The Value of a Dollar in the Slum

Slum tours are criticized for exploiting the poor, but AFFCAD, a Ugandan NGO started by four friends from the Bwaise slum, are using a tour to raise awareness and fund their community development projects. For US$20 you can visit the area, meet the residents and see the work that AFFCAD is funding to improve education, sanitation and fight poverty.

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Fresh Thinking Brings Solar-Powered Lighting to Indian Villages

TERI, India’s leading energy research institute, started the Lighting One Billion Lives initiative in 2007 to provide solar lanterns and charging stations (which also charge mobile phones) to villages in India that have no or little access to reliable electricity. The centralized stations power the lanterns during the day to make them ready for pickup by villages in the evening.

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Investing in Fair Trade Cotton opens Markets for Ugandan Farmers

In recent years, there has been an increase in public-private partnerships in development, particularly in facilitating access to markets for subsistence farmers and business enterprises. Micro-finance initiatives often seek to inject cash into local economies by financing small businesses in developing countries. These ventures can be successful in gradually increasing market access for the rural poor. A step up from …

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Give Directly Through Unconditional Cash Transfers

California-based charity GiveDirectly is using mobile money technology to transfer unconditional cash directly from donors to some of the poorest people in Kenya and Uganda. The process is quite simple: donors donate to GiveDirectly on their webpage; GiveDirectly locates poor households in Kenya and Uganda, registers recipients and transfers the cash to them through an electronic payment provider; recipients retrieve …

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Giving Beneficiaries Money, No Strings Attached

A lot of NGOs are predicated on the notion that they know best. They come into the communities they’re trying to help with the best of intentions, but they have very specific ways in which they deliver that help. For those that give money, they might be willing to support the construction of a health clinic if they’re a health-focused …

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Micro-Saving for Education

FINCA and the Private Education Development Network (PEDN) have been carrying out a small savings program with schools across Uganda to subsidize the costs of primary education. While Uganda guarantees universal primary education, it does so with prohibitive user fees that often lead to pupils dropping out and does little to off-set other costs. In response, Smoothing the Costs of …

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