Data poverty: How the rise of big data risks marginalizing the world’s poorest

Reframing the problems of big data: When the implications of big data are debated the problem most often presented is that of data surplus. Questions of what applications produce what data, or what companies have access to it, all rest on the assumption that a great deal of data is available for analysis. These questions … Continue reading Data poverty: How the rise of big data risks marginalizing the world’s poorest

Microfranchising for development: The case of Krishi Utsho

The development world has long embraced micro-finance, and there is a lot of hype about micro-entrepreneurs, but what exactly is a micro-franchise? A micro-what? Micro-franchising "has its roots in traditional franchising, which is the practice of copying a successful business and replicating it at another location by following a consistent set of well-defined processes and procedures." … Continue reading Microfranchising for development: The case of Krishi Utsho

Hanging by a thread: Workers’ rights and lives

I was working in my room on the fourth floor of a hotel in Dhaka, Bangladesh's busy capital, when I saw a man hanging by a rope. To be precise, he was suspended on a fragile-looking piece of wood tied to a single swaying cord. The words emblazoned on his t-shirt read "Jesus ♥ Me". … Continue reading Hanging by a thread: Workers’ rights and lives

What the BBC didn’t say about workers in Bangladesh

The BBC's recent Panorama investigation, Dying for a Bargain, brought welcome attention to the issue of workers' rights in the Bangladesh garment sector, where more than 1,100 people recently died in the collapse of a garment factory at Rana Plaza. It rightly pointed out that up to a million people work in dangerous or illegal conditions at … Continue reading What the BBC didn’t say about workers in Bangladesh

Three reasons why the UK National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights should prioritise gender

This week the UK government takes the historic step of becoming one of the first institutions to make an official statement on how companies should operationalize the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, more commonly known as the Ruggie Principles. Leading the process to formalize the ambitious but sometimes vague standards laid out … Continue reading Three reasons why the UK National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights should prioritise gender

The evolution of multi-stakeholder initiatives: Lessons for the Bangladesh garment sector

In the months since the Rana Plaza factory collapse in Bangladesh sparked a drive to address worker health and safety in the garment sector, I’ve been suffering a severe case of déjà vu. Here’s how it has played out: high-profile exposure of human rights abuses, coupled with intense lobbying by civil society, causes international brands … Continue reading The evolution of multi-stakeholder initiatives: Lessons for the Bangladesh garment sector

Preventing another Rana Plaza: Mapping the path forward

This week American stakeholders announced the formation of the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety and signatories to the European Fire and Building Safety Accord released their Implementation Plan. While both agreements represent steps in the right direction, to address the root causes of the Rana Plaza disaster, both initiatives must take further measures to build … Continue reading Preventing another Rana Plaza: Mapping the path forward

What your BOP strategy is missing: A gender lens

This blog was originally posted on Business Fights Poverty. It is based on the findings of the Strengthening the Dairy Value Chain project, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and implemented by CARE International Bangladesh and US. Debate on the possibilities at the base of the pyramid (BOP) is ubiquitous; nonetheless, too often regulated to a … Continue reading What your BOP strategy is missing: A gender lens