Pathways out of Poverty for the Poorest: The 100 Million Project

photo credit:  Mohammed Rakibul HasanAt the 2006 Microcredit Summit, the global microfinance community adopted two new goals for the industry: reaching 175 million of the world’s poorest with microfinance and helping 100 million families lift themselves out of extreme poverty. Of these goals, the second has proved the most challenging. In response, the Microcredit Summit Campaign has developed the 100 Million Project to galvanize energy around a global goal of reaching those living in severe poverty and equipping them with useful financial tools and services for their journey out of poverty.

Now, with advances in poverty measurement tools, technology, and targeted programming for the extreme poor, the 100 Million Project Partners are committed to making and tracking progress against this ambitious goal. Two main avenues are being pursued toward that end. The first is to promote broader use of reliable and accurate poverty measurement tools so that practitioners can more clearly identify their level of poverty down-reach and better target their services to intended client groups. The second is to facilitate and support industry-wide learning that answers the question “What are the business models, relationships and practices that most effectively facilitate movement out of poverty, and how can my organization implement those strategies?”

Helping 100 million families lift themselves out of poverty will require collaboration-building among several organizations, each with a complementary areas of expertise. The Campaign is thrilled to be debuting its newest 100 Million Project partnership with the SEEP Network during the 2012 SEEP Annual Conference. The event will feature the latest developments on this new collaboration. Join us this week in Arlington to learn more about this project:

  • Thursday, November 8 at 11 AM:  Attend the workshop session “More than Just Measuring Poverty – Using Data to Strengthen Products and Delivery Channels.”
    Panelists: Jacobo Menajovsky (Senior Data Analyst, Financial Services, Grameen Foundation) and Mary Liz Kehler (Director, US Office, Fundación Paraguaya)
    Moderator: Jesse Marsden (Manager, Research & Operations, Microcredit Summit Campaign)
  • Thursday, November 8 at 4 PM:  Attend the plenary session “New Strategies in Building Assets for the Ultra Poor
    Panelists: Leonardo Alvarez (Plan International), Carlos Alberto Moya Franco (Banca de las Oportunidades), and Camilla Nestor (Grameen Foundation)
    Moderator: Frank DeGiovanni (Ford Foundation)
    You can also watch this plenary LIVE online.
  • Wednesday, November 7, 2012 at 5:30 PM:  Talk with Campaign staff about the 100 Million Project and how to lend your support to this ambitious effort at the Career Fair.

We hope you will attend the 2012 SEEP Annual Conference! For more on the 100 Million Project, click here, and stay tuned as the project develops.

2 thoughts on “Pathways out of Poverty for the Poorest: The 100 Million Project

  1. Can we step back and ask who set the metric of above a dollar a day ? Its taken quite a lot of work to get The Economist to deeply research Bangaldesh – 4 pages in current 3nov issue Quite clearly the original bangladeshi models developed round mainly non-monetisation community exchanges. The new film money and life shows how important it is to support system designs that value other impact metrics than monetisation ones. Since understanding why the genius of was all about hubbing centre exchanges and minimising monetary trades, we suggest the discussion of what goal would have compounded better impacts needs to be long and joyfully moderated – eg join us at

    • Hi Chris,
      Thanks for your post and for posing an excellent question regarding the origins of the metric of “above a dollar a day” (and on questioning purely monetary metrics in general).
      The Campaign has two goals that focus on “the poorest,” and we actually look at two different metrics regarding this group. One is indeed, the World Bank’s $1.25/day (formerly the $1/day) line. They established the line “for the purpose of global aggregation and comparison,” and it represents “the mean of the national poverty lines for the 10-20 poorest countries of the world” (for more info, see their overview here:
      We also include in the category of the poorest people those who are among the lowest 50% of those living below their nation’s poverty line–but, this is not to suggest that a purely monetary measure is the end-all of defining poverty. Other factors come into play, and other poverty bench marking tools are working at understanding how to measure this.
      It is because of this multi-faceted nature of poverty that the 100 Million Project will be working with a wide variety of reliable poverty bench marking tools to pursue the 100 million goal. The Project is also incorporating into the Global Learning Agenda questions that attempt to better understand some of the conditions of poverty that are beyond strictly monetary ones. We agree that the discussion on impacts and how to best measure them should be eagerly pursued and we hope that the 100 Million Project can support those efforts. Thanks for posting!

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