The Reuters Digital Vision Program is a one-year fellowship at Stanford University for mid-career tech professionals. I'm blogging my experiences there: the amazing guest speakers, the interesting classes and discussion groups with other fellows, and thoughts on how technology can help reduce the gulf between the global rich and poor.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

2007 Tech Laureate Showcase (Part II)

(see Part I for descriptions of other projects: cooking fuel pellets from seaweed, packed earth vaulted ceilings, P2P microcredit, P2P marketplace with a mobile interface, and a web-conferencing platform with VOIP for students.)

The other projects that I got to see were:


This prize-winning project is a social networking software platform for youth interested in humanitarian issues. The site has about 170,000 members. Membership is free, and they have a global reach (living up to their name). I did a quick search to see how global, and did come up with 50 members in Mali, but after looking through the first 25 profiles, I'd say that maybe only 1 or 2 is still an active member. (They provide both create date and last login date.) They have an impressive number of languages (English, French, Spanish, Russian, Arabic, Portuguese), but the English one was the only one that was really active (41,000 posts); French was runner up with 1,344, Spanish and Arabic had a few hundred each, Russian hadn't even broken into the double digits yet... But they do have good content on various issues (like the UN Millennium Development Goals) and ways for youth to connect with each other and learn about events. In addition to the "free" site, there's a way to use the platform in schools, with licensing costs at the school/district level.

Counterpart International

This project is primarily software for logistics management for humanitarian aid. It allows the tracking of pallets and bundles (sounded like USAID was a prime user, and the goods were rather varied...) from the shipper all the way to the recipient, with report back capabilities. The technology platform is Microsoft (.NET and SQL-Server) though it's not really a web application. (Given money, that's what Vlad, the key developer said he would work on next.) The project has been going for about 7 years, with Vlad Roshchin as the person providing continuity, over the life of the project. He said that it's about the equivalent of 1.5 FTE's per year, so about 10 person-years of effort.

Grameen Shakti, Empowerment Through Renewable Energy Technologies

I was a bit confused about what Grameen Shakti was doing; it seemed a sort of hodge-podge of energy related projects using microfinance to allow even the rural poor to buy solar panels, cooking stoves, etc. Fortunately, I'd grabbed one of the info packets with many pictures of a smiling Managing Director Dipal Chandra Barua receiving prizes around the world. From the booklet, I see they have installed 120,000 solar home systems in Bangladesh and are adding at a rate of 4,000/month. A case study said that a pharmacy owner had replaced his kerosene lighting with a 20 watt solar system. I'm extrapolating a bit here, because the numbers are sketchy, but it looks like he has to pay $13/month for 42 months, and had to pay 10% down (about $56). After the 42 months it's paid off, and he can get a service contract for about $13/year. Given that he was paying about $20/month in kerosene, this is a win, breaking even after 8 months. Plus, the light is better (7 watt CFL, plus 3 LED's) and better for both air quality and environment.

The cook stoves seem a similar benefit, reducing fuel needs by 50%, as well as venting less smoke into living areas. A third program that they run is biogas power generation, converting cow dung to energy and fertilizer. It seems that a "family-sized" unit (3 cubic meters) produces enough energy to cook 3 meals a day.

PATH, Vaccine Vial Monitor

A simple idea, really, but one that seems to work: vaccines spoil if exposed to high temperatures for too long. PATH has figured a way to make labels that contain chemicals that change colors if they've been exposed to temperatures that would ruin the vaccine. So before a vaccine is administered, the health worker confirms that it hasn't spoiled. It's also saved many doses that would otherwise be discarded to be "on the safe side" when refrigeration loses power for a short period. There are different labels that have different "warning" temperature / durations. They cost a few cents each to make, falling within the target of being less than 5% of the cost of the vaccine, especially when the labels are applied to multi-dose containers.

Vaxin Inc., Rapid-Response Bird Flu Vaccine

This seemed like a cool technical breakthrough. I didn't understand the medicine behind it, but the general gist I got from Dr. De-chu Tang was that:

  1. You could produce vaccines for avian flu much more quickly / cost effectively
  2. You could vaccinate chickens while they're still in the egg (much easier!)
  3. You could potentially combine other needed chicken vaccines with it

Vaxin is a private VC-backed company (raised $25M, I think he said) headquartered in Alabama, and founded in 1997.

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2007 Tech Laureate Showcase (Part I)

This past Wednesday was the annual Tech Laureate Awards sponsored by the Tech Museum of San Jose. In addition to the Gala Awards Dinner where the winners are announced, there's a showcase of the 25 different projects (which can be as early stage as a single person or a multi-year effort from a Fortune 500 company or top university). The showcase is a great opportunity to speak directly to these leading social entrepreneurs. It's possible to get several minutes of personal explanation from the people who were most responsible for the project. (In fact, it's sort of disappointing that there aren't more people that attend and mob the tables...)

I had only a limited amount of time at the showcase, so I didn't get to talk to all 25 projects. In fact, of the groups that I talked to, only one TakingIT won one of the $50K prizes. But among the groups that I talked to:

Marc Andre Ledoux, Consortium SudEco Industrie

This project kills two (or more) birds with one stone. Invasive seaweed is clogging up rivers needed for fishing and transportation. The idea is to harvest the seaweed, dry it, crush it into pellets that can then be used as fuel for burning in cooking stoves. The future plans for this project are the make the pellet-making press run off of oil extracted from other trees, and enable other machines to run off of the energy source as well. This project is still in proof of concept phase.

Association la Voute Nubienne

This project focuses on reducing building costs by (re-)introducing a way of using packed earth bricks for a vaulted ceiling rather than wood (disappearing quickly, and 10X the cost...). The vaults can be 3.2 meters wide and as long as needed. The photos showed a range of buildings that were constructed with the technique. In addition to being cheaper, the packed earth is also cooler than some of the alternatives. There's a great demand for buildings in this style, the challenge is training enough builders: it's an apprenticeship program, and you really need to build two or three with an experienced builder before you're ready to be the main builder, so it takes (if I understood right) a year of training. The growth is exponential (new builders can train more new builders) but only at annual rate of 1.06 (i.e., the number of builders doubles in the same time it takes to double your money at 6% compound interest, about 12 years.)

Kamal Quadir, CellBazaar

Kamal's brother Khalid Quadir was an RDVP fellow the year before me, and his other brother Iqbal Quadir started Grameen Phone and gave a talk at Stanford that I attended. So Kamal has some impressive credentials to start. And he's done some cool work. Recognizing that the cell phone is the access point to the web for many people in developing countries, Kamal has created Cell Bazaar, an online peer-to-peer market place (a la that you can access through SMS or other cell phone protocols (in addition to the browser-oriented interface shown above). The service is running, and even though it was the middle of the night Bangladesh time, new posts were being made while I was at his booth. I think he said he was getting about 70,000 daily hits, with a new item or service posted every 2-3 minutes (~700/day) and that a follow up survey had determined that about 28% of them sold. Cell phones were a high-traffic item, and tutoring services were another. He had already identified another country in Eastern Europe where he planned to roll out the next site. is a current media darling, and rightfully so. Matt and Jessica Flannery have really harnessed the power of the web to raise investment capital from the "retail investor" (John and Jane Q. Public) to fund microentrepreneurs around the world. They've gotten a ton of publicity (I still find it weird to see full page ads of Premal Shah in BusinessWeek for BlackBerry) and have had some growing pains along the way. Even now, they've had to restrict the amount of money you can invest, because they can't productively place all of the capital that people would like to invest. They are sending people out into the field to evaluate more MFI's, but Matt definitely said that placing the money is their biggest challenge now.

Elluminate, Inc., Fire and Ice / Elluminate Live!

This one seemed like a commercial product that was also being pitched in a "for development" context. Elluminate showed how their platform for teleconferencing over the web could be used for education, bringing together students from around the globe to learn and share ideas about environmental issues. The required hardware is minimal (a $3 microphone, I think they said) and once it's in place, there are plenty of other uses beyond primary and secondary education, like vocational training for nurses, ability for doctors to participate in conferences, etc. They'd run a couple of pilot events, and the students continued using the system after it was "over", leading them to set up more ongoing projects and events.

(watch for a Part II post with the remaining projects I saw, coming soon...)

Monday, June 11, 2007

SVMN: MicroRate, Damian von Stauffenberg (April 11, 2007)

The April 11, 2007 meeting of the Silicon Valley Microfinance Network featured Damian von Stauffenberg from MicroRate, a rating agency that specializes in microfinance institutions. I ended up missing the first half of the talk, but was interested in what he had to say. After much cheerleading from the press, and the increased attention from Yunus and Grameen's Nobel award, von Stauffenberg sounded a note of caution. There have been some microfinance critics that oppose microfinance on it its own terms (that it doesn't do enough or works only in conjunction with other programs, works only for certain groups, unfairly profits from poverty, etc.) but von Stauffenberg's take was different: not that it didn't work for the borrowers, but that there was greater risk for the lenders than we were currently acknowledging.

Calling the industry's 40% annual growth a limit, given the institutional capacity, he said "We're in the seventh year of seven fat years." He quickly added that he wasn't necessarily predicting a crash next year, as timing any market is nearly impossible. This recent period of financial growth and stability has permitted nearly everyone in the market to do well. "Economic cycles haven't ended," he warned. When conditions change, those weaker performers or those that have overreached will run into difficulty. "We will see failures. It's only a question of how large and how soon."

His talk wasn't all doom and gloom. "We ain't seen nothing yet. The demand is so huge that even if we dream wild dreams, we will exceed them." Only the private sector can satisfy the demand for capital. There is a risk, he felt, that public (international financial companies) money could be "crowding out" private funding. Public money does have a role, but it's not in funding the established, successful MFI's that could be attracting private money. Too often, he said, the public money wins the deal by offering sweeteners, like technical assistance grants that the successful MFI's don't really need. Instead, the public money should be helping establish more MFI's as successful ones, ready for private money. They should be making the "5-hour journey" to the out of the way places that haven't yet made it on to the private money's map.

He talked a bit about the key cost components of the MFI's:

  1. Operating costs
  2. Cost of Capital
  3. Loan loss provision
With relatively little flexibility in #2 or #3, and downward pressure on market interest rates (due to competition and regulation) MFI's are struggling with reducing costs, which causes them to move upmarket, into small business loans (at the $1,200-1,500 range). This is actually a different market, where the businesses have fixed assets and fixed costs, and therefore less flexibility, so are at greater risk for non-payment when hard times hit.

He talked a bit about the methodology that MicroRate uses to evaluate MFI's, looking at factors like:

  • microfinance operations, including their methodology
  • portfolio quality
  • management and operations
  • governance and strategic positioning
  • Financial Position

He noted that the "optimal repayment rate" varied from country to country, where a top-performing institution in Columbia might have 1-2% of its portfolio at risk (30 days or more late) while in Peru, 5-6% would still be seen as OK.

He talked about some coming trends and risks. As a result of more competition among MFI's, credit is more widely available, and some borrowers have become over-indebted. Without a credit bureau and strong identification systems, it's difficult to prevent borrowers using one loan to pay off another. (Indeed, he even related an anecdote where a similar scheme was run in collusion with the branch level MFI officials to try to maintain "healthy" portfolio-at-risk metrics in tough economic times.) A second risk he mentioned was that of MFI's overreaching. He noted that the leverage trend is clearly up, which gives the organizations less leeway in operations. Third, populist politics and the desire of politicians to be seen as protective of the poor sometimes induces them to impose rate caps that make it uneconomic to provide microcredit. (Though he also noted that in Latin America especially, where those laws are on the books, they are routinely ignored.) Finally, he noted that economic conditions (political stability, high liquidity, low inflation) can't continue forever. For lenders, especially the Microfinance Investment Vehicles (MIV's), he rattled off another set of risks: an oversupply of foreign funding (between 2005 and 2006, the level of funding from these MIV's roughly doubled from $1B to $2B.); lack of transparency, benchmarks, and independent performance evaluation. The returns that are offered, he said, really don't match the risk incurred (until those factors are mitigated.)

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Mifos Bay Area Launch Reception (3/22/2007)

The Grameen Foundation had a reception celebrating the launch of Mifos, hosted at VISA, just down the street from me in Foster City. It was well attended, with 60 or so people. Mifos is the MIcroFinance Open Source project that I worked on during my RDVP fellowship. Two and a half years later, there are 4 MFI's working on implementing Mifos at their institutions, in India, Tunisia, Kenya, and the Philippines. The other exciting aspect is the development of the open source community to support Mifos. While I tend to think about the volunteers that are involved, George Conard (of the Grameen Foundation) and Brian Behlendorf (of CollabNet) both pointed out that it's important to recognize that there are developers that can make their living from working on it as well.

Alex Counts, President of the Grameen Foundation, gave a brief introduction. George Conard, the Director of the Mifos Initiative, spoke next. He gave a really good talk, with a few powerpoint slides, emphasizing the need for microcredit (using examples of both recovering from emergencies and funding purchase of raw materials), the importance of IT systems in microcredit (ability to scale to 1 billion prospective customers), the sorry state of the current systems (90% using a homegrown system, Excel, or none at all), the challenges (each homegrown system re-creating the wheel to accommodate the slight twist that they need to support their local methodology; or small vendors trying to support a system in a different language and timezone). Open source provides a solution: the ability to re-use code and for an ecology of support vendors to spring up around it.

Brian Behlendorf of CollabNet (who brought you SVN) and a key contributor to the Apache project, was the keynote speaker. I was impressed that he spoke about microcredit; I assumed that we'd get a standard (if privileged, insider's) view of the benefits of open source. But Brian went the extra mile, and put it in the context of microcredit. He mentioned that he'd been at Davos recently, and that had driven home to him the fact that microcredit worked (ie, that borrowers could put small loan amounts to work generating greater economic benefit) and that lenders were interested in making the loans, but they couldn't connect, and that, according to Brian, sounded like a software problem! He did a good job of describing the open source benefits of transparency, and also acknowledged the Grameen Foundation for the the critical role they had in funding the development. (He compared it to the role that IBM had played in bringing Eclipse to market or CollabNet's development of SVN.)

All in all, a fun event. Great to see the Mifos progress (can't wait until it actually goes live at Grameen Koota!) and thanks to a Grameen Foundation board meeting, plus the gathering for this event, a lot of people that I'd met over the years were there (Alex Counts, Peter Bladin, Emily Tucker, Susan Davis) from Grameen, another early Mifos volunteer Charlie Tomberg, plus people that I'd met through the RDVP fellowship from Cisco (Peter Tavernise) and (Rachel Payne). It was also great to meet Elizabeth Clarkson of which made a sizable investment in Mifos.

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Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Tech Policy Summit Conference

On February 26 & 27, I attended the Tech Policy Summit in San Jose. It was a really well run conference (props to organizer Natalie Fonseca of SageScape). The general intention was to bring together people from the tech sector, especially from Silicon Valley, with policy makers, primarily from DC. In spite of the cross-country flight, and horrendous weather in Washington on the 25th, causing many cancellations, it still seemed like the DC contingent was larger than the local one. I guess I'd chalk that up to mostly a questionable complacency from the techies that things political can be ignored as long as you stay focused on the customer/business/technology.

So I'll try to share my takeaways, from a largely "techie" point of view, hoping that others may be encouraged to learn more (podcasts are available) and participate in the future.

The Big Issues

Thinking back over the repeated themes that came up, I'd say the main topics were:

  • Patent Reform
  • H1-B visas and immigration
  • Privacy and data security
  • Net neutrality
  • Broadband access
  • Math & Science education
  • Tax policy (esp. R&D tax credit)
  • Trade policy (esp. monopoly /duopoly, anti-trust issues, in Europe)
  • Energy

I'll put together another blog post or two with the "content" highlights for these topics.

Overall, the tone was slightly alarmist. America has fallen or is about to fall out of the lead in critical areas of global competitiveness, and we need to take action.

The People

It was an interesting mix of different groups, with some impressive names from each.



Tech Executives

It was a good turnout of CEO's with a handful of others mixed in. As I was looking up bios, I was surprised that the most represented shade of red was not Crimson, Cardinal, or even Blood on Concrete (MIT), but Big Red. I've noted the Cornell affiliations below.

and representatives from "trade associations" (aka lobbyists).

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

UNICEF report on "Child Well-Being in Rich Countries"

I saw a BBC article trumpeting the UK's last place finish in this UNICEF report (PDF version) and wondered how the US fared. Not well. We finished just above the UK (in the #20 slot out of 21), with education, ironically, being the main thing that kept us out of last place overall. (#12 vs. UK's #17)

I'll admit that I was surprised, and started reading through the report looking for methodological issues. Yes, there were a couple were I would have measured the data differently, but there were a number of interesting factoids as well.

Material wealth

The US was last in "relative income poverty" with 20% of households with children having less than 50% of the median income. This is one of the metrics I'd quarrel with. It's not a measure of absolute poverty. And if income were purely linear, you'd expect 25% of the households to have less than 50% of the median. So, it's a strange metric, and one that points more to the uneven distribution of income in the US rather than children being "poor" in the traditional sense of not being able to afford food, housing, clothing, etc. Figure 1.3a does a better job of capturing that (by asking 4 questions: Does your family have a car? Do you have your own room? How many times did you travel for vacation? and How many computers does your family have?) Here, the US scored 6th.

But in juxtaposition to that "absolute wealth" metric, was the fact that nearly 1 in 8 US households reported having fewer than 10 books. (Figure 1.3c) This put us deep in the bottom quartile. Fewer than 10 books?!? So, top quartile of wealth, but bottom quartile of access to books. Bad sign.

One point that I'm just going to quote straight from the report was interesting:
There is a trend for any increase in social spending in OECD countries to be allocated principally to pensions and health care, leaving little for further investment in children.
Hadn't really occurred to me before, but yes, certainly with medical costs rising, and seniors being voters, and children not, it does seem like a probable outcome.

Health and Safety

The US was also last in the overall category. Again, that struck me as odd, since overall, I'd say that our medical system is pretty good, health awareness generally high, and quite a bit of parental concern. The US was near the bottom for infant mortality rate (at 7 per 1000 live births not making it to a year). The differences in this category were relatively small, and especially given the potential variability in the denominator of "live births", I'm not sure this is fair. (That is, it could be the case that children who would die in childbirth in other countries, and therefore be excluded from this stat, do survive, but are at much higher risk during their first year.) Low birth weight rate is not as easy to explain away, and the US didn't do well here either.
But we're really good at gaining weight. (Figure 5.1d shows 25% of people age 13 & 15 report being overweight, again at the bottom of the list.) Accidental deaths was another area that the US was at the bottom, though here again, differences were small, and the absolute level was low. I'd assume that it probably is fully explained by miles driven per capita (both driven and passenger), and it hardly seems to fair to say children are better off if we prevent them from leaving home.


Here the US was in the middle of the pack. I guess with all of the doomsaying about US education, I was expecting it to be lower. Performance on reading, math, and science was a bit below the rich countries' average. Not good, but not the horrendous showing I'd feared. The percentage of 15-19 year olds in full or part-time education was interesting. The US in the bottom quartile, though if you figure that most 19 year olds have completed high school, this might not be that big a deal. I'm hearing more and more people suggest that students should take a year off between high school and college, so perhaps a metric about how many students eventually earn college degrees is more important. The shocker for me on this metric was the Russian Federation number at 30%. ?!? Less than 1/3 of the 15-19 year olds in school?

Another stat that startled me was the percentage of 15 year olds that "expecting to find work requiring low skills". Here, the optimistic American was at the top, at about 15%. In contrast, more than half of the Japanese were pessimistic.

Family & Peer Relationships

The US was second to last, just above UK. Showings in the "single parent" and "living with step family" were at the bottom. For parental involvement (measured by child's self-reported "eat meals together several times a week" and "just talk to me several times a week") the US was middling (top third on talking, bottom third on eating).

Figure 4.3 was another distressing one. Percentage of 11,13, and 15 year olds who find their peers "kind and helpful". I was surprised at the variation between countries here. I assumed there would be a sort of constant level of "teen angst". But it ranged from 82% "kind and helpful" (Switzerland) down to 43% (UK and Czech Republic). The US was at the lower end, about 50%.

Behaviors and Risks

Here again, US second to last, just above the UK. The combinations of the health ones was interesting: US was among the least likely to eat breakfast (about 50%), not very likely to eat fruit daily, but were top 3 in terms of exercise, and still way more likely to be overweight. So we must be eating something besides fruit and breakfast foods...

In the sex & drugs categories, the US was better than the average in terms of smoking and drinking (measured by having been drunk twice or more), but near the bottom for cannabis usage (about 30% of 11,13 and 15 year olds claimed to have used it in the past 12 months) the UK, Switzerland, and Canada were higher (no pun intended), but Amsterdam's Netherlands only came in at 20%. The surveys were strangely silent on the US results in the sex categories. Perhaps the US government objected to surveys which mentioned condom usage? At any rate, no statistics are provided.


The US data were insufficient in this category to be fully reported. So there are interesting bits and pieces (many say that they aren't in good health. Related to obesity?), and another piece that I'll quote directly from the report:
Figure 6.2 shows how many answered – ‘I like it [school] a lot’. And the answer is ‘not many’.
(More specifically, about 39% from Norway, 23% from the US, and just 8% from Finland.)

One final "off the charts" finding from Japan. For percentages of youth that said "I feel lonely", in Japan it was nearly 30%. Runner up Iceland was just over 10%. Though perhaps there's a linguistic difference there, with different shades of meaning for the words in various languages used to render "lonely."

The biggest unmentioned factor, I think, was population. The US is about 2.5 times the size of the second largest country included (Japan), and more than 50 times more populous than the highest ranked Nordic states. So naturally, there will be higher variation. I think that there's also more diversity, particularly around languages spoken, in the US than any of the other countries included.

Anyway, read the study yourself, and see what you make of it.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Want to get paid to work on Mifos?

The Grameen Foundation has a job opening for a Seattle-based Technical Program Manager:

Technical Program Manager

The Grameen Foundation's Mifos Initiative is working to address key information management challenges in the microfinance industry through the development of an open source software platform for microfinance
practitioners. By making technology a key strength of microfinance, the Mifos Initiative will have an enormous impact on the capacity of the microfinance industry in our efforts to alleviate poverty around the world.

We are looking for an experienced technical program manager to drive the technical roadmap for the Mifos Initiative and to own the software development infrastructure for the Mifos platform. This position is critical to the success of Mifos and will ensure that both the functionality and the underlying infrastructure for Mifos are rock solid. The ideal candidate will have deep technical expertise, a passion for delivering tangible, customer-focused results, and experience working with open source software efforts.

The Technical Program Manager (TPM) for the Core Software Platform on the Mifos Initiative is responsible for the technical roadmap and architecture for core Mifos functional and infrastructure areas as well as the software development technology infrastructure, including the open source infrastructure. The Technical Program Manager will work very closely with the software development lead for the Mifos initiative. The TPM will drive key functional areas of the Mifos platform (such as reporting) and be the driver of the overall technical roadmap and architecture for the platform. In addition, the TPM defines and implements process and technical improvements to the build and test processes, manages the continuous integration, build, and other servers for Mifos, and facilitates community discussion around the underlying software development infrastructure. The TPM identifies key technical
issues and drives them to resolution.

This position is based in Seattle, WA.

Essential Job Functions:

  • Develop and maintain technical roadmap for the Mifos platform
  • Work with Mifos community to identify and drive technical enhancements to key product areas including system security, reporting, accounting integration, deployment tools, system administration tools, etc.
  • Develop and execute strategies for release and upgrade management and test and build processes for Mifos platform
  • Work closely with Mifos technical lead to drive overall improvements to the software development infrastructure
  • Manage servers (test/demo, build, continuous integration, etc.) and open source infrastructure for the Mifos Initiative
  • Identify enhancements to process and infrastructure that support software development activities and implement appropriate solutions
  • Foster Mifos community discussions related to technology platform

Required skills and experience:

  • At least 5 years technical program management experience developing technology solutions
  • Demonstrated experience driving issues to resolution and shipping products; passion for delivering tangible results; able to juggle multiple priorities
  • Experience driving technical architecture and strategy for complex applications
  • Strong experience with Java-based application development tools (including build, test, and continuous integration)
  • Experience with some or all of the following technologies preferred: Tomcat or Jetty, mySQL, CruiseControl, Selenium, Ant,Cobertura
  • Experience with release and upgrade management
  • Experience with open source software development, agile development methodologies and test-driven development preferred projects preferred; willingness to learn and utilize these methodologies required
  • Passion for the mission of Grameen Foundation and microfinance
  • Experience with financial systems a plus
  • Previous exposure to developing world and/or microfinance a plus
  • Engineering- or CS-related BA/BS or equivalent
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills
  • Ability and willingness to travel domestically and internationally

To learn more about the Mifos Initiative, visit and

To apply, send resume and cover letter to
No calls please.

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Sunday, November 19, 2006

Mifos 1.0 Launches!

Congratulations to the Mifos team!

(from left: James Dailey, Emily Tucker, George Conard, Melissa Turtel, Priscilla Dosiou)

At the Microcredit Summit in Halifax, Mifos was officially released. Since starting to work with the Grameen Foundation team in September 2004, it's great to see the project reach this stage.

You can find download instructions for the software at:

But be forewarned: Getting to a fully-functional installation does
require a fairly high level of computer savviness: installing MySQL, Jetty, Java; setting environment variables, etc.

With the launch, there's been a spate of publicity. A couple of notable articles: