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Myths, misconceptions, and the emerging truth in serving very poor households: Grameen Foundation's experience to date

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In 2009, Grameen Foundation highlighted the difficulty of reaching the 1.4 billion people living below US$1.25 (purchasing power parity, PPP) per day and created a specialized team to identify and scale 'Solutions for the Poorest'. Through projects focusing on financial product development, livelihoods support, and value-chain approaches, we outline four emerging lessons learned since embarking on that programme: 1) there is the possibility of developing non-traditional business cases for serving the very poor; 2) graduation models that work for the poorest may not require cash and asset transfers if programmes can sequence the development of confidence, entrepreneurship, and other human capabilities alongside links to economic opportunities; 3) careful identification of the value chain could be a more important factor than targeting to increase the direct impact on the very poor in market system approaches; and 4) the promise of technology to bring savings to the poor probably needs to incorporate trusted people delivering on that technology.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2012-06-01

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