Friday, March 9, 2012

NGOs can also contribute to innovative financing

DKT advertises IUDs in Indonesia.
NOTE: This blog was originally published on Impatient Optimists, the blog of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, on Feb. 2, 2012.

In difficult economic times like these, governments are looking for ways to cut their budgets. Foreign aid is often an easy target. Innovative financing—the idea of using a range of non-traditional tools such as micro-contributions, taxes, and public-private partnerships—has developed over the last 10 years as an alternative to traditional donor aid. Innovative financing mechanisms have raised $2 billion over three years, according to a 2010 report, mostly for health.

Most innovative financing has originated with governments—such as UNITAID and the International Finance Facility for Immunization—and private sector efforts such as Project RED, which engages in “cause marketing.”

But NGOs can also play a role. In fact, they have already been doing this through social entrepreneurs like Muhammad Yunnus (Grameen Bank), Bill Drayton (Ashoka), and Jacqueline Novogratz (Acumen Fund).