Archive for the ‘International Development’ Category

On June 1 – 2 2011 in New York City, the Global Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria (GBC) will celebrate 10 years since being founded by the late Ambassador Richard Holbrook.

The GBC’s 2011 Conference and Awards Dinner looks set to be an engaging event focused on the corporate world’s response to global health challenges and the identification of new avenues for future business action.

The speaker line-up is likely to inspire and provoke substantive debate, with a fantastic selection of global thought leaders, inspirational business executives, and influential government officials.

The engagement of the private sector in global health challenges is an imperative and this conference is a valuable contribution bridging together diverse stakeholders in global health to explore the avenues for future business action and engagement.

With over 500 participants from the private sector, non-profit sector, governments, and academia, for anyone working in the field of global health this is without a doubt an event to put in your calendar this year. For more information, and to register for the conference, follow this link: GBC Conference and Awards Dinner 2011

Read Full Post »

A Practical Roadmap for Next Generation BOP

I just finished reading Next Generation Business Strategies for the Base of the Pyramid, a new book by co-editors Ted London and Stuart L. Hart. The book sets out to lay the foundations for the second generation of bottom of the pyramid (BOP) innovation,”BOP 2.0″ if you will, fundamentally shifting the framework from finding the fortune at the BOP to creating fortune with the BOP.

Lying at the heart of this crucial and innovative concept of creating fortune with the BOP is market creation, rather than market entry in and of itself. Recognizing that the world’s poor are not just four billion consumers, but also a source of entrepreneurial talent, this book sets out to redefine the boundaries of BOP business strategies with cross-sector partnerships between multi-lateral donors, development organizations, and the poor themselves, to create new markets at the BOP and tap into these markets collaboratively. A multitude of incentive structures secure the value of this new concept, one that paves the way not only for potential corporate profits in a new market, but also the the development community’s goal of poverty alleviation.

This cross-sectoral approach, and the potential of these partnerships, makes this book not just insightful reading on BOP strategies for businesses and entrepreneurs, but also for those leading and designing innovative programs in international development, recognizing that we still have a long way to go in alleviating poverty and that such inclusive growth strategies and cross-sector solutions might bring us closer towards this goal.

The insight from this new book provides a wide-reaching re-framing of the challenges and opportunities at the BOP. The highlight in reading the book however is that it’s chock-full of practical insight from both stories of success and failure of new business ventures at the BOP, with the co-editors and co-authors weaving together expertise in corporate venture development with deep practitioner experience at the BOP.

To find more information about the book and buy a copy, visit www.nextgenerationbop.com

Read Full Post »

Hanoi, Vietnam: I recently met Trang Nguyen, a 22 year old, born around the time economic reform began here in 1986. After telling her that I had visited and worked with the orphanage where she was brought up, she shared her story and her hopes for the future with me:

Trang was born into a poor rural family in Central Vietnam. At the age of six, she was placed in an orphanage in nearby Danang. The orphanage put her through school, and when her time came to enter the workforce, a partnering international NGO, spearheaded by an Australian, sponsored her to undertake hospitality training in Ha Noi. Now at 22, she has been working at one of Ha Noi’s newest five star hotels for the past year and a half. She makes enough money to send some home to her family who were too poor to raise her. Her mentors over the years have been humanitarian businessmen and she hopes to step in their footsteps. One day, she hopes to have enough money to be able not only to support herself and her family, but give back to the orphanage that raised her and that continues to provide hope for children in central Vietnam.

Subtly woven into her life story are the opportunities that a globalized development network can create, from the orphanage and the hospitality training school, to her career in the hospitality industry in one of the world’s top hotel chains, in Hanoi, catering to an increasing number of foreign businessmen and tourists entering Vietnam. These opportunities would have been unthinkable in the early ‘80s in Vietnam, and I believe they speak to the value of partnerships/cross-sector partnerships, where development is working.

Read Full Post »

Net Impact: The New Appeal of Metrics and Evaluation
By Kelly McCarth
Published: www.nextbillion.net, November 18, 2008 

“There was a lot of buzz about “impact” last weekend at the  Net Impact Conference. However, this year it wasn’t just talk about creating impact, but most importantly how we consider, measure and prove it.  Perhaps the word was being used too liberally lately thus loosing a bit of its meaning.  

However, as I listened to many organizations whose work intends to generate positive environmental and social impact, it became apparent that a shift is occurring.  Rather than talking simply about impact in anecdotes and what was better than before, foundations, funds, design-for-impact, not-for-profit (and not-for-loss) organizations alike were talking about a “social capital market,as. Jason Saul, CEO of Mission Measurement, summed it up during one of the panels. 

Following are some of the thoughts that came to mind from the perspective of metrics and evaluation while attending some of the sessions at the conference.

In a session titled Hype vs. Reality, panelists dug into the nitty-gritty of how we measure, monitor, and evaluate our work.  “Everyone does knowledge management and monitoring and evaluation poorly,” said Elizabeth Nitze, VP of Ashoka.  “After so much time we in the enterprise development sector are looking around wondering, what the heck happened?  What are the best-practices?  There are none.” There was a unanimous nod of heads from fellow panelists and audience members around the room.  However, in a sector that believes in the positive potential impacts of social entrepreneurs, there is light at the end of the tunnel.  

Indeed, the conversation turned optimistic as panelists Brian Milder (from Root Captial) and Elizabeth Wallace Elders (from globalislocal) joined Nitze in a discussion about the mash-up of innovative minds at Google.orgSalesforce, and Acumen Fund leading the effort to develop what is currently being called the Portfolio Data Management System (PDMS).  Officially announced at theClinton Global Initiative, the PDMS is a web-based tool designed to track, share, and compare portfolio performance data with the ultimate intention of helping the enterprise development community better manage, communicate, and maximize our collective impact.

This is all well and good, but does it pass the “so what” test?  And will other efforts similar to the PDMS actually help improve how we talk about and demonstrate impact?” Read more here.


Read Full Post »

This year Blog Action Day is all about one issue – poverty

I want to focus on the ideas and work of one man I recently got to know, Fred Swaniker. Fred is a man with big ideas. His big ideas have led to the creation of numerous innovative educational programs and are changing the lives of many young people around the world.

A serial education entrepreneur from Africa, his most recent venture is the establishment of a sixth-form college (junior and senior year of high school) for promising students from across Africa. Last month, he opened the doors to the first class at the African Leadership Academy in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Fred and the school’s founders are building the foundations for the next generation of African leadership to meet the diverse challenges facing countries across the continent. In fact, he wants to train 6,000 young leaders over the next 50 years across all segments of society who will create change across Africa.

The young leaders that the school has accepted are incredible individuals. Meet one of the first students at ALA, William Kamkwamba from Malawi in this short clip:



Africa faces enormous challenges to development and poverty remains firmly entrenched in some countries. But the future of Africa is being changed everyday by inspiring and driven individuals like Fred Swaniker and the young leaders that Fred and the African Leadership Academy (ALA) are investing in. These individuals are making poverty history every day.


Read Full Post »

We were excited to get an email recently from one of our readers, who alerted us to a great initiative of the Center for Global Development’s Global Development Matters

The organization recently released an interesting documentary series entitled “A Dollar a Day”. Each documentary in the series tells the story of poor individuals struggling with a different aspect of global poverty. Many individuals and groups are complementing Blog Action Day by hosting a film screening on October 15th! Do check out their website, Global Development Matters: Host a Screening. Here are some more details we received and reasons to host a screening:

“The world is more interconnected and interdependent than ever.  Things that happen in other countries affect us here; and things we do in the U.S. affect people in other countries, particularly where the majority of the population is living in poverty. Understanding the connection between global development and U.S. political choices is now more relevant than ever as we make decisions on the eve of the 2008 U.S. presidential election.  Start a conversation about global development in your community and help spark a national dialogue.

It’s easy to host a screening, just visit http://www.globaldevelopmentmatters.org and choose the film whose issues speak to you and your community. Then you can register your screening, download discussion guides and invitations.”


Read Full Post »

Beyond Good Intentions will be participating in this year’s Blog Action Day on October 15th! We are excited to be joining in the online conversation on poverty with over 7,842 currently registered blogs and a total audience in excess of 9,596,996 readers! So do make sure to check our blog this coming Wednesday and if you have your own blog, register with Blog Action Day online at www.blogactionday.org

Read Full Post »

From the TEDBlog:

For four weeks at IDDS, some 50 students from more than 20 countries designed and built new tools that could improve quality of life in some of the world’s poorest communities. Among the projects:

* A device for decreasing the transmission rate of HIV/AIDS from mothers to their babies
* A charcoal-crushing machine to help make charcoal briquettes from carbonized corn cobs
* A rope-way system to help craftswomen in the Himalayas get their products to market
* An incubator for low-birth-weight babies …

Listen to a radio news story about IDDS 2008 on WBUR radio’s program Here & Now >> 
Watch a video report on IDDS 2008 from MIT’s News office >> 
Follow IDDS 2008 on its day-by-day blog >>

Read Full Post »


 Since August 2007, I have been working outside of Quito, Ecuador with a small  NGO  called Manna Project International (MPI).  MPI grew out of the dream of  some Vanderbilt students in 2004 as a sort of Peace Corps alternative – rather  than  two years of working solo in a strange land, MPI volunteers serve for one  year in  groups of seven to ten, at one of MPI’s two international sites. 

 I started my MPI career early, inspired and humbled by a trip that MPI’s founder  Luke Putnam and I took to Lima, Peru. Shortly after our group’s week playing  and  working with street children at an orphanage there, Luke had decided to  start MPI  in Managua, Nicaragua. He asked me to help set up MPI’s first  campus chapter at  Vanderbilt. 

 Four years later, we launched MPI’s first international expansion to Quito,  Ecuador.  Our starting group of yearlong volunteers (which we call Program  Directors, or PDs) came from five states and four different universities, and have been trying – with mixed success – to apply the scattered and bookish knowledge of community and international development we learned about in college. MPI is commited to holistic development, picking a single geographic location rather than a programmatic theme as its focus. (more…)

Read Full Post »

The Pioneers of Prosperity Program searches for entrepreneurs operating sustainable, for-profit businesses to highlight them as role models for development and change within the world’s poorest countries. The documentary film “Unlocking Africa” features the 2007 business winners that were selected as role models from five countries in East Africa—Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda. Check out the trailer below and head to their website here to watch the full-length film.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »