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Microfinance and Innovation: Are we reinventing the Wheel?

Friday, 27 November 2009 Leave a comment

I had an opportunity to co-author with my ex supervisor Professor Ian Miles to write an opinion in the world magazine MicrofinanceInsights. The piece appears in the latest edition (Vol 15, Nov/Dec 2009). I quote the editorial’s comment:

Innovation: Are we Reinventing the Wheel?

In this issue, we look at different innovations—product, technology, and financial—that are adding value and efficiency to the sector. In our Commentary, Ian Miles and Yanuar Nugroho of the University of Manchester, argue that microfinance is now poised to bridge the gap between the privileged and the bottom of the pyramid, with the help of innovations that bear no resemblance to the Wall Street machinations that helped bring the global economy to its knees. In our cover story, Stephen Hodgson of Redport International and Yana Watson of Dalberg Global Development Advisors, question the nature of innovation that has taken place in microfinance to date; cite examples from the annals of financial history that could work well when applied to microfinance; and conclude that the sector might be better served if it adopts models that have been tried and tested in other spheres of finance. The issue brims with examples of innovations that work—from mobile technology in India to financial education for Mongolian teenagers to ATM-style kiosks in Georgia—and ones that don’t, such as the Business Correspondent system, which has faltered in India. In this issue’s Survey, our team polled 180 microfinance institutions about how Information & Communication Technology has influenced their work. You will also find the results of a Reader Survey we conducted in September to gauge what our audience thinks of Microfinance Insights so we can tailor the content to suit their preferences.

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krisis global tak berdampak ke TKI di inggris? yang bener aja …

Saturday, 7 February 2009 9 comments

siang sampai sore hari ini saya mendapat telepon dari tanah air beberapa kali. kalau tak salah hitung, ada 8 atau 9 kali, dari orang yang berbeda-beda dan dua diantaranya dari media massa. ada kemiripan semua isi telepon itu. awalnya, semua bertanya, “apa benar tak ada dampak krisis ekonomi saat ini di inggris?“. saya jawab, “tidak benar“. lalu saya tanya balik, “kenapa?” lalu dijawab, “kompas yang bilang itu“. saya menukas, “ngawur itu. sudah pasti kompas salah.” lalu ditanggapi lagi, “lha ini dari wawancara mereka yang bekerja di ingris kok“. lalu saya menukas lagi, “lha yang diwawancarai yang nggak ngerti situasinya.” lalu yang bikin saya shock, “lha bukannya kamu juga diwawancarai?”

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Martabat buruh, kinerja modal dan penyelenggaraan publik

Sunday, 13 January 2008 Leave a comment

Oleh Yanuar Nugroho
CSR Review 13 Januari 2008

“Globalisasi produksi kini tengah membentuk kembali lansekap ekonomi internasional. Dengan itu, pengetahuan lama yang mengatakan bahwa negara maju adalah eksportir modal dan teknologi dan negara berkembang sebagai importirnya pelan-pelan harus minggir dan memberikan tempat bagi relasi keduanya yang lebih kompleks… Tren saat ini mempunyai implikasi yang penting bagi pembagian kerja di dunia. Pandangan tradisional bahwa aktivitas produksi yang lebih kompleks dilakukan di Utara dan yang sederhana di Selatan makin tidak mencerminkan realitas. Perusahaan kini melihat bahwa negara berkembang menjadi penting bukan hanya karena buruh murah, tetapi terutama pertumbuhan, ketrampilan dan teknologi.”

Setelah demo masif para buruh menolak revisi UU No. 13/2003 yang sarat dengan pengabaian hak-hak pekerja, pemerintah akhirnya mengambil sikap untuk mengevaluasi pelaksanaan UU tersebut sebelum merevisinya.  Tentu sikap ini disambut baik oleh buruh. Namun, pengusaha menunjukkan gelagat lain: mereka ngotot minta revisi segera dilakukan dengan tetap menggunakan draft yang sudah ditolak tersebut. Alasannya, revisi itu perlu untuk memikat investasi.  Jika saja kita mau sedikit lebih jeli melihat problematika ketenagakerjaan itu, disana ada tegangan mendasar: martabat manusia dan kuasa modal.
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FSPI: Stand by your people, G33 Ministers!

Tuesday, 20 March 2007 2 comments

Earlier today, 20 March 2007, the G33 Meeting was kicked-off in Jakarta. Various Indonesian civil society groups worry that the meeting will be intervened by other interests, especially WTO — indicated by the (unnecessary) presence of Pascal Lamy –and some other developed countries’ representatives– at the meeting. FSPI, one of the civil society coalitions organised a rally to ‘welcome’ the meeting today. Mohammed Ikhwan of FSPI reported below.

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Wajah Ganda Pembangunan

Tuesday, 23 November 2004 Leave a comment

Media Indonesia – OPINI – 23 Nopember 2004

Yanuar Nugroho

MINGGU lalu, Bank Dunia baru saja merilis laporan tahunan tentang status pembangunan dunia tahun 2005 yang berjudul A Better Investment Climate for Everyone (Iklim Investasi yang Lebih Baik bagi Semua) (World Development Report 2005). Apa isi laporan ini? Ringkasnya, sektor bisnis swasta baik skala kecil, menengah, ataupun besar, memegang peranan penting dalam pembangunan saat ini karena ia mendorong pertumbuhan ekonomi yang sangat dibutuhkan untuk mengurangi kemiskinan.

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Freeing up services: Delayed, not canceled

Wednesday, 24 September 2003 Leave a comment

OPINION & EDITORIAL – The Jakarta Post, 24 September 2003

Yanuar Nugroho

Rejoicing and lamentation greeted the collapse of the world trade talks in Cancun last week. Those who lamented represented the developed countries, which have had their pursuit of profit slowed down. Those celebrating included representatives of developing countries, which prematurely thought that it was a victory of the poor world against large corporations.

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Health issue: The art of playing God?

Friday, 12 September 2003 Leave a comment

OPINION & EDITORIAL – The Jakarta Post, 12 September 2003
Yanuar Nugroho

Having less money means less opportunity to survive — to keep alive. We are in a world in which death and life are no longer “natural,” but “manufactured.

The association of pharmaceutical industries in the United States, PhRMA, quoting last year’s World Health Organization report, describes how diseases quickly and harshly kill people — 4 million people die annually due to respiratory infection, 2.2 million from typhus-cholera-dysentery, 1.7 million from tuberculosis, 1 million from malaria, 900,000 from blood-fever and 3 million from AIDS-related diseases.

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Defending global essentials: Notes from Kyoto

Tuesday, 1 April 2003 Leave a comment

The Jakarta Post, Tuesday, 1 April 2003, OPINION & EDITORIAL
Yanuar Nugroho

While 1.1 billion people do not have access to safe drinking water and almost 2.4 billion do not have adequate sanitation, according to the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), only 1.6 percent of development assistance is spent on providing water and sanitation services. Over 2.3 billion people suffer from water-related diseases, and it is the leading cause of death in the world.

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Addiction to mobile phones amid neoliberalism

Monday, 12 August 2002 3 comments

The Jakarta Post, 12 August 2002 : Opinion

by Yanuar Nugroho

Read this. “The number of mobile phones was estimated to be near 77 million, with more than 37,500 people signing up for wireless phone service each day. And these users are talking more than ever before. There is too much traffic on the phone network.” (New York Times, Aug. 19 2000).

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Privatizing public goods: Our lives up for sale

Monday, 15 July 2002 Leave a comment

THE JAKARTA POST – Opinion & Editorial, Monday, 15 July 2002

by Yanuar Nugroho

Beware. In the coming years, we in Indonesia may have to pay more not only for our drinking water, but also for bathing and watering flowers at home. We may also have to pay for permission to dig a well in our backyards.

Worse, farmers and villagers may no longer be able to access water from rivers or springs, for corporations will already have been given the right to access all water resources.

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Descartes might say: ‘I buy, therefore I am’

Wednesday, 10 July 2002 2 comments

THE JAKARTA POST – Opinion and Editorial – July 10, 2002

Have you watched the TV quiz show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? It is a successful game show that has now been shown in 51 countries, reaping regular audiences of up to 20 million, and shows how much we all desire to share in the capitalist dream. Soap operas showing the rich getting richer, like Dallas or Dynasty, lost their appeal by the 1990s; today many like to believe that wealth is within reach of all of us.

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