First hand account — The Development Dialogue 2009

February 2, 2009
By Rang De Team

Rang De’s Senior Finance Manager, Nikhil Kaushal attended the Deshpande Foundation’s Development Dialogue at Hubli recently.

There were over 300 professionals from around the world representing NGOs, government, academia and the private sector. The conference was for two days in the field, with visits to NGOs and local sites of interest. The conference included the leaders of amazing projects from the private sector and social entrepreneurs from around the world.

Here is a first hand report.

Often people wonder what Rang De does which is different from Kiva. I was asked this question at Deshpande Foundation’s Development Dialogue at Hubli. Rang De appreciates what Kiva has done over the years. They have made a significant difference in lives of many around the world. hile Kiva is a global organization, Rang De is an initiative for our own countrymen who are financially marginalized and are deprived of credit. Rang De facilitates access to credit at a cost which is way lower than what is usually charged by micro finance institutions. Rang De believes that the low cost of credit is a catalyst for financial inclusion.

The Development Dialogue was a very good platform for social organisations to network with each other, to collaborate and to share their ideologies and models. The four day event from January 27th to January 30th saw many distinguished speakers and social entrepreneurs share their thoughts and experience.

Dr. Prasad Bharat Ram (Head R & D Google India, Bangalore) talked about creating tools and solutions for the development sector using information technology to increase information flow and efficiency. He also talked about various tools being made available by Google and other information technology companies.

Ms. Vicky Colbert talked about the changes she brought in Colombia’s education system and the various challenges she faced before her system got accepted as national policy of education in Colombia and in various other countries as well.

Dr. Adrian Mukhebi from Kenya talked about the changes he brought about in the lives of rural farmers through establishment of Market Information Points across rural Kenya and the use of information and communications technology in his venture.

Mr. Jean Claude Rodriguez Ferrera from Spain talked about how he was working towards providing social and economic strength through formation of small Self Managed Financial Communities among the immigrants.

Ms. Albina Ruiz talked about her work towards reduction of public health threats caused by inadequate solid waste disposal system in Peru. She works with micro enterprises towards cleaner cities and better environment and has made a lot of difference in lives of many by providing income generation opportunities within her system.

What I observed were the commonalities among all these social entrepreneurs. All of them had to struggle hard for their ideology to be accepted and met with a lot of resistance especially with the government. But their will, determination and belief in their cause to bring about change for a social cause is what really made a difference and successful in their mission. Now their ideologies and models are accepted and replicated even by those who were against it.