Below the Tip of the Iceberg: Why Systems Change is the Key to Scaling Innovations and Solving Development Challenges
In recent years there has been an increased focus on systems change in the development sector, in response to growing awareness of how underlying systemic causes are perpetuating many global challenges. María Boa-Alvarado at CIMMYT, Lennart Woltering at One CGIAR and Marcos Sanjuán at CRS-El Salvador discuss the benefits of this approach, as applied to the issue of land degradation in Central America. They explore how their organizations are using a systems thinking tool, the iceberg model, to better understand the root causes of this problem – and to provide lasting solutions.
Technology is often designed for people — not with them or by them. Participatory design, says Sher Vogel of MIT D-Lab, is meant to change that. She explores how the method, which actively involves end-users in the design process, can produce products that are better aligned to people’s needs, while also building the skills and confidence of participants. Vogel explains how the process can be applied to business, technology and humanitarian aid, summarizes some challenges it can present, and shares links to upcoming MIT D-Lab courses that can provide a framework.
Educating the Sustainability Generation: How Universities Can Advance Social Business and Innovation
The world is facing unprecedented challenges, and new economic systems centered around social and environmental impact can help solve them, say Aline Laucke and Ella-Maria Gollmer of Studio Nima. But to build a more sustainable future, they explain, universities need to integrate innovative concepts like social business into their educational models. They explore the benefits – and challenges – of bringing this new focus to higher education.
Maker Spaces vs. COVID-19: How the Pandemic Is Bringing the Small Manufacturing Revolution to the Development Sector
When COVID-19 first struck, it soon became apparent that there wasn’t enough personal protective equipment (PPE) to go around. As Kuldeep Bandhu Aryal and Nishat Tasnim at BRAC point out, this has resulted in price gouging and acute scarcity, in Bangladesh and other developing (and developed) countries. They explore BRAC's innovative solution to this problem: collaborating with maker spaces and other small manufacturers to produce PPE locally and affordably.
Taking Control of the Value for Money Narrative: How Innovative Metrics Are Making Impact Part of the Financial Equation
The nonprofit VisionSpring—which provides affordable, high-quality eyeglasses to base of the pyramid customers—realized it needed a metric that could balance cost and impact, while keeping its target customers at the center of decision-making. Analysts at CASE and SoJo discuss the value of the “programmatic value for money metric” VisionSpring implemented, and explore how this type of metric can help organizations consider trade-offs between cost and impact.
Press Release: Impact Investors With Social Enterprises: The European Social Innovation and Impact Fund Launches After a Successful First Closing
It is more important than ever before to support the ramp-up of social innovation and boost investments into early-stage social enterprises. The European Social Innovation and Impact Fund (ESIIF) will immediately strengthen impact investing in the European Union, helping to ensure that outstanding impact business models are poised to scale sustainably.
- Europe & Eurasia
Education Outcomes Fund (EOF) Announces Hosting by UNICEF, Global Expansion To Tackle Learning Crisis
The Education Outcomes Fund (EOF) announces today that it is moving to operate as an independent trust fund hosted by UNICEF.
- Sub-Saharan Africa
Viewpoint: Social Entrepreneurs Are First Responders To the COVID-19 Crisis. This Is Why They Need Support
The Schwab Foundation 2020 Impact Report has demonstrated how its network of 400 social innovators and entrepreneurs has improved the lives of more than 622 million people in over 190 countries, protecting livelihoods, driving movements for social inclusion and environmental sustainability, and providing improved access to health, sanitation, education, and energy.