Friday, September 21, 2012
Is the End of Poverty in Sight?
On September 21st, Dr. John Hatch discussed FINCA, the organization he founded, and the use of microfinance as a tool to end poverty. Dr. Hatch was optimistic, despite the great challenges that we face; although his talk was entitled “Ending Poverty by 2040,” Dr. Hatch strongly believes that the deadline is actually quite generous, and that at the rate that microfinance is growing, poverty could be ended as soon as 10 or 15 years from now. Currently, microfinance helps 160 million families, which translates to about 800 million individuals, and this number is growing by about 10% per year. As Dr. Hatch put it, microfinance is “too big to fail, and it’s run by the people themselves.”
During his talk, Dr. Hatch also emphasized the importance of the bottom-up (versus top-down) approach. When an initiative is created from the bottom up, it involves individuals and creates a greater sense of ownership and accountability. Consequently, many groups become self-sufficient and no longer rely on grants to continue their work. The sustainability and potential longevity of these programs means that they can have more long-lasting effects on individual clients.
For more information about our future events, visit our website at www.alaskaworldaffairs.org. If you missed Dr. Hatch’s lecture, a podcast version should be available on the KSKA website shortly.