rsz_04-17-2013worldbankBy Paul Polak and Mal Warwick

Since the publication of The Business Solution to Poverty, some readers have objected that the job of addressing poverty should be left to the World Bank, United Nations, national governments, overseas development agencies, NGOs, and other not-for-profit entities. Most of these objections rest on the evidence that collaboration between the UN and national governments has brought about revolutionary changes in the areas of health and education, especially primary education. We freely acknowledged those success stories in the pages of the book.

The problem is, there is virtually no field in which organized efforts to lessen poverty have reached meaningful scale. With all due respect to our many friends who bring tireless work and bottomless good will to public sector and NGO efforts to eradicate poverty, we have yet to learn about a single economic development project undertaken under these auspices that has achieved the global scale and impact we’re discussing, with the possible exception of mobile phones mass marketed by for-profit telecommunications companies, not by poverty alleviation initiatives. We believe the need to address the challenge of poverty is urgent and cries out for a fresh approach.

What do you think?

4 Responses to “Should only the World Bank worry about poverty?”

  1. Henk van Dalen

    Dear Mal,

    There is another way, see


    Henk van Dalen

    • Mal Warwick

      Henk — Do you seriously believe that this is feasible, as stated on the website you pointed me to?

      “If each of the 150 Multinationals (present in Africa) ensures the creation of 350 coordination groups, this will result in 52,500 coordination groups.”

      As you know, that’s just the first step. Then those groups actually need to do things. Will that happen? Really?


  2. Henk van Dalen

    Thanks Mal, I have (present in Africa) removed, it is not necessary that Multinationals in Africa need to be present. In January 2015 we will launch a pilot project in Malawi. I will send you the results. Regards, Henk

  3. Dr S S Dash

    Dear Mal,
    I totally agree with you.



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