bank, the bank announced today.
Tuesday, December 11, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Kenya SMEs Get U.S.$60 Million

Source: All Africa

Nairobi — The World Bank has extended a $60 million loan towards boosting Kenya's fledgling Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) sector.
Tuesday, December 11, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

GSK Forms Partnership with Vodafone to Help Increase Childhood Vaccination in Mozambique


GSK today announced it has formed a partnership with Vodafone to harness innovative mobile technology to help vaccinate more children against common infectious diseases in Africa. Despite major advances in the funding and availability of vaccines worldwide, it is estimated that up to a fifth of children worldwide still do not receive basic vaccines. The proliferation of mobile phones in Africa offers an opportunity to create innovative and cost-effective ways to address barriers to universal vaccination.
Tuesday, December 11, 2012 — South Asia

Panasonic lanterns 'to regain market'

Source: BDNews24

Osaka, Dec 10 ( – Electronics giant Panasonic will launch solar lanterns for un-electrified areas in developing countries by early next year as it shifts its businesses to eco-technologies to bring back the losing markets by 2018, its 100th anniversary.
Tuesday, December 11, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

The Machine that Will Help End TB

Source: MIT Technology Review

Nearly 1.5 million people die from tuberculosis every year, even though most cases can be cured with routine antibiotic treatments. One country’s fight to get the ancient scourge under control has an unlikely hero: a simple diagnostic test.
Monday, December 10, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Adult population access to MFBs swells by 4.6m

Source: Business Day

The number of adult population that have a microfinance bank account rose to 4.6 million or 5.2 percent in 2012 as against 3.2 million or 3.8 percent in 2010, representing 1.2 million increase, according to Enhancing Financial Innovation & Access (EFInA)’s access to financial services in Nigeria 2012 survey report.
Monday, December 10, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

From NYC To Nairobi: Interview With SunCulture, Audience Choice Award Winners 2011-12

Source: Forbes

All entrepreneurs are inherently risk-takers, but some are willing to go above and beyond for an idea they believe in. NYU Stern alumnus Samir Ibrahim and serial entrepreneur Charles Nichols, winners of the Audience Choice Award at the 2011-12 Entrepreneur’s Challenge fit this description perfectly. The two recently packed their bags and moved to Kenya, where their start-up SunCulture sells solar-powered irrigation products and agricultural services to local farmers.
Monday, December 10, 2012 — No Region Specified

Gates Foundation Announces $21 Million in Global Health Grants

Source: Philanthropy News Digest

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has announced grants totaling more than $21 million to seven projects through its Grand Challenges in Global Health initiative.
Monday, December 10, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

In Africa’s malaria fight, a $3.6B funding gap

Source: Devex

A global public-private partnership is exploring a number of options to fill a multibillion-dollar funding gap in efforts to fight malaria in Africa.
Friday, December 7, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Global Impact Investing Network Receives GBP 10.5 Million Commitment from UK's Department for International Development

Source: Press Release

The Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) announced today that the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) will provide GBP 10.5 million to support the GIIN’s role in developing and growing the impact investing market in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia.
Friday, December 7, 2012 — No Region Specified

How Law Schools And Entrepreneurs Collaborate to Serve Both Students and Innovators

Source: Forbes

In this post, Tiffany Morris, has taken a look at the new collaborations happening between universities and social innovators ensuring that the fine print doesn’t get overlooked while trying to change the world.
Friday, December 7, 2012 — No Region Specified

UN FAO calls for sustained investment in global agriculture

Source: International Business Times

Excessive corruption, poor infrastructure and scarce government resources were deterring investment in agriculture and contributing to high levels of malnourishment around the world, said an FAO report released Thursday.
Friday, December 7, 2012 — No Region Specified

Introducing... social enterprise speed matching

Source: The Guardian

The Nominet Trust has not always got collaboration right, but a recent speed dating-style event helped connect social entrepreneurs to potential funders
Thursday, December 6, 2012 — No Region Specified

Are you the next Mark Zuckerberg?


New tests are helping loan officers assess entrepreneurs -- and weed out the bad investment risks from the good
Thursday, December 6, 2012 — South Asia

Solar Energy Brings Power to Rural India

Source: Triple Pundit

In Central India, far from the grid of power lines, telephone poles and power transformers an electrical experiment has been taking place. For the last year, the village of Meerwada has been learning to live with solar energy. Located some 90 minutes from the nearest city by way of a rocky 4×4 dirt road, this small town sits on the cutting edge of a modern-day industrial revolution.
Thursday, December 6, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

GAVI Needs to Offer Lower Vaccine Prices to Humanitarian Groups

Source: Doctors Without Borders

DAR ES SALAAM/GENEVA, DECEMBER 5, 2012—The GAVI Alliance should systematically extend the discounted vaccine prices it obtains from pharmaceutical companies to humanitarian organizations that are often well placed to reach unvaccinated children, the international medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) said today at the GAVI Partners Forum meeting in Tanzania.
Thursday, December 6, 2012 — South Asia

Telemedicine Still Not Reaching Rural India

Source: Enterprise Efficiency

Building brick-and-mortar hospitals to cater to a country that accounts for more than a sixth of the world’s population is a near impossibility. At present, 65 percent of India’s population lacks access to modern medicine. Less than 10 percent have access to a hospital, and only 13 percent have access to a primary care center.
Wednesday, December 5, 2012 — South Asia

Bartering vegetables for sanitary pads

Source: The Hindu Business Line

Women in rural areas are being convinced of the hygiene benefits of using sanitary pads, now to the extent that “they even barter onions or tomatoes for low-priced pads”, declared A. Muruganantham at the recently concluded TiECon – Chennai 2012.
Wednesday, December 5, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

AfDB, researchers launch $63 m initiative to lift Africans out of poverty

Source: Africa Science News

The African Development Bank (AfDB) and researchers have launched the US$63.24 million AfDB-funded initiative aimed to raise agricultural productivity and also lift millions of Africans out of poverty.
Wednesday, December 5, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Zambia hosts regional meeting for mapping of unmet country needs

Source: WHO Press Release

Lusaka, 04 December 2012 -- The World Health Organization Regional Office for Africa (WHO/AFRO) in collaboration with WHO Global Capacities, Alert and Response has organized a regional meeting for mapping of unmet country needs to accelerate the implementation of the International Health Regulations (2005) in the African Region.
Wednesday, December 5, 2012 — No Region Specified

Funding for Neglected Diseases “Heavily Reliant” on U.S.

Source: Inter Press Services

WASHINGTON, Dec 3 2012 (IPS) - International financial support aimed at counteracting the world’s “neglected diseases” increased by nearly a half-billion dollars over the past five years, according to new research released Monday, but changing funding dynamics could already be having a negative impact on the development of cures for diseases that affect a substantial proportion of the world’s poor.
Tuesday, December 4, 2012 — South Asia

Sanofi shakes up diabetes market in India

Source: LiveMint

The firm is changing the rules of the game by is lowering prices, localizing products for treatment of the disease
Tuesday, December 4, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Nigeria: MSD Introduces New HIV Drug, Atripla

Source: All Africa

AS part of the efforts to meet the Anti-Retroviral, ARV, drugs requirements of Nigerians living with HIV, MSD, one of the world’s healthcare leaders, weekend launched into the Nigerian market its innovative antiretroviral, ARV, drug – Atripla – a prescription medication used to treat HIV-1 infection in adults and children of at least 12 years of age.
Tuesday, December 4, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

100 millionth person receives lifesaving meningitis vaccine

Source: UNICEF Blog

GENEVA, 3 December 2012 – A revolutionary meningitis vaccine will reach the 100 millionth person this week in a region of Africa that has been plagued by deadly epidemics for more than a century. The milestone will take place in northern Nigeria, part of Africa’s “meningitis belt,” where the country is conducting its second seasonal immunisation campaign against the disease.
Tuesday, December 4, 2012 — South Asia

Pakistan to follow Brazilian model in tackling poverty

Source: The Express Tribune

ISLAMABAD: Emulating the Brazilian model of zero hunger and with support from donors, the Pakistan government has expressed the resolve to alleviate poverty and hunger from the country.
Tuesday, December 4, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Ecobank, IHS seal $202m deal for mobile network in Cameroun, Côte d’Ivoire

Source: The Guardian Nigeria

THE investment profile of the pan-African bank, Ecobank Group, may have risen with the signing of a syndicated loan facility with IHS Holding Limited, for the mobile tower investment and solar energy projects in Cameroun and Côte d’Ivoire.
Monday, December 3, 2012 — South Asia

Patnis purchase stake in Grameen Capital India

Source: Business Standard

Grameen Capital India (GCI) has announced that Amit Patni and Arihant Patni have acquired a stake in the company from original investor IFMR Trust. The Patni's after exiting their software services exports company to iGate in a $1.2 billion deal have started Nirvana Venture Advisors, a venture capital fund with focus on the internet space in India.
Monday, December 3, 2012 — South Asia

What Is eBay’s Omidyar Doing on Delhi’s MedTech Row?

Source: New York Times

Pierre Omidyar is best known as the founder of the online auction company e-Bay, which he grew from an “odd little Web site” to one of Web commerce’s biggest and longest-lasting success stories.
Monday, December 3, 2012 — No Region Specified

HIV Vaccine Under Study May Last A Lifetime


A genetically-engineered HIV vaccine under study by Texas researchers works in a novel way. It targets specific cells exactly where the virus enters the body, stimulating them to generate an immune response so the virus can't take hold.
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Monday, December 3, 2012 — South Asia

First-of-its-kind virtual medical kiosk in India


ehealth Access, a company focused on developing healthcare eco-system through advanced telemedicine technology, launched a first-of-its-kind Virtual Medical Kiosk. This is a breakthrough innovation in technology that will enable patient-doctor consultation in a secure environment.
Monday, December 3, 2012 — No Region Specified

US secretary of state launches five-point 'Blueprint' to eradicate Aids pandemic

Source: The Guardian

A five-point plan for ending the Aids pandemic has been unveiled by the US secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, who said the Obama administration would focus efforts on women and girls but also the stigmatised communities most affected by HIV – drug users, sex workers and men who have sex with men. "Make no mistake about it – HIV may well be with us into the future, but the disease that it causes need not be," said Clinton at the launch of the so-called Blueprint at the state department in Washington before World Aids Day on Saturday.
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