by: Brian Dusza, Shelley Spencer and Grace Retnowati on May 19, 2013
Cash is the primary currency of trade for the 80,000 farmers harvesting cocoa in Indonesia’s rural districts of Luwu and Poelwali Mandar on the Island of Sulawesi. Farmers use cash to purchase their inputs, sell their harvest and pay their living and farm expenses. While transactions that follow the purchase from the farmer are performed through established channels in the banking systems, only a small percentage of cocoa farmers in this section of Indonesia have a bank account or any formal credit. Mobile technology, however, can change the farmers’ current reality and usher in a new era of financial inclusion. Findings from a recent market research study, commissioned by USAID’s mobile money program in Indonesia, e-MITRA, and performed by MicroSave, reveal that cocoa famers are receptive to this change.
by: Paige Dearing on Apr 30, 2013
Tomorrow marks the first day of the Business4Better Conference, and we couldn’t be more excited!
The Business4Better Conference is the only corporate social responsibility event for mid-sized companies, attracting hundreds of participants to Anaheim, California to discover ways to enhance their community engagement efforts.
According to a Business4Better survey of 173 business professionals from mid-size companies (100-5000 employees), only 12 percent recognize the potential CSR has for impacting the bottom line. It was also found that only 33 percent of mid-size companies have established CSR programs.
If mid-size companies fully embrace corporate social responsibility, the impact could be huge. According to UBM’s Chief Marketing Officer Scott Vaughan, the middle market would rank as the fourth largest economy in the world if it was considered as its own country.
by: Paige Dearing on Apr 29, 2013
The GSMA mWomen Programme aims to accelerate the use of mobile technology to achieve positive social and economic outcomes for resource-poor women, encouraging an industry shift towards investing in women and promoting solutions—as well as the availability—of life-enhancing value-added services for women.
The GSMA mWomen Innovation Fund grants for Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) are now available.
by: Gisli Olafsson, NetHope Emergency Response Director on Apr 2, 2013
For the past year, we have been advocating for bringing the concepts of open data into the humanitarian space. We have written a number of blog posts, we have spoken at conferences, and we have traveled the world and met with humanitarian organizations, academic organizations, private sector companies, governments, digital volunteer groups and donors.
Wherever we go everyone is very supportive of the concepts we are presenting. Everyone agrees that there is a need for a significant improvement in the way we share information during humanitarian response.
During this time we have identified the need to focus on all three aspects of this big issue, the political/policy side, the technical side, and the capacity side. We have also identified the key road blocks in each area and we have come up with proposals on how to address them in a step by step manner over the coming years.
It is now time to formalize this significant public-private partnership effort.
by: Paige Dearing on Mar 29, 2013
Across the world today, USAID implementing partners spend millions of dollars in cash payments every year. These payments may include disbursements of salaries, payments to vendors and payments to participants of programs — such as cash-for-work programs, emergency relief payments and others.
In 2012, USAID announced its commitment to actively encourage the evaluation and use of electronic payments (e-payments) in development programs, including its own, as a member of The Better than Cash Alliance. USAID also has made the use of e-payments a priority in the Agency’s Implementation and Procurement Reform.
In fulfillment of these commitments, USAID actively is encouraging its development partners, contractors, subcontractors, grantees, sub-grantees and private sector alliance partners to consider incorporating e-payment systems into program design and implementation where feasible. Many USAID Missions have begun to request that procurement proposals include a suitability analysis on the use of e-payments for the funded program.
by: Soma Ghoshal, Global Program Manager, Healthcare on Mar 29, 2013
by: GSMA mWomen Global Development Alliance on Mar 14, 2013
by: Gisli Olafsson, NetHope Emergency Response Director on Mar 12, 2013
Every year, thousands of disasters – small and large – occur around the world. One of the first things that goes through our minds when this happens is “I hope everything is all right with my family and friends who live in the affected area!” The next question that runs through our minds is “What can I do to help those affected?” These are the two questions that HelpBridge, a solution developed by Microsoft, was built to help answer.
by: Ruth Goodwin-Groen, Managing Director, The Better Than Cash Alliance on Feb 7, 2013
The Better Than Cash Alliance has achieved some exciting milestones in the last month: a highly successful roundtable event at the World Economic Forum in Davos, a new committing government, a new cashless procurement system adopted in the Philippines, and a new law passed in Peru allowing residents to make electronic payments via mobile phones.
by: William A. Brindley on Feb 4, 2013
Like businesses, nonprofits must discover how to be successful in the wake of new disruptive forces.
In the last five years, social media has put a spin on fundraising, big data has made donors keener on evidence-based ROI, and collective impact is becoming an even more established pillar of humanitarian work.
If we look out to the far horizon, how does the nonprofit world look? What new forces have influenced the nonprofits of 2043? Has the role of implementer and beneficiary shifted, or even flipped? I think by considering the following three trends, we can begin to forecast of how future humanitarian work will change in the next thirty years: