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Janeen Madan Keller is a senior policy analyst and assistant director of global health at the Center for Global Development. Since joining CGD in June 2015, her research has covered a range of topics including global health financing and aid effectiveness, among others. Previously, she spent two years in Dakar, Senegal, where she worked with the UN World Food Program supporting nutrition and food security programs across West Africa. She has also worked with UNICEF in Mali and conducted research on health behavior change in Niger. Originally from Mumbai, India, she holds an MS in public health nutrition and food security from Tufts University and a BA with honors in political science and French from Vassar College.
If Africa’s smallholder farmers are going to lift themselves out of poverty, they need access to formal financial services instead of the unstable, inflexible, informal arrangements that they currently rely on and that keep them poor. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and Janeen Madan review the ways in which digital technology is changing how financial services are delivered and made affordable. With the right investments and policies, farmers will be able to access credit, savings accounts, insurance, payment platforms, and other financial products that allow them to invest in their livelihoods without being exposed to exploitation or untenable risks.
The most essential feature of a social impact bond (SIB) is measuring impact. But what happens if the impact metric is questioned or unclear? A recent dispute over measuring the impact of a SIB for early childhood development in Utah yields two important practical lessons for this innovative financing tool. First, SIB implementers should be careful not to exaggerate the precision of their success indicators. Second, they need to be clear to everyone about which objectives they are pursuing.
Feed the Future has succeeded in bringing much needed attention to the pressing challenge of food security. But there is still plenty of room for improvement, particularly when it comes to encouraging country ownership and increasing transparency.
Launched in response to the 2007-2008 global food price crisis, Feed the Future is the Administration’s flagship initiative for addressing global hunger, food security, and agricultural livelihoods. Along with Power Africa, the Initiative looks to be a key component of President Obama’s development legacy. This latest report provides a glimpse into what this $1 billion a year effort has achieved over the last five years. Even with this new report in hand, there are still more questions than answers.