Earlier this year, we launched our eLearning course for social enterprises in January with a second installment in May. Social enterprises from across the globe – from places we didn’t even think we could reach – applied. So we began to wonder, who are these social enterprises? What are their models? What do they need most to reach the most marginalized populations? So I sat down with Charles Njemo Batumani and Arun Kumar Das, two social entrepreneurs who finished the first installment of our eLearning course in January to see what they’ve done, where they see their enterprises going and why eLearning was a way for them to improve their social enterprise. Charles is building affordable housing for low and middle income earners in Limbe, Cameroon while Arun is developing a natural plant product to combat malnutrition in Odisha, India.
The World Region
After a day of discussions on how to scale social enterprise innovations to improve health outcomes during an event hosted by the World Bank Group’s (WBG) Innovation Labs and Health Global Practice on June 8th, one clear message emerged – public-private dialogue and collaboration, as well as collaboration between the public sector, the private sector and multilateral organizations such as the WBG is required to reach those living at the last mile.
A prime example of this need can be seen in a mobile phone health clinic program developed by VillageReach, a social enterprise working to provide access to quality health care to underserved communities through an integrated approach.
For 15 years the World Bank Group’s Development Marketplace (DM) has identified innovative social entrepreneurs who tackle service delivery bottlenecks that disproportionately affect the world’s poorest populations. Originally a competitive grants program, the DM has grown over the years into a multi-faceted program that identifies these entrepreneurs, analyzes their specific needs, and maps out the problems they face and the solutions they offer. Through this approach, the DM is able to assist these organizations in breaking down service delivery barriers so that other social entrepreneurs and the public sector can follow their lead: eventually helping to create a world free of extreme poverty and raising incomes so that we all share in the world’s prosperity.
The Lemelson-MIT Award for Global Innovation recognizes individuals whose technological innovations improve the lives of impoverished people in the developing world. The Lemelson-MIT Award for Global Innovation celebrates outstanding technology-focused innovators who have improved quality of life in the areas of health, shelter, energy, agriculture, quality of air, water, soil, education, or ecosystem management in developing nations and have disseminated technology that is scalable or replicable.
- The World Region
2 Weeks left to nominate and win US$20,000!
For the 7th consecutive year the World Challenge is searching for grassroots community projects that promote sustainable development through innovation and original thinking. Their mission is simple: to reward small businesses which have found solutions to some of the world's most pressing problems.
If you have what it takes, they would like to hear from you. Please check their website and fill in an application form. You have until the 19th of June, at midnight. Their judging panel will select the best 12 entries to be filmed by BBC World News and featured in a special ad series in Newsweek magazine.
Apps for Development
Awards Ceremony & Expo
April 14, 2011: 1:00pm – 3:00pm
(Live Webcast 2:00pm – 3:00pm)
MC Atrium, World Bank Headquarters
Please join World Bank President Robert Zoellick as he announces the winners of the Apps for Development Competition.
This blog was originally featured on the "Inside the Web" blog on 3/28/11 and was authored by Jim Rosenberg, Social Media Adviser to the World Bank
Rising and volatile food prices are causing pain and suffering for poor people around the world, driving 44 million people into extreme poverty in recent months. On April 14-15, 2011 we are hosting our second Open Forum, a global conversation to look at the problem and possible solutions to overcome the food crisis.
How do you provide health care for the rural poor when medical professionals are scarce or unaffordable?
One emerging solution is to computerize medical knowledge. In 2007, Arogya Ghar captured the attention of the global health community when it was selected as one of the winners of the Development Marketplace global competition.
Great New York Times story going viral today on how villagers around the world are finally getting electricity in their homes with solar devices. With this tiny bit of power, they can charge cell phones, get news, study at night, check market information for crops, and stop using carbon and so much more. This is one area where in the past 10 years, Development Marketplace competitions identified and funded early stage projects, so we should all be proud.
David Eaves, Open Data Blogger and Activist from Canada, boldly claimed that the World Bank's Open Data Policy allows many more people to use our data, rigorously study and analyze it, and draw their own conclusions about what it means. That was just not possible before now.
It reminds me of what the laptop, digital camera, and mobile phone did for journalists and film makers. Technology fundamentally leveled the playing the field and democratized access to content. Suddenly, many more people could participate in journalism and create their own videos (24 hours of video is uploaded into YouTube every 60 seconds). Is that what the World Bank's Open Data policy can unleash? I love the possibility.