Acumen Blog

Making water infrastructure work for the poor

This report focuses on how small-scale, decentralized, affordable and environmentally sustainable projects in water can reduce poverty more effectively than huge spending on large-scale irrigation systems, dams and canals. The report also showcases the success of Acumen Fund investee IDE India with drip irrigation systems, highlighting it as a good example of a low-tech, low-cost and high-reward solution. [Read More]

Sharing knowledge about banking for the poor in Pakistan

A few weeks ago, I wrote a post entitled “Lacking urgency” that discussed the importance of waking up individuals to tough global issues – and presenting constructive solutions, not simply overwhelming. Roshaneh Zafar, President of Kashf Foundation and an Acumen Fund investee, recently sent out the following letter and study, demonstrating the kind of leadership that we need. This is an important paper – a frank accounting of lessons learned in delivering banking products to the poor. Roshaneh’s is also an important voice for encouraging open and honest knowledge sharing and we’re proud to be working with her. [Read More]

Introducing Acumen Fund’s 2006 Fellows

Over the next four weeks, we shall be introducing our 2006 Acumen Fund Fellows. This year’s inaugural cohort comprises a diverse group of individuals who all share not only individual accomplishment but a proven desire to serve, to listen, and to be part of a larger community focused on significant, measurable change. It is thrilling to see talented people who could do so many things in the world choose to give back to it – a spirit embodied by the Acumen Fund team as a whole. [Read More]

An Inconvenient Truth

Al Gore’s terrific new film, An Inconvenient Truth, is the most important movie you can see right now. It is also very engaging and I can’t recommend it more highly. The film is really a dynamic presentation that Vice President Gore has made thousands of times over the past years. Not only will you see a man of true conviction and passion speaking, you will also learn a lot about one of the most (if not the most) critical issues of our time. The scientists agree that climate change is real (at the TED Conference, individuals suggested the name be changed to climate crisis) and that it is occurring even more rapidly than scientists had originally thought. The link between climate change and poverty is also strong. It is not inconceivable that we’ll see Bangladesh under water in the next 40 years, displacing over 150 million people who will search for new homes and countries, adding greater instability to the region. [Read More]