Rob Katz

Back From Mapping the BOP

Mapping the MajorityI’ve had a couple emails from NextBillion readers, wondering why I haven?t been blogging much of late. Despite their pleas to the contrary, I?m back. In all seriousness, I’d like to update you all on why I’ve been so conspicuously absent from these pages.

You may remember that the Inter-American Development Bank recently launched a new BOP web site? Well, the Bank is putting out a fresh agenda as its new president settles into office, and messages from the top are all about developing the bottom (of the pyramid). To formally launch the new agenda, IDB will host a major conference June 12-14 here in Washington called, ?Building Opportunity for the Majority–Reaching Those at the Base of the Pyramid.?

During the conference, WRI will release a map documenting the size and scope of the BOP in Latin America. Despite years of research and documentation about BOP success stories, there hasn?t been much concrete data on the size of the BOP by country and sector. With our partners at the IDB and the World Bank, WRI has taken the first steps in terms of quantifying the size of the BOP market. The map will be introduced on June 13 (stay tuned to NextBillion for more BOP map details).

I’ve been working closely with Cory on the numbers. Spreadsheets. STATA. Econometrics. Let me tell you, it’s been a blast. We sent the final graphics, statistics, and copy to our designer yesterday afternoon–which means I?m spreadsheet-free for the moment. While the sense of relief is palpable, there’s a small part of me that can?t wait for the project’s next stage: documenting the size and scope of the BOP across Africa, Asia, and Eastern Europe. Am I a glutton for punishment? Maybe–but the results are far too interesting to stop now.