INFOGRAPHIC: How Green is the Internet?

By Tania Beard, Libby Bova, and Gill Cassar

In recent years, the media has buzzed with stories applauding the Internet as a driver of economic growth, efficiency, and social change. Dalberg’s own report, The Impact of the Internet in Africa, added to the buzz with its examination of Internet-created opportunities in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, and Senegal.

Less discussed, and perhaps more equivocal, is the impact of the Internet on the environment. We examined this relationship and found that there are dark and bright sides to the Internet’s impact on the environment: the Internet contributes significantly to environmental degradation, yet also drives innovations that reduce humans’ carbon footprints.

Our research, presented in the infographic below, offers answers to the question, “How Green is the Internet?”:

Infographic: How Green is the Internet?

For more information on Internet-enabled innovations that can reduce your carbon footprint, click here.

To read more about how the Internet is enabling economic growth and social inclusion in other sectors, click here.

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List of September Events around the UN General Assembly (UNGA), Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Annual Meeting, and Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE) Annual Conference

By Dean Segell

New York City is set to host a collection of development events this September. With the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) annual meeting, and the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE) annual conference all taking place, it’s a unique opportunity for joint thinking and coordination.

We’ve put together the below database of side events to the UNGA, CGI annual meeting, and ANDE annual conference as a resource to help the global development community get together, collaborate, and plan during these key weeks.

Our list is by no means comprehensive, so we encourage you to suggest additional events in the comments section and we will add them to our database.

Side Events Around CGI, UNGA, and the ANDE Annual Conference

Overview   Details
Event name Organizer Description Date & Time Type
HABITAT III: The Role of Design – A Path to Sustainable Urbanization Consortium for Sustainable Urbanization, American Institute of Architects, UN-Habitat Event will focus on the role of design at HABITAT III Fri 12 Sep 18:00-20:00 RSVP (free)
Investing in Impact-Driven Leadership with Jacqueline Novogratz NY+Acumen Event to discuss the importance of leadership and building a cohort of impact-driven leaders Mon 15 Sep 17:30-20:30 RSVP ($75)
Thinking Inside Out – How Cities Contribute to Solving Global Problems The New School, Observatory on Latin America, Penn Institute for Urban Research, UN-Habitat Side event to the United Nations’ Preparatory Committee Meeting on Habitat III Tue 16 Sep 14:00-17:00
New York Launch of the New Climate Economy at the United Nations UN, The New Climate Economy Launch of Better Growth, Better Climate: The New Climate Economy Report Tue 16 Sep 09:00-10:30 RSVP (free, closed)
Right to the City for All – Building a Global Platform towards Habitat III Habitat International Coalition Event aims to promote cross-sector dialogue to strengthen international coordination and mobilization for the construction of a Global Platform for the Right to the City, to influence the definition of the New Habitat and Urban Agenda in the HABITAT III Conference and the SDGs Tue 16 Sep 15:30-17:30
Inside Energy Summit SolarCity Inside Energy brings together business leaders, thought leaders, and policy leaders for an insider look at the latest trends in energy and sustainability Wed 17 Sep 12:00-18:30 Invite only
Services, Human Rights and Inclusion in an Urbanizing World UNFPA Event will examine service delivery and social protection in the context of rapid urban transitions Wed 17 Sep 08:30-09:30 Invite only
Linking Public Transportation to a New Urban Agenda Institute for Transportation and Development Policy Event will show how to optimize the contribution of mobility policies for the successful delivery of Habitat III’s New Urban Agenda Wed 17 Sep 08:30-09:30 Invite only
Cities that Work for Everyone: Inclusion, participation, and
partnership in the new urban agenda
Huairou Commission Event will facilitate a multi-stakeholder dialogue on the non-negotiables of an urban agenda that works for grassroots women, communities, and local authorities Wed 17 Sep 13:30-14:30 Invite only
Priorities for HABITAT III in the UNECE region UN Economic Commission for Europe – Committee on Housing and Land Management Event will monitor progress on the implementation of the UNECE Strategy on Housing and Land Management in the ECE Region 2014-2020 Wed 17 Sep 13:30-14:30 Invite only
Seizing the opportunity for global partnerships: Exploring outlooks, expectations and opportunities for Habitat III to make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable Cities Alliance Event will discuss four key areas of the Cities Alliance in promoting equity in cities: equitable city growth, responding to informality, promoting good governance and city resilience Wed 17 Sep 18:30-19:30 Invite only
Eliminating Constraints to Urban Land and Property Ownership by Women: A Practical Perspective International Housing Coalition Event presents different approaches to eliminating legal, political, social, and customary barriers to women owning land and property Wed 17 Sep 18:30-19:30 Invite only
2nd Annual International Conference on Sustainable Development Practice Sustainable Development Solutions Network, Global Association of Master’s in Development Practice Programs Event is chance to share and identify practical, evidence-based solutions that can support the SDSN leadership in shaping the post-2015 agenda Wed 17 Sep – Thu 18 Sep 08:00-18:00 RSVP (free, closed)
HABITAT III – First PrepCom Habitat III First session of the Preparatory Committee of the third UN Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development Wed 17 Sep – Thu 18 Sep All day
From MDG to SDG: Towards a New Paradigm at Habitat III Communitas Coalition and the Penn Institute for Urban Research Event will discuss development of an SDG on Cities & Human Settlements Thu 18 Sep 08:30-09:30
Harnessing the Potential of Public Space for Women and the Youth UN-Women Event will discuss how public space can promote gender equality, women and youth empowerment, human rights, inclusiveness, and the elimination of gender-based violence and gender-based stereotypes. Thu 18 Sep 08:30-09:30
Local and regional governments’ contributions to Habitat III: priorities, expectations, and challenges for sustainable cities and territories United Cities and Local Governments Event will provide the opportunity for local authorities to reiterate their commitment to contribute to Habitat III Thu 18 Sep 13:30-14:30
Advancing opportunities for Global Lessons in Creating a Community Resilience
and Urban Livability
Municipal Art Society of New York Event will bring together local practitioners including architects, planners, community business leaders, and activists, to discuss lessons learned from Sandy, and opportunities to share these lessons globally Thu 18 Sep 13:30-14:30
Africa investor CEO Investor Relations Masterclass Africa Investor, FINEO Discussion of Africa’s increased investment attractiveness Fri 19 Sep,
Mon 22 Sep All day
RSVP (no date, investors only, £1,995)
Financing Resilient Cities The Gold Standard Foundation and Climate Action Event will examine how investment can be effectively mobilized to support integrated, and socially responsible, low carbon urban development programs that can be replicated worldwide Sun 21 Sep 18:30-20:30 Invite only
Social Good Summit 2014 Mashable, UN Foundation, 92Y, UNDP, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Conference examining the impact of technology and new media on social good initiatives around the world Sun 21 Sep – Mon 22 Sep All day RSVP (tickets, price unknown)
Women Leaders Forum 2014 Global Partnerships Forum, Advanced Development for Africa Foundation Connecting Women’s Health and Girl’s Education for Scalable
and Sustainable Development with a special focus on Youth Education, Health and Entrepreneurship
Mon 22 Sep 09:00-12:55 Invite only
African Heads of State and Government Investment Working Lunch Africa Investor, Global Partnerships Forum Dialogue between business and government leaders on practical investment partnerships that support investment in the African continent and facilitate African regional economic integration Mon 22 Sep 12:00-14:00 RSVP (No date, only for investors)
The Global STEM Alliance International Launch New York Academy of the Sciences, Global Partnerships Forum Empowering the next generation of scientific innovators Mon 22 Sep 15:00-18:00 Invite only
Ai CEO Institutional Investment Summit 2014 Africa Investor, New York Stock Exchange Event will profile leading African capital market opportunities to African and global pension fund investors through high-level panel discussions and interactive one-on-one meetings Mon 22 Sep All day RSVP (free, investors only)
Ai Index Series Awards 2014 Africa Investor, New York Stock Exchange Event will profile African capital market success stories Mon 22 Sep All day RSVP (free, investors only)
Women Leading Solutions on the Frontline of Climate Change Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network Event will provide a platform for strengthening the network of women who are at the forefront of the transition to a just and sustainable future Mon 22 Sep 13:00-15:00 RSVP (free)
Action in Climate Change and Health UN Climate Summit and others Engaging thought leaders at the intersection of climate change and health across multiple sectors Mon 22 Sep 08:00-14:00 Invite only
Climate Week NYC Opening Day Climate Week NYC Discussion of how leadership and innovation can converge to drive carbon emissions down and clean economic growth up Mon 22 Sep 10:00-17:45
City Climate Leadership Awards C40 Cities The C40 & Siemens City Climate Leadership Awards provides global recognition to cities that are demonstrating climate action leadership. Mon 22 Sep
House of Green Opening Event Urban Future Lab, Confederation of Danish Industry Official Opening of the House of Green Exhibition at the Urban Future Lab – New York´s premier center for the cleantech community. Mon 22 Sep 17:00-19:00 Invite only
Leader’s Forum on Women Leading the Way: Raising Ambition for Climate Action UN Women, the Mary Robinson Foundation Event aimed at mobilizing action by governments, business, finance, and civil society in areas that will enable the world to shift towards a low-carbon economy Mon 22 Sep 18:00-22:30 Invite only
OECD and CPI dialogue event: Improving transparency & accountability through improved tracking Climate Policy Initiative, OECD This event aims to help boost transparency and accountability in the tracking of climate-related development finance from public and private sources Mon 22 Sep 17:00-19:00 RSVP (free, 18 Sep)
The Forest and Climate Challenge: Business, Government and Indigenous Leaders call for action Ford Foundation Diverse panel will talk about the actions they are taking to reduce deforestation and associated conflict to the benefit of local communities, the bottom line and the climate Mon 22 Sep 14:30-16:00 Invite only
Sustaining Health: Linking Environment, Nutrition and Health Welcome Trust Event will explore the interface between nutrition, environment and health, and how science and technology can address the challenges we face Mon 22 Sep 14:30-18:00 Invite only
High-Level Expert Workshop: “Food Crops for Agriculture in a Changing Climate: an Expert Communiqué” International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources Workshop to address the challenge of producing more – and more nutritious – food on less land, with less water and less energy, and in an increasingly challenging climate Mon 22 Sep 15:00-18:00
Equator Prize Award Ceremony UNDP Prize is awarded biannually to recognize and advance local sustainable development solutions for people, nature and resilient communities Mon 22 Sep 18:30-22:00 RSVP (free)
World Conference on Indigenous Peoples UN Event for sharing perspectives and best practices on the realization of the rights of indigenous peoples, including pursuing the objectives of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Mon 22 Sep – Tue 24 Sep All day RSVP (closed)
Climate Summit 2014 The New Climate Economy The Secretary-General will host a summit as an integral part of his strategy to engage leaders and advance climate action and ambition Tue 23 Sep All day Invite only
Innovating for Impact: The MDGs and Beyond UKaid, USAID Event to showcase the role of innovation in catalyzing progress towards achieving the MDGs and in shaping the future of global development Tue 23 Sep 14:00-17:00 RSVP (free, 12 Sep)
UN Private Sector Forum 2014 UN Event will focus on carbon pricing, specifically to achieve an equitable and fair valuation of carbon through long-term strategies, investments and policies Tue 23 Sep 11:30-15:15 Invite only
Side Event at Climate Change Summit: “Food Crops for a Changing Climate” International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources Tue 23 Sep 13:15-15.30
Innovative Financing Leading Group, UN Event to discuss innovative financing: a solution to diversify the financial toolbox for sustainable development and climate Wed 24 Sep Afternoon
Business Call to Action Fifth Annual Forum UNDP Forum to bring together chief executives from prominent Business Call to Action member companies and senior representatives from governments, bilateral donors, civil society, and the United Nations Wed 24 Sep All day
Ending Poverty: Why Strong, Accountable Institutions Matter UK Government, Transparency International Event will focus on the importance of accountability and transparency in eradicating poverty and promoting sustainable development Wed 24 Se 11:30-3:00p Invite only
Creative Power: New models for growing clean energy investment The Climate Group, Bloomberg, Swiss RE Event will explore: How are investors, insurers, governments and financiers working to de-risk clean energy projects? Wed 24 Sep Invite only
Building Innovative and Sustainable Index Insurance Markets IRI, World Bank Discussion of “Building Innovative and Sustainable Index Insurance Markets in Developing Countries” Wed 24 Sep 09:00-13:00 RSVP (free)
Fourth High-Level Round Table on the ITPGR International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources Discussion of how to support agricultural innovation for breeding climate-smart seeds; climate change impacts on food crops; and showcase the value of the Treaty’s Benefit-sharing Fund and its projects Wed 24 Sep 11:00-13:00
Curbing illicit financial flows for domestic resource mobilization in the post-2015 era OECD, Australia, and Mexico With the proposed target by the UN OWG to significantly reduce by 2030 illicit financial flows as background, this Side Event aims to identify concrete international actions needed in key areas for achieving this target, such as international tax evasion and avoidance, money laundering, bribery, and asset recovery. Wed 24 Sep 11:00-13:00
Colloquium on Forests and Climate: New Thinking for Transformational Change Center for International Forestry Research Event to promote discussion on future priorities for research in forest and landscape governance and on the valuation of ecosystem services Wed 24 Sep 14:00-15:00 RSVP (free)
Redesigning Development Finance World Economic Forum Discussion of how to harness development, investor, and philanthropic resources in a strategic, deliberate fashion to achieve exponential social impact through sustainable, investable, scalable enterprises and projects. Wed 24 Sep 15:00-17:30 Invite only
World Summit on Indigenous
Philanthropy
International Funders for Indigenous Peoples Event aims to establish the best, most efficient ways to practice indigenous philanthropy, whereby indigenous peoples are our equal partners and not passive receivers Wed 24 Sep – Fri 26 Sep All day RSVP (free if  eligible)
High-level panel debate, “Health Care and Violence: The Need for Effective Protection” International Committee of the Red Cross Event for discussion of health care and violence Thu 25 Sep 9:00-10:30 Invite only
Corporations Leading Climate Resilience Around the World ND-GAIN Event for learning about global adaptation innovation and best practice Thu 25 Sep 17:00-18:30 RSVP (free, Sep 24)
Indoor Air Pollution UN Forum to mobilize partnership and increase awareness of the impact of indoor air pollution among women and low income households in Africa Thu 25 Sep 09:00-17:00 Free
Innovative Strategies for Living with Climate Change The Rockefeller Foundation, BBC Media Action A discussion of creative, context-sensitive solutions for coping with changing weather across Africa and Asia Thu 25 Sep 10:00-12:00 Invite only
CGIAR Development Dialogues CGIAR Discussion of the role that crop and animal agriculture, forestry and fisheries will play in achieving sustainable development and shaping the post-2015 agenda Thu 25 Sep 10:00-18:30 Invite only
Business Forum on Ocean Policy & Planning World Ocean Council Forum to catalyze informed, coordinated and proactive Ocean Business Community engagement in the ocean policy and planning efforts which will significantly impact future ocean economic activity Mon 29 Sep – Tue 30 Sep All day RSVP (Sep 28, $610)
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Dalberg Announces New Leadership

Dear friends,

We are pleased to share several announcements about Dalberg’s evolution and growth.

Over the last week, the entire Dalberg family gathered outside Cape Town in South Africa for a global retreat. For the over 200 team members who made the trip, our retreat was an opportunity to reflect on how far we have come in the 13 years since our founder, Henrik Skovby, led Dalberg’s first client engagement in New York. The gathering was also a chance for us to chart a bold direction for the future as we enter a new phase of our evolution. As we looked out across the faces of our firm, we saw that Dalberg today is a truly global community. With over 70 nationalities represented, our staff collectively speak over 50 languages and work across our 13 offices located in 10 countries on 4 continents.

A platform of mission-driven businesses

The Dalberg family that gathered in Cape Town included Dalberg Global Development Advisors, our strategy consulting business; D. Capital Partners, which mobilizes and deploys investment capital for positive social impact; and Dalberg Research, which provides intelligence and analytics in emerging and frontier markets. Also present were members of the Global Development Incubator, which Dalberg founded then spun off as an independent non-profit organization to launch and support innovative social ventures. With three businesses in the Dalberg Group structure, and an independent non-profit incubator operating separately, we saw clearly that Dalberg now brings a truly unique offering to the global marketplace. Dalberg flexibly provides clients with research, strategy, investment, and incubation services that are tailored to their needs, preferences, and priorities.

New leadership

Yana Kakar and James Mwangi

Yana Kakar and James Mwangi

This exciting growth and evolution presents us with an imperative. We recognize that such a significant and innovative enterprise will require careful stewardship and coordination. First, the core consulting firm of Dalberg Global Development Advisors will need continued strong and dedicated leadership to not only sustain our growth, but to accelerate and deepen our impact. Similarly, the other entities of the Dalberg Group will need a more deliberate structure to support their growth and integrate their contributions seamlessly into the broader vision of Dalberg as a platform for positive social change. To accomplish these complementary objectives, the partnership elected Yana to take the helm as Global Managing Partner of Dalberg Global Development Advisors, bringing new energy and vision to our strategy consulting business. James will now serve as Executive Director of the Dalberg Group, applying his experience to create a unique ecosystem of enterprises. Both of us will also continue to serve clients and engage as full partners within Dalberg Global Development Advisors, continuing the tradition of all of Dalberg’s leaders remaining active practitioners within their chosen discipline.

Continued collaboration for a more inclusive and sustainable world

Last week’s retreat left all of us at Dalberg – and the two of us in particular – tremendously energized and excited about this next phase of Dalberg’s journey. As we assume our respective new roles, we rededicate ourselves to Dalberg’s mission and to its people. We have a remarkable community of young global thinkers and innovators at Dalberg whom we are proud to lead. We invite each and every one of you to reach out to us, and we look forward to continuing our journey with you as we work together towards a more inclusive and sustainable world.

Yana and James signatures

 

 

Yana Watson Kakar            James Mwangi

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Metrics 3.0: A New Vision for Shared Metrics

A new series on the Skoll World Forum looks at how to integrate impact, financial, and operational metrics, and to shift towards evaluations that are targeted, actionable, and broadly useful to serve collective learning.

The development community has made great strides in standardizing the measurement of organizations’ impact and holding organizations accountable to their data.

But what is the next level of metrics?

How can actors from NGOs to foundations push for impact metrics that can inform both day-to-day decision making and long-term strategic planning?

Dalberg’s CJ Fonzi explored these issues with Mike McCreless of Root Capital, Genevieve Edens of ANDE, and Saurabh Lall of ANDE in a recent Stanford Social Innovation review piece titled “Metrics 3.0: A New Vision for Shared Metrics.”

The authors argue that within the next three years, the social sector should work towards “metrics 3.0,” a system that goes beyond accountability and standardization to focus on value creation. Within this system, impact metrics will drive business value and impact at the organizational level.

To expand on Dalberg, Root Capital, and ANDE’s “metrics 3.0” thinking, a recent Skoll World Forum series offered responses from leading thinkers across the social sector, including McCreless, Darin Kingston of D.Light, Tom Adams of Acumen, and David Bonbright of Keystone.

They explore topics from the utility of feedback data to why metrics must lead to action, and how to  pool effort and technical capacity to design collaborative research.

You can check out the full series here.

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D. Talk – Addressing ‘Unfinished Business’ with the Sustainable Development Goals

By Monica Dey

The MDGs will expire in 2015. Photo credit: the United Nations Information Center

In 2000, leaders from around the world came to an agreement on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) – eight ambitious goals, from halving extreme poverty to stopping the spread of HIV/AIDS by 2015. Since then, the MDGs have spurred cross-disciplinary debate and prompted significant action from the global development community. As 2015 – the MDGs’ expiration date – approaches, everyone from Bono to Bill Gates has weighed in on the goals’ success and provided input on what the next development agenda should include.

In 2012, international leaders convened an Open Working Group at the Rio+20 Conference to start creating a new set of goals, which will be integrated into the United Nations’ overall agenda and slated for achievement by 2030. So far, the Open Working Group has published a “zero draft” of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that would replace the Millennium Development Goals in September 2015.

Dalberg recently hosted former Dalberg Partner Daniella Ballou-Aares, who is now Senior Advisor for Development to the U.S. Secretary of State, for a D. Talk. Speaking to an audience in Dalberg’s Washington, D.C., office, Ballou-Aares offered insight into why the SDGs are being created, who’s involved, and what we can expect between now and September 2015. Below we give some context on the MDGs and SDGs, along with Ballou-Aares’ perspective on the transition.

First of all, why are the Sustainable Development Goals being created?

Global development experts from around the world have offered differing opinions on whether we have made significant progress towards the MDGs. While some are hesitant to attribute the world’s progress to the establishment of these eight goals, others believe that the goals have been a resounding success, we have already met the target of reducing extreme poverty rate by half, for example. Our Dalberg analysis in Devex found the MDGs were associated with significant upticks in progress in some areas.  Regardless of differing opinions on causality, most agree that the world has made true progress in addressing poverty since 2000.

Daniella speaking on the role of the private sector in shaping and achieving the post-2015 global development agenda. Photo credit: CSIS

Daniella Ballou-Aares speaking on the role of the private sector in the post-2015 global development agenda. Photo credit: CSIS

Some advancements are very promising – the economic growth rate in Africa now outpaces other continents – but, as Ballou-Aares noted, the work is not complete. “1.2 billion people still remain in extreme poverty,” said Ballou-Aares. “We have a lot of unfinished business with the Millennium Development Goals.”

The SDGs aim to address this “unfinished business.” Development leaders have reframed the SDGs’ central purpose around pursuit of the “triple bottom line”: social inclusion, economic development, and environmental sustainability. Leaders are taking a deeper look at how issues of extreme poverty, climate change, human rights, and socioeconomic inequality are intertwined— and the SDGs aim to tackle them in a holistic manner.

Who decides what to include in the SDGs?

The SDGs are optimistic and hopeful in nature, so shouldn’t it be easy for world leaders to agree on them? In fact, Ballou-Aares remarked that arriving at a consensus might not be as easy as outside observers might think. The 30-member Open Working Group has convened numerous sessions, each highlighting a different area of development, to come to consensus. Members of this group hail from nations around the world. While this makeup incorporates an important diversity of views on global development issues, it also inspires heated debate and thorough discussion.

The United Nations has made an effort to include opinions from citizens in every country through the My World Survey. In this survey, participants choose six issues – including education, gender equality, Internet access, and better healthcare – that are the most important to them. So far, participants from around the world have cast over three million votes. What’s most striking is the survey’s number of youth respondents: approximately 74% of survey respondents are under the age of 30. Ballou-Aares remarked that the United Nations knows that youth will be a huge force for change in the coming years – and the My World survey allows their voices to contribute to the global development agenda.

So, what comes next?

By the end of 2014, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon’s high-level panel will prepare a synthesis report that incorporates opinions from many voices to create a unified vision for the next fifteen years of global development.

While the development community is excited to incorporate many voices into the next set of goals, Ballou-Aares noted that setting the agenda is just the beginning. “Yes, it is difficult coming to an agreement,” she commented, “but what’s even more difficult is creating real change.”

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The Companies Act Has Promise, But Will India Inc. Cash In?

By Gaurav Gupta
This post was originally published on NextBillion

There is much excitement here in India around the potential of the year-old CSR component of the 2013 Companies Act to deliver on social impact.

It’s the world’s first nationally-mandated CSR law and stipulates that 2 percent of corporations’ profits must be spent on CSR. However, the surge in CSR spending stemming from the new law will only be successful if execution looks markedly different from how CSR and philanthropic money has been spent in the past.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi called for increased CSR on sanitation in a recent Independence Day address

Prime Minister Narendra Modi called for increased CSR spending on sanitation in a recent address. Photo: Global Panorama, Flickr

Two percent of profits is a sizeable number for any major business. For some of the larger corporations it represents over 100 crore (over $16,000,000 USD) of annual expenditure, and approximately 15,000 crore ($2.4 billion USD) for the economy as a whole, annually.

To put that in context, 15,000 crore is enough to provide clean solar lighting to all the 400 million people currently dependent on unsafe kerosene lanterns or candles, according to calculations from the work we’ve done in the sector. These funds can send 40 million children back to primary school, and keep them there for an entire year, based on Dalberg analysis. Hence, it is imperative that such funds are used wisely.

Sub-scale, Unsustainable, or Both

Most traditional CSR spending has suffered from either being sub-scale, or unsustainable, or both. Some of India’s largest corporations have compliance-based CSR programs that provide an unending drip of funding year-on-year, with no clear sense of what change that is really achieving on the ground. Consequently, instead of creating both social and economic value, many have simply created a culture of dependency between the community, the partner NGO, and the company.

With the new act in play, there will be increased management scrutiny especially given the level of financial outlay. The added accountability itself means that companies need to think about what they are getting from their investment. This is where the opportunity lies. Every company has a set of social issues, conspicuous or not, which play a strong role in its profitability and financial health. A successful CSR strategy can help address these. We see three core principles for the creation of an effective CSR approach.

Successful CSR Should:

About 8,000 Indian companies will fall under the new CSR law.

  • Focus on the company’s core competency
  • Promote the company’s broader strategic objectives
  • Connect CSR activities with the team’s passion

Core Competency

Most social initiatives, government led or not, suffer due to weak implementation. There are massive funds, at both the state and national level, to tackle nearly every major social challenge. Yet hundreds to thousands of crores lie unspent for want of execution capacity.

A recent study by the National Institute of Public Finance and Policy revealed implementation gaps in the central government’s flagship social development schemes. In 2012, the unspent balance across these schemes was 24,519 crore (over $4 billion USD). Corporations have strong execution capacity, which is why it is critical that CSR activities be designed according to the core skill sets that a company can bring to bear.

In many cases these skills not only relate to the end product, but also are embedded within the processes of the company. For example, many food and beverage manufacturers are in reality highly efficient logistics and marketing companies. They can tap into existing knowledge and resources to help deliver medicines at minimal costs in hard-to-reach areas or create health awareness campaigns.

Similarly, Ashok Leyland, a truck manufacturing company, runs AIDS awareness and prevention programs in its factories in Hosur (Karnataka), for about 350,000 commercial vehicle drivers. The initiative stems from the company’s access to a high-risk group, existing training facilities, and its long-term stake in the health choices of the driver community. There remains significant opportunity for corporate India to leverage actual execution strengths in its approach to CSR.

Promote the Broader Objectives of the Company

Similarly, it is critical that corporations link CSR tightly to broader strategic aims. Social initiatives often change based on the personal passions of senior management or short-term pressures. Prioritizing issues to target on an abstract sense of need is the wrong place to start—need is everywhere. This limits social and business value creation.

A Starbucks - Carcafe C.A.F.E. Certified Sustainable Farm. Photo: William Murry, Flickr

A Starbucks – Carcafe C.A.F.E. Certified Sustainable Farm. Photo: William Murry, Flickr

Aligning CSR initiatives with broader strategic business objectives maintains long-term focus and effort. Starbucks, in its bid to both secure its supply chain and enhance its brand, launched the C.A.F.E. Movement. This initiative helped coffee farmers become more productive, self-sustaining, and improve skills. Several large-scale NGOs are now partnering with Starbucks to continue expanding this initiative. It’s a clear win-win for the business and farmers.

Novartis’ Arogya Parivar initiative in India, has similarly driven value by combining health education and low-cost sales force models to provide medicine to previously untapped markets. While it began as a social initiative, its success can help position the company to more profitably serve a large market at the base of the pyramid.

Tap Into Employee Passion

Beyond strong execution and a link to strategy, a connection with employee passion is a must. Palpable evidence of change—in even the most well designed and brilliantly executed initiatives—becomes visible only over an extended period of time. Shared passion can help sustain effort and provide an important emotional connection with employees. Many companies have been able to use the internal and external goodwill driven from social initiatives as a way of achieving either cultural change or winning the war for talent.

A 2013 global survey found that Indian employees place a premium on corporate social responsibility, and 51 percent of the employees surveyed believe that is important for them that their employers act responsibly towards the society. Both the Tata and the Mahindra groups continue to enjoy a significant premium in the marketplace with their reputation for ethically minded senior management and for being frontrunners among businesses that contribute to the social fabric of India.

The above are simple principles, yet these are often lost when companies have to either be reactive or respond to an influx of proposals from well-intentioned civil sector organizations. Doling out cash is the easier way out. To create tangible impact requires that company managers think of implementing CSR initiatives like they would think about a new line of business. This means starting with strong leadership alignment and commitment. It is time to move beyond compliance and use CSR to more effectively drive business and social value.

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How to Grow the Social Lending Sector and Help Smallholder Farmers

By Rasesh Mohan and Laura Goldman

Smallholder farmers’ lack of access to finance inhibits economic growth and slows poverty alleviation efforts around the world. Globally, smallholder demand for finance is estimated at $300 billion, excluding China, and most of that demand is unmet. Social lenders play an important role in addressing this financing gap. Social lenders are impact investors that provide financing to small and growing agricultural businesses, including producer groups and private enterprises, in low- and middle-income countries.

ISFbriefIn April 2014, seven leading social lenders – Alterfin, Oikocredit, Rabobank’s Rural Fund, responsAbility Investments AG, Root Capital, Shared Interest, and Triodos Sustainable Trade Fund – launched the Council on Smallholder Agricultural Finance (CSAF), an industry alliance that will “convene regularly to exchange learning, identify best practices, and develop industry standards.” Recently, Dalberg worked with the Initiative for Smallholder Finance to publish a guide for investors and funders looking to improve smallholder access to finance by supporting social lenders. The guide points to an important element of smallholder finance that needs more attention: pipeline building.

What is pipeline building?

Pipeline building is the process social lenders use to reach clients that are new to the sector, thereby growing the lenders’ collective reach. To do this, lenders need to first identify new potential clients, often through their local networks, and then assess whether they are credit-worthy and mission-aligned, through document review, analysis and site visits.

In core social lender markets – the coffee market in many Latin American countries, for example – these new clients are typically earlier stage agricultural businesses with limited financial track records. Social lenders report that it is often unprofitable to lend to these early-stage businesses, as it can take three to five years for revenue from these clients to cover their loans’ operating costs.

In non-core social lender markets – new geographic and commodity markets for the sector – new clients may be larger and more mature businesses. Thus, although pipeline building always involves reaching new clients, these new clients could be small, or relatively large, depending on the market they are in.

Why is pipeline building important for the social lender sector?

By reaching new borrowers in core markets, non-core geographies, and non-core commodities, pipeline building promotes growth and diversification in social lenders’ portfolios. Such diversification reduces systemic risk, and helps ensure the long-term financial sustainability of the social lender sector.

Specifically, pipeline building enables:

Lending growth in core markets: While many existing social lender clients require additional trade finance or other financial products as they grow, social lenders’ growth opportunities among current borrowers may be limited as competition for their business increases.

For example, in the Peruvian coffee market, 50% of CSAF clients (representing nearly 90% of disbursements) are borrowing from multiple CSAF members. Pipeline building promotes additional growth in these core social lender markets.

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A coffee farmer in Laos. Photo by Asian Development Bank via Flickr.

Geographical diversification: Social lender activity is heavily concentrated in Latin America; 70% of 2013 CSAF disbursements were located in the region. This concentration is largely due to the relatively higher prevalence of well-managed producer groups in Latin America, given the region’s strong historical tradition of farmer cooperatives.

Such geographic concentration leaves social lenders vulnerable to macroeconomic fluctuations. Social lenders can mitigate this vulnerability through pipeline building activities that bring in new clients from a broader range of geographies.

Diversification of commodities: Coffee clients represented more than 50% of CSAF members’ 2013 disbursements. In addition to the relatively stronger producer groups found in the coffee sector, this concentration is also driven by the coffee sector’s progress towards socially responsible and environmentally sustainable production.

However, this concentration leaves social lenders vulnerable to the effects of market fluctuations, as the recent coffee rust outbreak in Latin America demonstrated. The outbreak caused significant crop damage and losses, resulting in decreased demand for financing among coffee farmers. Pipeline building can therefore increase the sustainability of the social lender market through commodity diversification.

How do social lenders help build the client pipeline?

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Pipeline building promotes growth and diversification in social lenders’ portfolios. Photo by Climate Change, Agriculture, and Food Security via Flickr.

Although social lenders typically share similar missions and goals, they differ from one another across a number of dimensions – particularly, what level of net returns they target. This differentiation influences how specific social lenders go about building the client pipeline.

Social lenders with lower return targets (0.5% to 2.5%) typically have lower minimum loan thresholds that allow them to work with clients in less mature stages of development and with smaller loan requirements. These social lenders can work to build the client pipeline across markets, including in core social lending markets where the larger and more mature borrowers are already served.

Social lenders with relatively higher return targets (ranging from 2.5% to 5%), on the other hand, typically focus on lending to larger and more mature businesses. These lenders typically only work to build the client pipeline in new geographic and commodity markets, where some new clients may have larger financing needs.

How can investors encourage pipeline building?

Pipeline building can help the social lending sector improve its long-term financial sustainability and achieve its social objectives. Investors interested in supporting the growth of the social lender sector should encourage pipeline building by allowing for:

Appropriate return expectations: Investors targeting net returns of 0.5% to 2.5% can support lenders who focus on bringing smaller and less mature businesses into the sector as new clients – a need observed across both existing and new markets.

Investors targeting higher net returns of 2.5% to 5% can support social lenders who are building pipelines in new geographic and commodity markets, where some new clients will have large financing needs sufficient to meet investors’ return expectations.

Early-stage financing: Currently, there is a gap in the provision of financial products and services to meet small agricultural businesses’ needs for asset financing in the $10,000-$50,000 loan range. It is difficult for most social lenders to make these very small loans within their current capital structures with their existing products.

An early-stage financing facility with “right-sized” financial products could help address this gap. This facility would include diligence and underwriting processes that fall somewhere between the “character” lending of microfinance (in which lenders assess borrowers’ reputation, community relationships, etc.) and extensive cash-flow analysis for larger working capital loans and trade finance.

Grant capital for technical assistance to complement investments: Technical assistance can develop and strengthen new producer groups, while helping other early-stage agricultural businesses become eligible for social lender loans. Investors should consider coupling their investments in social lender pipeline-building with grant capital for technical assistance, either by providing it directly through the social lender or through a partner technical assistance provider.

With these opportunities in mind, investors and funders should be cognizant of how critical pipeline building is to the sustainability of the social lender market and proactively encourage this work, improving the livelihoods of the world’s 450 million smallholder farmers in the process.

This article originally appeared on the Skoll World Forum.

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“Combining Prosperity with Purpose” at the US-Africa Leaders Summit

USAID administrator Raj Shaj speaks with Ethiopian Prime Minister H.E. Hailemariam Desalegn during a food security conference at the US-Africa Leaders Summit. Photo by USAID via Flickr.

USAID’s Raj Shaj (L) and Ethiopian Prime Minister H.E. Hailemariam Desalegn (R) at the US-Africa Leaders Summit. Photo by USAID (Flickr).

Over 50 African heads of state, and hundreds of other African leaders, gathered in Washington, DC this week for the first-ever US-Africa Leaders Summit, hosted by the White House.

Centered on a theme of trade and investment in Africa, the Summit served as a backdrop for meetings and announcements seeking to strengthen ties between the US and African nations. One example was the Global Resilience Partnership, a $100 million initiative launched by USAID and Rockefeller on Monday at the Summit. Dalberg supported the strategy and design for this new partnership, which aims to build resilience to chronic stresses such as extreme poverty, food insecurity and climate change in communities across Africa and Asia.

Beyond the US-Africa Leaders Summit: What’s Next?

As Dalberg Senior Advisor Jonathan Berman commented on NPR this week, we hope the summit has helped change the narrative about Africa from one of “war, disease and poverty to one of hope, aspiration and opportunity.” Africa is, after all, home to six of the world’s 10 fastest growing economies.

Dalberg’s Global Managing Partner James Mwangi recently sat down with Africa Leadership Dialogues host Julie Gichuru to discuss Africa at large, including the right way to do business in Africa, how the continent can harness digital jobs to make the most of its “youth bulge,” and how innovative financing projects are bringing private and public sector actors together to improve health outcomes in Africa.

James concluded the interview with a message for Africa that should resonate with Summit participants and observers alike this week: “Our challenge in Africa is ultimately to combine prosperity with purpose. You can’t do it with one or the other – it has to be both.”

Watch the full interview:

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What’s the Real Risk of the West African Ebola Outbreak?

By Julia Shen

Note: This article should not be construed as clinical advice, nor does it supplant updated travel guidance by authorities such as the World Health Organization (WHO), Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and Public Health England (PHE).

Ebola’s deadly sweep across West Africa has raised global alarm: Nigeria recently became the fourth country affected by the virus when a traveler fell ill and died in Lagos after flying there from Monrovia. With the Nigerian case, Ebola has entered Africa’s largest economy and a global transit hub, after first emerging in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. Amid escalating travel precautions and airline restrictions, deaths of emergency responders, and headlines about national security meetings, we’ve answered a few key questions below to put the risk in perspective.

Is Ebola going to become pandemic?

Probably not.

Ebola Guinea education

Education programs have sought to prevent the spread of Ebola in West African countries since the outbreak began. Photo by UNICEF Guinea via Flickr.

The situation is quite serious: this is the largest and deadliest outbreak – and the first in this region – since Ebola was first observed in 1976. The latest CDC notice  has officially elevated travel advisory on the three principally affected countries to “Warning Level 3, Avoid Nonessential Travel” although the WHO has not yet echoed this call. As Dr. Ian Mackay has depicted in his Virology Down Under infographic, these figures are equal to almost 90% of cases and 70% the total deaths from the first thirty years of Ebola epidemics, combined.

Ebola has no treatment or vaccine, and many of its victims die after multi-organ failure and internal and external bleeding, leading to a fatality of 50-90%. Yet the biology that makes Ebola terrifying actually limits its potential as a Hollywood-style superbug. Ebola’s unfortunate victims suffer a few weeks of acute infection very visibly, allowing for rapid identification and containment. The virus incubates for a maximum of 21 days, contrasting sharply with HIV, which patients can have – and pass on – for years without ever showing symptoms.

How does Ebola spread?

Ebola is transmitted by direct contact with bodily fluids. This mode of transmission is dangerous – especially for health care workers – but much less so than a water or food pathway, as with cholera and typhoid. Unlike tuberculosis in cattle or influenza in poultry, zoonotic diseases endemic in us and our livestock that are co-evolving with intensified agriculture, Ebola has previously disappeared from humanity before re-emerging. Filoviridae, the virus family Ebola is a part of, seem to prefer wild bats and apes as a host reservoir. Contradictory to a nightmare mutation scenario, Ebola’s genetic diversity is limited compared to HIV or the flu, and recent experimental evidence suggests the virus is not airborne.

A cornerstone of epidemiology is the basic reproductive number or “R0,” which describes the average number of further infections that a given sick individual will cause. Higher values mean more widespread epidemics. Ebola’s short incubation period and mode of transmission contribute to the virus’ relatively low R0 of 1.9-2.8 in previous outbreaks. Although not precisely comparable across different mathematical models, R0 is a useful benchmark; Ebola’s is much lower than that of measles (12.0-18.0) or polio (5.0-7.0). The best published model suggests that Ebola’s R0 falls to elimination levels – in which individuals infect <1.0 further cases and the epidemic eventually snuffs itself out – with careful contamination controls, especially in burial and hospital settings.

So what’s the appropriate response to Ebola?

Real-world complexities make R0 a moving target. It is conceivable that Ebola will spread farther, including to pockets outside Africa. Recent incidence is worrying, especially in Sierra Leone. Nearly 900 people have died in the eight months since the current outbreak started in rural Guinea.

This visceral danger sells papers. But everyday diarrheal disease killed almost the same number of people in the West African sub-region today alone; malaria killed even more in the same 24 hours. In terms of absolute risk in the affected countries, road injuries still exceed Ebola.

Estimated total deaths Ebola, malaria, diarrheal disease, and road injury over the past 8 months.

Estimated total deaths from Ebola, malaria, diarrheal disease, and road injury over the past 8 months.

Sources: CDC, ‘Outbreak of Ebola in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone’ as of 5 August 2014; Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, Global Burden of Disease (GBD) 2010; World Bank, 2013 World Development Indicators. Dalberg analysis is rounded to hundreds and calculated from national population * GBD 2010 reported population death rates * eight months of outbreak.

The root causes of mortality from malaria and diarrheal disease also accelerate the spread of Ebola. Post-conflict Liberia and Sierra Leone are among the poorest countries in the world. Despite their natural resource wealth, Guinea and Nigeria have under-resourced health sectors, below the African Union’s 2001 Abuja Declaration health targets. Only $67 – $205 is spent annually per person on health in these four countries affected by Ebola.

A distrust of medicine and lack of health education are worsening the outbreak – infected patients sometimes even flee treatment wards. But suspicion of health services is more understandable in a context where clinics are usually short of qualified staff (Liberia has all of ~260 doctors), drugs regularly stock out, and life expectancy may only be 45 years.

In an age of air travel and worldwide trade, closed borders are simply not a sustainable solution to preventing the spread of diseases such as Ebola: it is not a matter of if, but when, the next disease emerges, potentially as a more dangerous respiratory illness. While more infectious risk is inevitable for a growing human population, however, the histories of smallpox and polio show that massive death and suffering are preventable.

The current Ebola outbreak is not an occasion for panic but should raise an urgent call for public health investment in West Africa and other underserved regions, for our shared global health security. Leadership from national authorities and international partners can curb the economic damages and public anxiety, ending the loss of life from Ebola – and the longstanding pandemics already affecting hundreds of millions of people every day.

UPDATE: This blog has been updated to reflect a WHO/Global Fund source document from 2010 which estimates the number of doctors in Liberia. A previous version of this blog cited an figure of ~60 based on 2008 estimates from the WHO.

Julia Shen is a project leader in Dalberg’s Dakar office. This article was reviewed by Dr. Manpreet Singh (MB BChir MPH), a senior consultant in Dalberg’s Nairobi office.


Quel est le risque d’une propagation du virus Ebola en Afrique de l’Ouest?

(Texte et graphique / Version française mise à jour 14 Août)

Note: Cet article ne doit pas être interprété comme des conseils cliniques, ni supplanter les conseils de voyage publiés par les autorités telles que : l’Organisation Mondiale de la Santé (OMS), le U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), et le Public Health England (PHE).

La portée du virus mortel d’Ebola en Afrique de l’Ouest a attiré l’attention de toute la communauté internationale : Récemment, le Nigéria est devenu le quatrième pays touché par le virus suite au décès d’un voyageur à Lagos après son arrivée par un vol en provenance de Monrovia. Depuis lors, les cas se sont multipliés à Lagos incitant l’état d’urgence. En effet, le virus Ebola après avoir fait des ravages en Guinée, au Libéria, et en Sierra Leone, a réussi à s’infiltrer dans la plus grande économie d’Afrique qui représente également un important axe de transit. Au sein des multiples précautions de voyage et de restrictions aériennes, de décès du personnel médical, des Unes sur les réunions concernant la sécurité nationale, nous avons répondu à quelques questions clés ci-dessous en analysant  les risques sous un autre angle.

Le virus Ebola deviendra-t-il une pandémie?

Probablement non.

La situation est très grave: Depuis la première apparition de l’Ebola en 1976, l’épidémie actuelle est devenu l’un des plus grands et des plus meurtriers—et par la même occasion le premier dans les pays affectés. La dernière note de CDC a officiellement élevé le risque de voyage dans les trois pays touchés à une « Alerte de niveau 3 : spécifiant d’éviter les voyages non essentiels » bien que l’OMS n’ait pas encore adopté la mesure.  Comme le révèle le virologiste Dr Ian Mackay sur son site web Virology Down Under, les chiffres actuels représentent à elles seules 100% des cas de malades contaminés et environ 90% du total des décès cumulés depuis les trente premières années d’épidémies d’Ebola.

L’Ebola reste une maladie sans aucun traitement ni vaccin et plusieurs de ses victimes meurent après une défaillance multi-viscérale et une hémorragie interne et externe, conduisant à un taux de mortalité allant de 50 jusqu’à 90%. Pourtant, les caractéristiques biologiques qui rendent le virus Ebola si terrifiant limitent ses capacités à devenir une pandémie. Les malheureuses victimes de l’Ebola souffrent visiblement d’infection aiguë, durant quelques semaines permettant l’identification de la maladie et la prise de mesures adéquates rapides. La période d’incubation du virus est de maximum de 21 jours, contrairement au VIH, que les patients peuvent avoir— et transmettre—pendant des années sans jamais présenter de symptômes.

Comment le virus Ebola se transmet-il?

Le virus Ebola se transmet  par contact direct avec des liquides biologiques. Ce mode de transmission est dangereux—surtout pour les agents de santé—mais, contrairement au choléra ou à la typhoïde, la transmission se fait moins à travers les aliments et les boissons. A l’inverse de la tuberculose qui affecte aussi bien les hommes que les bovins ou la grippe sur les volailles—et qui représentent des maladies zoonotiques endémiques qui évoluent parallèlement avec l’agriculture intensive—le virus Ebola avait disparu avant de réapparaitre. La famille des Filoviridae, à laquelle appartient le virus Ebola se retrouve généralement chez les chauves-souris et les singes sauvages. Contrairement au scénario alarmant de prolifération rapide, la diversité génétique du virus Ebola est limitée par rapport au VIH ou à la grippe, et les preuves empiriques récentes informent que le virus n’est pas transmissible par voie aérienne ou respiratoire.

Un élément fondamental en épidémiologie est le taux effectif de reproduction (d’infection) ou «R0», qui décrit le nombre de nouvelles infections qu’un malade peut provoquer. De ce fait, des valeurs plus élevées signifient des épidémies plus répandues. La courte durée d’incubation du virus Ebola et son mode de transmission contribuent à un R0 relativement bas du virus de l’ordre de 1,9 à 2,8 au cours des épidémies précédentes. Bien qu’il ne soit pas exactement comparable à travers différents modèles mathématiques, le R­0 est une référence utile: celui de l’Ebola est inférieur à celui de la rougeole (12,0 à 18,0) ou de la polio (5,0 à 7,0). Le meilleur modèle publié indique que le R0 de l’Ebola baisse à un certain stade – ce qui veut dire que les individus infectent moins d’une personne et l’épidémie finit par disparaitre – avec des contrôles prudents et réguliers, en particulier dans les milieux funéraires et hospitaliers.

Dans ce cas comment réagir face à l’épidémie?

Les complexités de la situation rendent le R0 difficile à évaluer par rapport à l’épidémie actuelle. L’on peut donc imaginer que le virus Ebola pourrait se propager dans des zones hors de l’Afrique. Récemment, le taux d’incidence s’est accru, avec plus de 1.000 cas de décès durant les huit derniers mois, suite à la propagation de l’épidémie en milieu rural en Guinée, en décembre 2013.

Cette menace viscérale défraie la chronique. Pourtant les maladies diarrhéiques tuent presque le même nombre de personnes en Afrique de l’Ouest quotidiennement; le paludisme tue encore plus durant les mêmes 24 heures. En termes de risque absolu dans les pays touchés, les accidents de la circulation dépassent l’Ebola.

Légende : Estimation des décès dus à l’Ebola, au paludisme, aux maladies diarrhéiques, et aux accidents de la circulation

Ebola french

Sources:CDC, ‘Epidémie d’Ebola en Guinée, au Libéria, et en Sierra Leone’ au 5 août 2014; Institut de métrologie sanitaire et d’évaluation, Charge mondiale de morbidité (GBD) 2010; Banque mondiale, Indicateurs de développement mondial 2013. L’analyse de Dalberg est arrondie aux centaines près et calculée à partir de la  population nationale * taux de mortalité de la population selon GBD 2010 * huit mois d’épidémie.

Le contexte socioéconomique des pays touchés accélèrent également l’expansion du virus Ebola. Par exemple, le Libéria et la Sierra Leone sont des pays post-conflit, classés parmi les plus pauvres au monde. Malgré leur richesse en ressources naturelles, la Guinée et le Nigéria ont sous-financé leurs secteurs de la santé, et restent en dessous de la norme fixée par la Déclaration d’Abuja de l’Union Africaine de 2001. Environ $ 67 US à $ 205 US sont annuellement dépensés pour la santé d’une personne dans ces quatre pays touchés par le virus.

Une méfiance envers la médecine moderne et l’absence d’éducation sanitaire ont aggravé l’épidémie — les patients infectés désertent même parfois les hôpitaux. Mais les soupçons sur la qualité des services de santé sont compréhensibles dans un contexte où les établissements médicaux manquent de personnel qualifié (le Libéria a ~260 médecins au total), la rupture des stocks de médicaments est régulière, et l’espérance de vie n’excède pas 45 ans.

Dans une ère où les flux aériens et les échanges au niveau mondial sont constants, il est évident que la fermeture des frontières ne constitue pas une solution durable pour freiner l’expansion de maladies comme l’Ebola: la question n’est pas si, mais quand, la prochaine maladie émergera-t-elle, potentiellement sous une forme d’épidémie respiratoire plus dangereuse. Bien que le risque d’infection soit inévitable du fait d’une population croissante, les exemples de lutte contre la variole et la poliomyélite démontrent que la mortalité et la souffrance des populations restent évitables.

« Les maladies telles que le paludisme, sont la cause de centaines de milliers de morts en Guinée, au Nigéria et en Sierra Leone chaque année. Pourtant elles ne défraient pas autant la chronique. Les investissements nécessaires pour contrôler l’Ebola incluent la formation des médecins et des infirmiers, l’assurance que le matériel médical est disponible au moment et à l’endroit opportun, avec une amélioration de l’équipement destiné au diagnostic. Renforcer ces éléments essentiels est crucial non seulement pour réduire le choc des épidémies potentielles à l’avenir, mais aussi pour prévenir et traiter les causes les plus fréquentes de décès dans les années à venir. » Manpreet Singh, docteur en médecine et consultant senior chez Dalberg Global Development Advisors à Nairobi.

L’épidémie d’Ebola ne devrait pas créer de panique mais devrait être perçu comme un appel d’urgence à l’accroissement de l’investissement en santé publique en Afrique de l’Ouest et dans d’autres régions mal desservies, pour assurer une sécurité sanitaire mondiale partagée. Le leadership des autorités nationales et des partenaires internationaux pourraient limiter les dommages économiques et l’angoisse du public, mettant également fin à la perte de vies humaines dues à l’Ebola – et aux pandémies déjà existantes qui touchent des centaines de millions de personnes par jour.

Julia Shen est gestionnaire de projet à Dalberg à Dakar. Cet article a été revu par Dr. Singh (MB BChir MPH). La traduction en français est réalisée par Monica Dey de Dalberg Washington avec l’appui de Vanessa Diouf et Fatoumata Cisse, consultantes associées, basées également au bureau de Dakar. 

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Mobile Point-of-Sale (mPOS) Devices for Financial Inclusion: Motivating Merchants in Indonesia to Switch to e-Payments

square credit card reader

Mobile point-of-sale (mPOS) devices – such as Square and iZettle – use smartphones to process digital transactions. Photo by Shardayyy via Flickr.

The last time you bought something from a street market vendor, you probably didn’t swipe your credit card through a small white cubical reader set atop the vendor’s smartphone when it came time to pay.

But that might change soon. Mobile point-of-sale (mPOS) devices – such as Square and iZettle – use smartphones to process digital transactions. They are mobile, operating on wireless networks, and are significantly cheaper than traditional credit card payment devices.

mPOS systems are not only more accessible for small businesses, but can also increase access to financial services for many customers around the world (including 60% of the population in Indonesia) who remain unbanked.

Despite the benefits of mPOS systems, however, the vast majority of small merchants in developing countries use cash or traditional transaction devices instead.

Indonesia Market

In Indonesia, over 99% of all transactions by volume occur in cash. Photo by Mo Riza via Flickr.

In Indonesia – where over 99% of all transactions by volume occur in cash – a Dalberg team recently worked with CGAP, Telkomsel, and frogDesign to find out why merchants haven’t adopted mPOS devices, and what might motivate them to do so.

The team spoke with over 40 traditional merchants, including restaurant owners, taxi drivers, and electronics retailers, and other micro and small entrepreneurs who typically handle cash transactions daily with their customers to better understand their motivations.

Dalberg’s Gaurav Gupta and Swetha Totapally, who worked on the study, explain what they found:

“While the responses varied significantly by merchant and merchant segment, three key themes emerged from our findings:

  • Value-added services providing business solutions increase merchant interest in mPOS. Most of the merchants interviewed had already been offered traditional POS by Indonesian banks and were less interested in mPOS for its payment acceptance features alone. Many had POS devices that were infrequently used, others didn’t care about being able to accept card payments, and some simply believed the technology was too new for them.Instead, we found that merchants are excited by value-added applications on the smartphone, such as data analytics, marketing and inventory management that are complementary to mPOS and provide business linkages to Telkomsel. Indeed, they saw these applications as potentially transformative business solutions. Specifically, they were excited by features that would improve business processes and relationships with customers.
  • Merchants prioritize accuracy, speed and transparency. Traditional merchants were concerned about how safety, security, and network quality could impact their business and cash, as well as the need to build consumer trust in digital transactions. Their personal experience with dropped calls and lost SMS messages made them cautious about adopting a device that relies on wireless technology. This was especially true for rural businesses, where the signal was less reliable.Additionally, when there were occasional glitches during prototype demonstrations, participants simply became disengaged. Merchants who use POS devices, for example, are used to generally reliable service and fast transaction times, so are hesitant to move to a new device that could be more risky, resulting in lost income for the merchant or client. The product at minimum needs to be at least as high quality as existing solutions.
  • Trust is an issue: Strong preference exists for at least a partial association with bank and transaction receipts. There is a trust deficit around security of new payment systems, especially those which are offered by telcos rather than banks. mPOS is seen as a money-related solution, and merchants consistently said that they would feel more comfortable if the product was offered by a bank instead of a telecom provider. Some merchants were comfortable with the idea of a co-branded product, given the offering also relies on wireless technology, which a telecom is better suited to provide than a bank.We also heard stories about people who have fallen victim to SMS scammers and credit card manipulation. People fear that when they use a card they will be charged more than they should be without knowing about it. While this may largely be an urban myth, this concern was expressed by many of the merchants we spoke with. As such, many merchants specifically stated that SMS or e-mailed receipts would be insufficient and physical receipts would be an important part of any mPOS solution. Similarly end-clients have trust issues with traditional merchants, which they consider less professional than modern retailers.”

Read the rest of Gaurav and Swetha’s article on CGAP >>

For more on Dalberg’s financial inclusion work, click here. You can also read the second blog in this CGAP series, “Using Human-Centered Design for e-Payment Systems in Indonesia” here.

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