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Development Channel

Issues and innovations in global economic development

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Showing posts for "Financial Inclusion"

Leveraging Tech Innovations in Development

by Shannon K. O'Neil
Flood victims show their ID cards to receive food rations at a distribution centre in Muzaffargarh district of Punjab province August 25, 2010 (Courtesy Reuters/Reinhard Krause). Flood victims show their ID cards to receive food rations at a distribution centre in Muzaffargarh district of Punjab province August 25, 2010 (Courtesy Reuters/Reinhard Krause).

Over the past decade, technology has begun to revolutionize industries ranging from education and healthcare to financial services and commerce. These transformations are not limited to the developed world – in emerging economies rapid mobile technology proliferation and internet penetration have had profound and unforeseen effects, including expanding financial inclusion through mobile banking services and facilitating employment through online and mobile job platforms.

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Unlocking the Potential of Women Entrepreneurs

by Isobel Coleman and Guest Blogger for Isobel Coleman
Varsha Mahendra, founder of DSGYN IDYS and Jus Blouses, works in her showroom and in the factory in Hyderabad, India, October 2012 (Courtesy Goldman Sachs). Varsha Mahendra, founder of DSGYN IDYS and Jus Blouses, works in her showroom and in the factory in Hyderabad, India, October 2012 (Courtesy Goldman Sachs).

This post is from Isobel Coleman, Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) senior fellow and director of the Civil Society, Markets, and Democracy initiative, and Dina Habib Powell, global head of corporate engagement at Goldman Sachs and president of the Goldman Sachs Foundation. 

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Banking with Bitcoin

by Guest Blogger for Isobel Coleman
A Bitcoin sign is seen in a window in Toronto, Canada, May 2014 (Courtesy Reuters/Mark Blinch). A Bitcoin sign is seen in a window in Toronto, Canada, May 2014 (Courtesy Reuters/Mark Blinch).

Emerging Voices features contributions from scholars and practitioners highlighting new research, thinking, and approaches to development challenges. This article is by Sarah Martin, CEO of Boone Martin, a global communications firm that focuses on social impact investing.

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Financial Inclusion: A New Common Ground for Central Banks

by Guest Blogger for Terra Lawson-Remer
Customers are seen at mobile money transfers kiosks, known as M-Pesa agents, near Nairobi, Kenya, July 2013 (Courtesy Reuters/Thomas Mukoya). Customers are seen at mobile money transfers kiosks, known as M-Pesa agents, near Nairobi, Kenya, July 2013 (Courtesy Reuters/Thomas Mukoya).

Emerging Voices features contributions from scholars and practitioners highlighting new research, thinking, and approaches to development challenges. This article is from Alfred Hannig, executive director of the Alliance for Financial Inclusion.

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Navigating Tensions in Social Enterprise

by Guest Blogger for Terra Lawson-Remer
Artisan entrepreneur Therese Iribagiza at Indego Africa's partner cooperative, Cocoki, in Kigali, Rwanda, 2011 (Courtesy Benjamin D. Stone, copyright Indego Africa). Artisan entrepreneur Therese Iribagiza at Indego Africa's partner cooperative, Cocoki, in Kigali, Rwanda, 2011 (Courtesy Benjamin D. Stone, copyright Indego Africa).

Emerging Voices features contributions from scholars and practitioners highlighting new research, thinking, and approaches to development challenges. This article is from Benjamin D. Stonedirector of strategy and general counsel at MicroCredit Enterprises and vice chairman of Indego Africa. Here he discusses Indego Africa’s experiences grappling with the tension between a social enterprise’s social mission and commercial goals. 

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Expanding Financial Access and Education

by Isobel Coleman
A man dressed in traditional attire speaks on a cell phone in Ludzidzini, Swaziland, August 2010 (Courtesy Reuters/Siphiwe Sibeko). A man dressed in traditional attire speaks on a cell phone in Ludzidzini, Swaziland, August 2010 (Courtesy Reuters/Siphiwe Sibeko).

For several decades, the exciting promise of microfinance has been to provide the world’s poorest with access to financial services. But along the way, microfinance has too often become conflated with micro-credit. This is not surprising, given that most of the first microfinance institutions (MFIs) were non-profit organizations that took grants from donors and recycled them as loans. Now, however, many MFIs have reincorporated as banks with the ability to accept savings, and the full promise of microfinance is beginning to be realized. Read more »

International Development in 2014

by Isobel Coleman
Relatives mourn as they show pictures of garment workers lost in the Rana Plaza building collapse, Savar, Bangladesh, April 28, 2013 (Courtesy Reuters/Andrew Biraj). Relatives mourn as they show pictures of garment workers lost in the Rana Plaza building collapse, Savar, Bangladesh, April 28, 2013 (Courtesy Reuters/Andrew Biraj).

Looking back at 2013, several developments stand out for their significant potential to better the lives of the world’s poorest. Here are three that will likely reverberate for years to come:

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Banking on Growth

by Gayle Tzemach Lemmon
A seller sits near a stand of bananas in Lima, Peru, June 2010 (Courtesy Reuters/Mariana Bazo). A seller sits near a stand of bananas in Lima, Peru, June 2010 (Courtesy Reuters/Mariana Bazo).

I recently wrote a memo titled “Banking on Growth: U.S. Support for Small and Medium Sized Enterprises in Least-Developed Countries,” which argues that it is in the United States’ interest to invest in small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the world’s toughest and poorest economies. Investing in such businesses has diplomatic and financial dividends: it would spur economic development, accelerate progress towards international health and education development goals, and boost stability in fragile economies — all of which furthers U.S. foreign policy goals.

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POSCO vs. The People?

by Terra Lawson-Remer
A farmer collects betel leaves near POSCO India's Odisha Project site in the eastern Indian state of Odisha, February 2013 (Courtesy Reuters). A farmer collects betel leaves near POSCO India's Odisha Project site in the eastern Indian state of Odisha, February 2013 (Courtesy Reuters).

Last week, a United Nations expert panel issued a harsh report expressing concern over the construction of a $12 billion steel project in Odisha, India, financed by the South Korean steel conglomerate POSCO. The project reportedly threatens to forcibly displace over 22,000 people and disrupt the livelihoods of many thousands more. Read more »

What’s Next for Global Development?

by Terra Lawson-Remer
A UN worker rests after checking the temporary General Assembly Hall at the UN headquarters in New York, September 22, 2013 (Courtesy Reuters/Eduardo Munoz). A UN worker rests after checking the temporary General Assembly Hall at the UN headquarters in New York, September 22, 2013 (Courtesy Reuters/Eduardo Munoz).

This week, the United Nations convenes its sixty-eight General Assembly session, bringing together heads of state and other high officials from all 193 members of the UN. Although many pressing global challenges crowd the agenda of world leaders, the major theme of this year’s session is the global development agenda after 2015, when the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which have guided global development policy since 2000, expire. In several earlier blog posts, I discussed issues that should be considered in crafting the new development agenda. Now the international community must come together to determine what comes next.

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