april links.

  • This blog post over at Innovations for Poverty Action and its linked New York Times article about lack of monetary change in Zimbabwe discuss the common problem of lack of balance for customers and businesses in the developing world. The IPA study found that “In Kenya, the average firm loses an estimated 5-8% in profits from a combination of sales lost because of not having change and sales lost while searching for change.” Vendors who lack change are a common challenge/annoyance for customers in places with similar change problems.
  • Africa is not a country” depicts data differences between the continent’s countries. It’s (nerdily) fun to play around with the different indicators and geographic comparisons.
  • How Not to Write About Africa: The media shamefully neglects Africa — until it decides to swarm a story with terrible coverage.” by Laura Seay  in Foreign Policy
  • Interesting blog post about where TOMS shoes end up in Haiti and thoughts about the one-for-one model.
  • Why Designers Need To Stop Feeling Sorry For Africa” by Skibsted Ideation over at Dalberg blog. Challenging ideas about the way outsiders view entreprenuership in Africa: “Take, for instance, the title of this Harvard report: “HIV/AIDS and Business in Africa and Asia: A Guide to Partnerships.” Obviously, HIV/AIDS is an issue to be addressed, but confusing and pairing regions with issues make them synonymous in the public eye. How does “Obesity/Diabetes and Business in North America: A Guide to Partnerships” sound? To us, it sounds funny, but it doesn’t sound conducive to business. How would American businesses react to foreign customers who expressed pity for them at large? I bet that seeing foreign news headlines like “Give America a Chance: Support the Fat and Illiterate” would get tiring after a while. That is what Africans experience over and over again–plus foreign-media-dominated news about Africa to the outside world.”
  • Kiva microlenders reveal biased lending preferences, says a recent study.
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