Meine Pieter van Dijk
If we are ever to reach the millennium development goals, much greater levels of finance will need to be raised, and sound systems of governance should be in place to manage them.
Since the late 1990s, India's cities have led the way in obtaining financing for water and sanitation infrastructure. This article describes some of the successes, and also points to the reforms that are needed before private investments can really make a difference for India's poorest city dwellers.
Developed countries and countries of the Third World look to South East Asia as a model of regional economic vigour, where the small-scale business sector has flourished. This article suggests that positive aspects of the region's economic success, such as co-operation and linkages between firms in a sector, need to be emulated, rather than the low levels of work-force organization, which have kept labour costs down at the expense of poorly paid workers. The article describes the great potential of clusters of entrepreneurial small firms to transform a city or region through strategies that have been described by concepts of 'flexible specialization', the 'new competition' and 'industrial districts'. An alternative industrial development strategy is suggested, combining elements of all these ideas.
Frugal financial innovations for inclusive finance: the experience with customer care at M-Pesa in Kenya
A well-functioning and inclusive financial sector in developing countries is important for economic development. A mobile payment revolution has been taking place in Africa and allows frugal financial innovations for inclusive finance. This paper looks at the experience of M-Pesa in Kenya and in particular how they deal with customer care. Not enough use is made of the field agents and of customer segmentation (the low-income customers in particular deserve more attention), while customer care and operations can also be improved. Suggestions are made for how to do so and conclusions drawn about the strong points of this potentially frugal financial innovation. M-Pesa is helping people to become ‘financially included’ and tries to learn from customer satisfaction research.
The discussion about privatization of urban services often focuses on the involvement of foreign enterprises. This contribution deals with micro-privatization, the partial transfer of government responsibility for solid waste collection (so important for the quality of water) to micro-enterprises. What are some of the factors contributing to its results in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia?