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.

From India to Brazil: adapting Hand in Hand’s approach to alleviate poverty

By Svante Persson

Reducing poverty is a global challenge, but solutions can be global as well. Social innovations from Asia can be adapted to Brazil. Successful techniques from projects in Peru can be applied in the Dominican Republic. The Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF) has identified a successful poverty reduction method developed by the Indian NGO Hand in Hand, and our partner World Vision Brazil has customized it for Brazil. This approach develops income-generating opportunities for 50,000 people in 10 states in the northeast of Brazil, using a combination of technical assistance, access to finance, and linkages to markets and industry in relevant sectors. A regional network of grassroots organizations helps to expand, strengthen, integrate, and institutionalize the job-creation project.

Here are our 3 main lessons of this south-south knowledge transfer.

Is preschool education the secret to a more prosperous region?

By Svante Persson

Pic Blog

Investing in preschool is actually more profitable than investing in the stock market. The estimated return (per dollar of cost) for high quality early childhood education is in excess of 10% (see link).  In comparison, over the last 20 years the stock market’s S&P 500 index had an average annual return of less than 7.8% per year (see link). Increasing public investment in preschool education can substantially benefit society at large and could help to address LAC’s long-term skills challenge and chronic income inequality. Poor children who fail to achieve their full academic potential are more likely to enter adulthood without the skills necessary to develop into highly productive members of society able to compete effectively in a more competitive global labor market.


MIF and MIT fighting the trash crisis in Latin America and the Caribbean

By Svante Persson

by Svante Persson (MIF) and Libby (MIT)

Many of the countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, especially remote and poor urban and semi-urban communities, are facing problems of waste management, which has a negative impact on public health, the local economy, and the environment. More efficient solid waste management systems can in turn improve the overall health of a community, create income generation opportunities in recycling and compost, and provide energy from either the implementation of biogas facilities or the extraction of methane gas from sanitary landfills. Responding to the recent increased awareness and need to solve the garbage problem, the MIF’s Access to Basic Services agenda has made integrated and sustainable solid waste management a priority as it responds to the region’s demand for assistance. In this work, the MIF has partnered with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Community Innovators Lab (CoLab)and drawn expertise from previous experiences, including the creatin of local Public Private Partnerships for community basic services; the expertise of IDB water and sanitation and health specialists; and the MIF’s ongoing programs, supporting informal recyclers around the region.