Out of Poverty: What Works When Traditional Approaches Fail

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Overview

Based on his 25 years of experience, Polak explodes what he calls the "Three Great Poverty Eradication Myths": that we can donate people out of poverty, that national economic growth will end poverty, and that Big Business, operating as it does now, will end poverty. Polak shows that programs based on these ideas have utterly failed‹in fact, in sub-Saharan Africa poverty rates have actually gone up.

These failed top-down efforts contrast sharply with the grassroots approach Polak and IDE have championed: helping the dollar-a-day poor earn more money through their own efforts. Amazingly enough, unexploited market opportunities do exist for the desperately poor. Polak describes how he and others have identified these opportunities and have developed innovative, low-cost tools that have helped in lifting 17 million people out of poverty.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Out of Poverty by Paul Polak, offers optimism. Optimism not just for those fighting poverty and those fighting to get out of it, but for any company interested in a basically untapped 1 billion-person market." — Jessie Scanlon "February 22, 2008; BusinessWeek"
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781605092768
  • Publisher: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 9/1/2009
  • Series: BK Currents Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 981,438
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Polak is the founder of the Colorado-based non-profit International Development Enterprises (IDE). His newest project is D-Rev, a non-profit that seeks "to create a design revolution by enlisting the best designers in the world to develop products and ideas that will benefit the 90% of the people on earth who are poor...."

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Table of Contents

Preface     ix
Introduction: Learning to Do the Simple and Obvious     1
Twelve Steps to Practical Problem Solving     13
The Three Great Poverty Eradication Myths     27
It All Starts with Making More Money     51
Design for the Other 90 Percent     63
From Subsistence to New Income     83
Affordable Small-Plot Irrigation     95
A New Agriculture for One-Acre Farms     115
Creating Vibrant New Markets That Serve Poor Customers     137
Slums - The Incubator for New Income Opportunities     159
Poverty and the Planet     171
Taking Action to End Poverty     183
Bahadur and His Family Move Out of Poverty     201
Notes     213
Resources     217
Acknowledgments     218
Index     221
About the Author     230
About IDE     231
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