Posts tagged under Events
The Asian Trends team conducted a survey among urban poor residents in Jakarta, Manila, Hanoi and Vientiane. The questions covered basic services such as water, sanitation, health care, education as well as access to financial services. Here is a short preview of the survey results in the area of financial inclusion.
Four out of five respondents did not have a bank account. More than half of respondents still keep their savings in cash hidden at home. The majority of respondents are employed in the informal economy, struggling to make enough money to feed their families every day. Thus, even a single emergency, such as urgent medical treatment for a family member, can wipe out a family’s entire savings. The survey also showed that 53% of respondents have severe difficulties to save at all.
Despite the fact that at least a handful of Microfinance institutions (MFI) currently offer their services in each of the cities included in our survey, the vast majority of the urban poor in Southeast Asia fly below their radar. With incomes below US$2/day, they are a difficult and often not very profitable client group. Several MFIs confirmed that they prefer to lend to the “upper poor”: households that have some existing working capital, a certain level of business acumen, and more reliable revenue streams.
The talk will take place on April 24, 2013 at 12:15 h at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy. RSVP to email@example.com
It is crucial for the world’s poor to gain access to savings, credit, transfers and insurance, so that they can seize economic opportunities and reduce their vulnerability to shocks. However, half of the world’s population – including 70% of people in developing countries – remain unbanked.
There is a fast growing interest in financial inclusion at the moment. Under the impulse of the G20 Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion, governments are developing national strategies to improve financial access. Technology is also bringing great opportunities to cut costs and expand the reach of banking to the poor. Still, the gaps are not fully bridged.
In the last eighteen years, CGAP, an international global research center, has produced ample research and global good practice guidelines to improve financial inclusion for the poor. The presentation will highlight major opportunities and challenges, the early successes of technology based business models, as well as innovative models for serving the poorest.
The Forbes 100, the Fortune 500, Bloomberg’s Billionaire Index, the list of rich lists is endless. But the super-rich are only a very small fraction of the population, and their story is not the whole story. It is this other story that we would like to tell in The Other Hundred, a photo-book aimed at bringing attention to the overwhelming majority of the world’s people who are not billionaires but who nevertheless lead lives worth celebrating.
The Other Hundred has a broad base of international support from the expertise of our outstanding judging panel featuring Ruth Eichhorn, Richard Hsu, and Stephen Wilkes and the participation of excellent photographers including Benjamin Lowy, Khaled Hasan, Brent Stirton, Edwin Koo, Paolo Woods and Andrea Diefenbach.
The goal of The Other Hundred is both to inform and to provoke thought. This means that we don’t just want photographs of the hardships of a life of poverty, but also of the startling achievements people can make in the face of adversity. It is important to us that our subjects come across as real people to be understood, even celebrated, rather than anonymous statistics to be pitied or patronized.
On 20th and 21st February 2013, Dublin City Council will host the 8th Forum of the World Alliance of Cities against Poverty (WACAP) at the RDS in Ballsbridge, Dublin 4. The forum will examine the role of technology in alleviating the symptoms of urban poverty and in making cities Smart, Safe and Sustainable.
Full details on the programme are available here www.dublin2013.ie
Our researchers Taufik Indrakesuma and Johannes Loh are going to be at the conference to present the findings from the 2012 survey on urban poverty and service provision in Jakarta, Manila, Hanoi and Vientiane.
Recently, I came across an interesting article entitled Can 4 Economists Build the Most Economically Efficient Charity Ever? and became curious to find out what the author meant by “most economically efficient”.
The article is written for an American audience in light of the traditionally strong charitable Christmas season. Where to donate? Which cause, how will my money benefit the needy? Traditional charities as well as international aid often suffers from inefficiency such as high overhead costs, expensive marketing campaigns with sometimes unclear motives (think Invisible Children). The unsatisfying conditions in the aid industry served as inspiration for four graduate students to develop their own giving model:
“In 2008, four Harvard and MIT graduate students studying developing-world economics decided to form their own giving circle. The research literature on anti-poverty aid was discouraging. In India, an estimated 50 to 60 cents of every government dollar spent on food or employment aid for the poor is lost due to corruption, and private philanthropy, too, is heavily skimmed as it makes its way into the hands of the poor.”
To register for the talk please RSVP at firstname.lastname@example.org . We are looking forward to welcoming you at our talk on January 18th.
Today is the World Toilet Day. Here are some facts that illustrate why sanitation is a global issue that needs more attention:
- 2.5 billion people do not have a clean toilet
- 1.1 billion people around the world practice open defecation
- Did you know that every dollar invested in sanitation yields a return of five dollars?
World Toilet Day is observed annually on 19 November. This international day of action aims to break the taboo around toilets and draw attention to the global sanitation challenge.
Can you imagine not having a toilet?
Can you imagine not having privacy when you need to relieve yourself? Although unthinkable for those living in wealthy parts of the world, this is a harsh reality for many – in fact, one in three people on this globe, does not have access to a toilet!
Have you ever thought about the true meaning of dignity?
The independent, non-industry based UK charity Tourism Concern has published a report on tourism and water equity. It sheds a lot of light on the inequalities of water consumption and the enormous water waste caused by hotels and resorts. While many of us have stayed in hotels and serene resorts in exotic destinations, reading the report I wonder, how many of you (myself included) have given our water consumption during the holidays a serious thought?
- Are you aware of how many litres/day of clean water you are consuming when on holiday?
- Did you know that it can be up to 16x the water consumption of the average local household?
- A 5-Star hotel room can account for up to 3,200 litres of water consumption per day!
In addition, many holiday destinations are in water scarce environment. While tourists splash around at the pool, surrounding villages might struggle to meet their daily needs. In Zanzibar, this has led to serious conflicts between hoteliers and local residents over how access to water resources should be handled fairly. It also opens up the question of how to define water equity and how to enforce it?
Social and economic inequality are a “hot topic” for the media as well as for researchers. The ATM team published a series of data posters on inequality in ASEAN in 2011 with a special emphasis on access to basic services such as health, water & sanitation but also financial services. Our friends from Trendnovation Southeast recently published an infographic on inequality in ASEAN with a slightly focus on three areas:
- Social security and health expenditure,
- Politics & human rights, and
- Economic situation
While not everyone would agree that the indicators are a good choice to measure inequality in these areas, they have chosen very interesting indicators to illustrate the rising inequality in the region. Intra-country inequality is a definitely an important issue, but this infographic very clearly illustrates inter-country differences. Not a single ASEAN country comes out consistently on top – not even Singapore (the usual suspect for No.1 in ASEAN rankings).
Singapore does not so well on government expenditure on health, human rights, and the GINI coefficient on income inequality. At the same time it takes top spot for control of corruption, contribution to social security (really?) and GNI per capita ($). Thailand scores low on political stability, human rights issues and social security, but fares quite high in government health expenditure and control of corruption.
Imagine a whole country country with less than 20 ATMs, where only 1 in 10 people has a bank account. Imagine a completely underdeveloped banking infrastructure in a country where more than 90% of people are unfamiliar with any kind of modern financial service… welcome to Myanmar today. After hearing these few facts, a case for financial inclusion seems pretty hopeless. After all, how many examples are out there where banks and microfinance organisations have managed to rapidly expand their services throughout a country.
But in this day and age, Myanmar has a unique opportunity to leapfrog towards financial inclusion. Senior Microfinance Specialist Eric Duflos from the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP) commented on the necessary steps to enable Myanmar to bring financial services to its largely unbanked population within a short period of time. In his blog post he points out that the extremely low starting point could turn into an advantage at the attempt to bring millions of unbanked into the formal financial system.