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Effective monitoring and evaluation practices for competitions and crowdsourcing: Lessons from India

Natalia Agapitova's picture

What’s the key ingredient for successful innovations? I often hear people answer creativity, collaboration, open mindset, leadership. For me, it is the ability to learn and adapt.

But learning is meaningful only if it’s based on reliable data, and adaptation leads to the expected results if the data is timely and feeds into the decision-making process.

For example, take GNRC Medical (formerly known as Guwahati Neurological Research Centre), a hospital in North Guwahati, India that aims to provide quality healthcare service at an affordable cost to underprivileged populations. GNRC has an inclusive multi-specialty facility, provides ambulance services, and offers customized healthcare packages to the poor, promoting preventive healthcare and early intervention. Despite its unique service offer, GNRC faced major challenges, including the lack of awareness among local communities on medical conditions and available treatments.

Scaling up inclusive innovations: 10 lessons for donors

Johannes Linn's picture
Women in Jharkhand, India
Women in Jharkhand, India. © Natalia Agapitova/World Bank

Only a small fraction of women in rural India have a bank account, reinforcing existing gender inequity. Without access to financial services, women miss out on government benefits, like cash transfers. Alternative for India Development (AID) delivers financial products to women and other underprivileged populations through a unique business model. In partnership with the government and commercial banks, AID established more than 600 Common Service Centers that serve as one-stop delivery points to financial and government services. In just three years of operation, AID opened 200,000 deposit accounts, one-third of which belong to women. Thanks to these accounts, underprivileged populations was able to receive pensions, government subsidies and access free savings accounts.

AID is just one of a large and growing number of businesses that combine profits with impressive development results. These businesses are known as social enterprises, and the innovations they develop play a critical role in providing life-improving goods, services, and employment to hundreds of millions of poor people. Social enterprises can be distinguished from other public and private organizations by the fact that they pursue social objectives through commercially viable business models and are independent from the government.
In his recent blog, World Bank Group President Jim Kim urged the development community to partner with social enterprises to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. This will require a different approach to scaling results of successful social enterprises, their inclusive innovations, and business models. In a recent Brookings Working Paper we reviewed the literature and experience with scaling up social enterprise innovations and summarized lessons for how scaling up can be best managed. Here we briefly explore the main implications for external donors.

Beyond building products – changing hearts and minds to actually use them

Marta Milkowska's picture
They were everywhere — blown-up condoms flying around as balloons in a small village in southern Kenya. A day earlier volunteers from an international NGO came to the village to promote family planning. They held a daylong workshop for women and thoroughly described the risks of lack of sexual protection. The next day, the volunteers left, and the village was covered with flying condom-balloons. It was 2007 and I was just about to learn how typical that story was. In the months that followed, I saw cookstoves being used as shelves and mosquito nets as football goals. So what went wrong?

How can we better support social entrepreneurs to improve service delivery?

Cristina Navarrete Moreno's picture
A mobile health solution in Kenya that has given 1,000 mothers access to high-quality diagnostics and medical advice. An off-grid energy solution in Uganda that has brought clean energy to 100 rural developments. A sanitation center in South Africa that has improved hygiene for more than 2,000 families living in urban slums.
 

10 Policy Tools that Governments Are Implementing to Spur Social Enterprise

Belen Sanchez's picture
Governments around the world are recognizing the potential of Social Enterprises (SEs) in order to build more inclusive social and economic agendas. For instance, the Government of the United Kingdom is praising innovative solutions of social enterprises as a vehicle to close the gap on the provision of public services, such as education and health.

Procuring Social Impact

Cristina Navarrete Moreno's picture
Governments around the world, especially in economies such as Australia, Canada, South Korea, and the United Kingdom, are discovering how buying from a social enterprise is one of the easiest and most effective ways of generating social value that can help break the cycle of poverty and improve social cohesion. Through the powerful economic force of public procurement, goods and services are bought from social enterprises with a strong track record of delivering added social value.

The Business of Doing Good: Supporting the Social Enterprise Sector

Elaine Tinsley's picture
When I talk about my work in social entrepreneurship, people often ask, “Why is the World Bank interested in social enterprises?” I let numbers answer the question.
 
Over one billion people don’t have access to the health services they need, 783 million people live without clean drinking water, and 780 million adults lack basic reading and writing skills. There are too many unserved needs as the bottom of the pyramid and there is just not enough public funding to provide these services.
 

Part 1: Five principles to behavior change: Why don’t they use these toilets?

Marta Milkowska's picture
They were simply not used. A few dozen toilets constructed in a small village in India worked well, except the villagers were not using them. Some conversations later, researchers discovered what had been overlooked during the planning phases: the morning open defecation practice was the only social activity for local women, otherwise spending all their time under the guardianship of their husbands. It was the highlight of their day, the time when they could freely talk, laugh, and gossip without the constraint of men and their day to day life.

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