Friday Roundup ? 2/25/11: ’A New Geography of Global Poverty’
“Most of the world’s poor no longer live in low-income countries. An estimated 960 million poor people – a new bottom billion – live in middle-income countries (MICs), a result of the graduation of several populous countries from low-income status.”
That’s a paradigm-tilting, if not altogether shifting, comment from Andy Sumner, visiting fellow at the Center for Global Development. It’s the introduction to his report, The New Bottom Billion: What If Most of the World’s Poor Live in Middle-Income Countries?, which is fascinating reading for anyone concerned with poverty reduction regardless of your discipline.
Sumner details an exciting phenomenon that since 2000, more than 700 million poor people have transitioned to MICs, and not merely thanks to the income elevation of India and China. “Even without them the proportion of the world’s poor in MICs has tripled, not only from a range of other countries like Nigeria, Pakistan, Indonesia, but also from some surprising countries such as Sudan, Angola, and Cameroon.”
While this is welcome news to be sure, Sumner cautions that this “new geography of global poverty” compels donors (and I would add capital investors, entrepreneurs and other development enterprises) to re-evaluate how they think about poverty alleviation to “benefit poor people, not just poor countries.”
Read the full report here.
A Vote for Sustainable Housing
Ashoka Changemakers has announced the finalists for its Sustainable Urban Housing Competition and now it’s your turn to influence the final outcome. The competition will recognize the most innovative solutions to urban housing challenges that bring in communities, institutions and entrepreneurs. The top-three vote recipients each will earn $10,000 USD in prize money. The voting booth will be open through April 6, 2011, go here to cast your ballot.
The competition is in anticipation of the 2012 Summit of the Americas, and in support of U.S. President Barack Obama’s Energy and Climate Partnership for the Americas (ECPA), funded by the Rockefeller Foundation.
The Tech Awards: Technology Benefiting Humanity
The Center for Science, Technology and Society at Santa Clara University also is hoping to honor innovators. The organization is on the lookout for those creatively applying technology to benefit humanity in the areas of environment, economic development, education, equality and health. Fifteen laureates in five categories will be honored at a gala event in October 2011 in Silicon Valley, California, and five laureates will each be awarded a cash prize of $50,000 USD. The deadline for nominations is March 31, 2011. To nominate someone you know (including yourself) click here.
Skoll Award Winners
I was remiss in last week’s roundup for not recognizing the winners of the Skoll Foundation’s 2011 Skoll Awards for Social Entrepreneurship. The names and the companies/organizations will be familiar to many in the sector: Rebecca Onie, of Health Leads; Ned Breslin, of Water For People; Ellen Moir, of New Teacher Center; and Madhav Chavan, of Pratham. A tip of our hat to their tireless efforts in education, health and water enterprises, which you should take a moment to read about here.
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