the mif blog

Stories of inspiring entrepreneurs and organizations, discussion and commentary of new trends in private sector development, and the latest events and publications.

Smart meters and water footprints: How to increase climate resilience in Mexico and Belize

By Svante Persson

Increasing climate variability and related extreme weather events are significantly adding to the vulnerabilities of households and businesses due to deteriorating water sustainability, especially in climate sensitive areas with either lowlands adjacent to the ocean or in urban areas with large populations. Businesses will have to improve their resilience to climate change to protect their value chains. Actions to address these vulnerabilities should begin by focusing more on resilience and adaptation than on mitigation. Water management, affected by climate change, could be both a risk and an opportunity to livelihoods and businesses.

Drones: From tools of war to tools for social innovation

By Svante Persson

The evolution of information and communications technologies late last century enabled the development of new military weapons guided by onboard computers, like the Tomahawk cruise missile, which were first used during the 1991 Gulf War. These missiles were the precursors to what would become the first unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), today known as drones, which are piloted by remote control or onboard computers and began doing military reconnaissance flights in the late 1990s.

Copying cats: learning from ecological systems to build a sustainable sanitation solution

By Svante Persson

We are meeting with Frandy Jean, the Director General for the city of Cap-Haitien, when he bluntly blurts out his thoughts on what we are discussing: “SOIL is copying cats! After using a SOIL toilet, you cover your waste just like a cat does!”  

In “the land of lakes and volcanoes," many lack access to safe drinking water

By Svante Persson

When you first see Bilwi from the air before landing on its tiny grass airstrip, your first thought is that you will be landing in the middle of a vast swamp. There are very few buildings, scattered cattle, and almost no people. It definitely doesn’t look like an urban area. But Bilwi is the capital of Nicaragua’s North Atlantic Autonomous region on the Caribbean Coast (RAACN). The 60,000-strong population of the RAACN is predominantly indigenous and Afro-descendant, and despite its constitutional autonomy, the RAACN is extremely isolated, both geographically and politically, and up to 75% of its population lives in poverty or extreme poverty. 

Fighting malnutrition with education and food security among Panama’s indigenous population

By Svante Persson

Doing well by doing good is now expected for businesses, and moral leadership is at a premium for CEOs. For today’s companies to maintain their license to operate, they need to take into account a range of elements in their decision making: managing their supply chains, applying new ways of measuring their business performance that include indicators for social as well as commercial returns, and controlling the full life cycle of their products’ usage as well as disposal.

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