Nobody denies that access to proper sanitation is a basic human need. Even so, 1.3 billion people still defecate in the open, and 1.3 billion more in unsafe latrines. But how can we convince governments, donors and private sector to invest in this field, when there are other more media-friendly options available? Also, how can we ensure that existing funding is invested in the most effective way? These are the questions the Water and Sanitation Program is trying to answer with its Economics of Sanitation Initiative.
Blame Butz! We've Earl Butz, Secretary of Agriculture under Presidents Nixon and Ford, to thank for the current state of affairs.
Here's some eclectic, and somewhat mundane, yet interesting thoughts and happenings from my time out here in Kenya. I am spending my summer supporting SIDAI Africa Limited, a for-profit social enterprise which seeks to set up a franchise network of agricultural input retail stores tied to veterinary service providers, to transform the way farmers take care of their livestock in Kenya.
I’m sitting under a creaky tin roof in Kuria, Kenya. Not too far away, I hear a donkey braying, a cow mooing, and local school children singing in Swahili. I see cornfields on the adjacent hillside, and by the river women are hand washing laundry. I’m not on your typical MBA summer internship, if there is such a thing.
I am spending my summer at Mass Insight Education (MIE), a Boston-based, nonprofit consultancy. MIE provides two primary educational supports to schools: (1) training and support to pre-AP and AP teachers in math, science, and English in Massachusetts, and (2) support for turnaround schools throughout the country.
Most teams at Teach For America rely on data to make decisions and to work more efficiently. Thus, the quality of data is central to each of these teams’ work. This summer I am working with the Enterprise Shared Services team on an initiative to ensure high quality data.
Prior to this internship, I often thought about education reform as the policies and programs that directly touch students and impact the way that they learn. I had never thought about developing the skills and expertise of the individuals that actually teach and manage the classroom.
This is the first of two blogposts about my experience working for the Agricultural Transformation Agency of Ethiopia.
Posted by Brian Latko from Nairobi, Kenya
Jacaranda Health is a social enterprise operating in the low-income suburbs northeast of Nairobi, Kenya, that is scaling up a new approach to maternity care that relies on tightly integrated services, finely tuned clinical protocols and leading-edge technologies to deliver high quality services at low cost. But the first step to making its model sustainable is to change mindsets, preconceived notions and cultural norms that may lead potential clients to forego necessary care. As Jacaranda prepares to begin construction on its second clinic, I'm developing the business plan for expansion including the potential addition of new services and capabilities.
This summer, I'm working for Living Goods, a social enterprise that trains and provides credit to micro-entrepreneurs that deliver life saving goods to the doorsteps of the poor. Since 2007, Living Goods has grown to support 400+ entrepreneurs in Uganda, and next week, we will launch our first branch in Kenya.