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.

Testing ourselves: do we have unconscious bias about gender and work?

By Guest

By Andrew Morrison

Andrew Morrison is the Gender and Diversity Division Chief at the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). Prior to joining the IDB, he worked at the World Bank as Lead Economist in the Gender and Development Group and as Regional Gender Coordinator for Latin America and the Caribbean. He also has worked as an associate professor of economics at Tulane University and the University of New Mexico (U.S.)

Empowering community forests in the fight against climate change

By Gregory Watson

By Ben Hodgdon and Gregory Watson

When most people think about climate change, the first thing that comes to mind is the burning of fossil fuels for energy or transport. Rarely are forests considered. But they must be. The deal struck at the Paris climate change summit (COP 21) in December 2015 confirmed this. Forests and forestry, long a side note to larger conversations about reduction of emissions from energy supply and use, were topics of increased focus and discussion. 

Where is the for Latin America and the Caribbean?

By Marcelo Cabrol

Coding is basic literacy for the Fourth Industrial Revolution. It is an integral part of the digital age, which in turn has ushered in that revolution. As popularized over the past year or so by the World Economic Forum and others, this revolution is based on the arrival of new, emerging technologies that are intersecting at exponential rates of speed and scale, dramatically increasing productivity and economic growth, and creating better jobs and entirely new industries. Code powers this digital world. Every website, smartphone app, computer program, calculator and even microwave oven relies on code to operate. This makes coders the architects and builders of the digital age. 

A New Playbook for Companies Venturing for Impact

By Elizabeth Boggs Davidsen

The Paris-based food products company Danone, the Spanish-based bank BBVA, and the British utility company Centrica have something important in common. Each of these large multinationals has figured out effective ways to bring together its core financial, human, and technological strengths, along with massive networks, to provide business support to social entrepreneurs. Innovation and investment teams within large companies are coming together to design strategies that allow their businesses to explore and experiment with new models that are intentionally trying to create positive returns to the communities where they operate.  This is in part due to complex macro-economic trends – climate change, big data, mass urbanization – that require strategic considerations and introduce greater levels of uncertainty in operations. It is also in order to appeal to the values ofmillennials, who companies like Danone, BBVA and Centrica employ and hope to retain, as well as “hipster” consumers who are willing to purchase a product or service to support a cause they believe in, even if it means paying a bit more.

Shortening distances in economic development: the poor as a digital crowd

By César Buenadicha

Photo by Matt Phipps

How many clicks separate economic development practitioners in Washington, D.C., from the beneficiaries of their projects in other parts of the world? Probably a few clicks (according to 
the theory of six degrees of separation).