Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Countries / Bangladesh

Mobile Money in Bangladesh: Shifting from Scale to Innovation

With the support of the Gates Foundation, BRAC launched an innovation fund for mobile money and recently announced 7 ways BRAC will innovate with mobile money this year. Selected initiatives include launching a mobile-based savings product for adolescents, offering micro-insurance to microfinance clients, and flexible payment schemes for school fees.

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Network Effects: the Entrepreneur, the Investor, and the Poor in Bangladesh

Kamal Quadir and Iqbal Quadir are two Bangladeshi brothers, and serial entrepreneurs. Iqbal started the first and now largest cellular company in Bangladesh, GrameenPhone. Kamal built a successful technology company in Bangladesh, CellBazaar, which provides a virtual marketplace trading platform on mobile phones. Following these successes, the brothers created the vision for a mobile payments company called bKash that could become one of the first of its kind globally to offer a major interoperable mobile payments service that is managed by neither a mobile operator nor a ban

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World Health Worker Week Delivers Strong Call To Center Focus on Access

Will we look back at this time as a key moment in a powerful and sustained drive toward ensuring every person has access to quality health services, or will weak support of health workers continue to entrap at least 1 billion people with little to no access?

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Polio-Free South-East Asia Region: A Triumph That Transcends All Boundaries

In 2006, I was working for WHO’s National Polio Surveillance Project in India where I was responsible for surveillance and immunization activities to facilitate polio eradication. On my way back to my office one day after examining a child suspected to have polio, I took the above photo as we were driving past the international border between India and Bangladesh. 2006 was the year when Bangladesh reported 18 cases of polio after not having a case since 2000. The outbreak came from across the border in India, which, had nearly 670 cases that year. This image of the setting sun that evening reminded me of the reality of infectious diseases and vulnerabilities of us, the people, and the countries. The sun setting on the Bangladesh sky had its reflection across the man-made barbed wire border, onto the Indian waters. The parallel was too evident to be missed: as long as polio remained on one side of the border, it could cross over and infect children on the other side.

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Meet Raya, the Newest Member of the Sesame Family

2.5 Billion people currently do not have access to safe toilets. Sesame Workshop, the non-profit educational organization behind Sesame Street, has been selected to join the 2014 “Reinvent The Toilet Fair: India” to showcase critical health messages as part of its Cleaner, Healthier, Happier campaign designed to reach children and families across Bangladesh, India and Nigeria.

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