November 9, 2016
Written by Ashish Gadnis
This post was originally posted on Devex.
Here are two simple facts facing the development world today. One: It is very expensive being poor. Period. Two: For all the tech innovation and mobile money in the world, billions in extreme poverty are still dealing everyday with the “curse of the empty purse.”
Why is that?
The answer is hiding in plain sight. Multiple organizations interact with the poor in silos. On average, a poor woman farmer in Congo or South Sudan or Guatemala is a “named beneficiary” for at least seven to 10 international organizations, nongovernmental organizations and social enterprises. Each one of these organizations are really trying to do good in the world and trying to address some of the toughest problems we face today. Similarly, the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals are very achievable, and for the first time ever represent a comprehensive framework to tackle the most pressing problems we face today.
But here is the fundamental problem that begs an innovative and disruptive solution — data on people living in poverty are spread thin across all the organizations, SDGs and their programs. And they are never able to break the cycle of poverty because they do not own their own identity.