Panel | Change At the Grassroots
Panel 1 — Financial Services to the Poor: Meeting New Challenges
An estimated 78 percent of the world’s poorest do not have a bank account and operate within the cash economy. As the development world gears itself to provide financial services to this group, the current tools and mechanisms have to be adapted as well. Where microfinance once meant the provision of small scale loans, its meaning has now evolved to include savings, insurance, and other forms of financial services. This panel will explore these new financial services in a multidimensional way; by ascertaining the needs of the financially excluded, discussing new products and services, and determining the effectiveness of these services through empirical evidence.
Panel 2 — Harnessing Youth Energy for Development
Developing countries and countries in crisis (like Spain or Greece today), have often 40 to 60% of youth unemployment. Some young people drop school early, and even university graduates can take up to 5 or 6 years to find their first job. This is a humanitarian disaster, and can induce instability and violence in some countries (demonstrations, but also criminality, or political instability). Yet, those youth are a tremendous asset for their countries, if we manage to give them opportunities to serve and prove their skills and will to contribute to the development of their communities.
Panel 3 — Challenges and Opportunities to Advance Health and Development at the Grassroots
Improving the health and well-being of people living in underserved communities is integral to promoting the end of development. In this panel session, guest speakers will discuss challenges and opportunities in developing innovative grassroots health initiatives and promoting civic engagement and community development. Panelists will share insights on marketing and advancing health at the grassroots level in the face of limited resources, conflict, crisis, and other difficult local circumstances. They will discuss work on developing and scaling successful health interventions that target improving reproductive, maternal, neonatal, and child health; combating communicable and non-communicable diseases; and enhancing peoples’ quality of life and ownership over health at the local level.