Out of Poverty: What Works When Traditional Approaches Fail

Out of Poverty: What Works When Traditional Approaches Fail

by Paul Polak
     
 
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

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.

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"

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781442970526
Publisher:
ReadHowYouWant, LLC
Publication date:
03/31/2009
Pages:
402
Product dimensions:
7.00(w) x 10.00(h) x 0.82(d)

What People are saying about this

Majora Carter
"Paul Polak's approach is beautifully revolutionary because it recognizes that the poor must be part of the solution to end poverty and are not the causes of it."--(Majora Carter, CEO, Sustainable South Bronx)
John Maeda
"Paul's approach to solving our world's greatest ailment is one of simplicity in design and humanity in spirit. His powerful recipe for change is clear, precise, and do-able. And we need to desperately do it right now."--(John Maeda, Associate Director of Research, MIT Media Lab and author of The Laws of Simplicity)
Steve Wozniak
"Out of Poverty is very exciting. It matches a lot of my own thoughts about solving things. When you alleviate something but don't fix the cause, it comes back. Paul Polak's approach confronts the root causes."--(Steve Wozniak, Inventor of the Apple computer and Cofounder. Apple Computer)
Suresh Kumar
"Paul Polak's life of global engagement testifies to his dedication to helping the rural poor develop concrete ways to fight poverty. His book is the pragmatic idealist's view of how things can be done."--(Suresh Kumar, Special Advisor, The Clinton Foundation)
Sandra Postel
"Paul Polak offers a personal, radical, and profoundly sensible prescription for alleviating global poverty. His engaging style of storytelling is not only persuasive, but entertaining. Read Out of Poverty‹it will change the way you look at the world."--(Sandra Postel, Director of the Global Water Policy Project and author of Pillar of Sand: Can the Irrigation Miracle Last?)

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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