Facutly and Research

Global Poverty

Academic conferences, field-based research, and course development efforts at HBS have generated knowledge focused on the role that business and business-like approaches can play in alleviating poverty. Faculty research explores models used by commercial and social enterprises to address the needs of those at the base of the socioeconomic pyramid and the key factors of success in these markets.

  • Business Solutions for the Global Poor: Creating Social and Economic Value

    V. Kasturi Rangan, John A. Quelch, Gustavo Herrero, and Brooke Barton

    Based on research presented at The Harvard Business School’s first-ever conference on business approaches to poverty alleviation, Business Solutions for the Global Poor brings together perspectives from leading academics and corporate, non-profit and public sector managers. This important volume reflects poverty’s multi-faceted nature and a broad range of actors—multinational and local businesses, entrepreneurs, civil society organizations and governments—that play a role in its alleviation.

  • Building Sustainable Hybrid Organizations: The Case of Commercial Microfinance Organizations

    Julie Battilana and Silvia Dorado

    This paper explores the results of a comparative study of two pioneering commercial microfinance organizations. The findings suggest that to be sustainable new types of hybrid organizations need to create a common organizational identity that strikes a balance between the logics they combine. The evidence further suggests that the crucial early levers for developing such an organizational identity among organizational members are hiring and socialization policies.

  • The Millennium Challenge Corporation and Ghana

    Alnoor Ebrahim and V. Kasturi Rangan

    The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), provides aid to developing countries, focusing on poverty reduction through economic growth. As MCC and Ghana finalize a $547 million grant for agriculture and transportation infrastructure, they come up against an accountability and measurement problem: how to address an urgent request from Ghana to fund community services--such as schools and drinking water--for which the results will be difficult to measure.

  • Partners in Health: HIV Care in Rwanda

    Michael E. Porter, Scott Lee, Joseph Rhatigan, and Jim Yong Kim

    In 2005, Partners In Health (PIH) was invited by the Rwandan Ministry of Health to assume responsibility for the management of public health care in two rural districts in Eastern Rwanda and create an HIV treatment program at these sites. In 2007, Rwanda's National AIDS Control Commission and the Ministry of Health are contemplating how the program could be improved and whether it should be expanded nationally.


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  • Recent Publications

    • "Building Sustainable Hybrid Organizations: The Case of Commercial Microfinance Organizations”
      Paper / Julie Battilana /forthcoming

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      "Evaluating the Effects of Large-Scale Health Interventions in Developing Countries: The Zambian Malaria Initiative”
      Paper /Nava Ashraf, Günther Fink, and David N. Weil /June 2010

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      “SEWA Trade Facilitation Center: Changing the Spool”
      Case /Mukti Khaire and Kathleen L. McGinn /February 2010

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      “A Note on Direct Selling in Developing Economies”
      Case /Michael Chu and Joel Segre /January 2010

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      "Prices or Knowledge? What Drives Demand for Financial Services in Emerging Markets?”
      Paper /Shawn Cole, Thomas Sampson, and Bilal Zia /October 2009

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    • “Dharavi: Developing Asia's Largest Slum”
      Case /Lakshmi Iyer, John D. Macomber and Namrata Arora /July 2009

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      “The Millennium Challenge Corporation and Ghana”
      Case / Alnoor Ebrahim and V. Kasturi Rangan /July 2009

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      “VidaGas: VillageReach—The Mozambican Foundation for Community Development Joint Venture”
      Case /Noel Watson and Santiago Kraiselburd /June 2009

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      “Fighting Malnutrition and Hunger in the Developing World”
      Case /Ray A. Goldberg, Djordjija Petkoski, and Kerry Herman /April 2009

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      “Partners in Health: HIV Care in Rwanda”
      Case /Michael E. Porter, Scott Lee, Joseph Rhatigan, and Jim Yong Kim /April 2009

      Buy Online

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  • Recommended Reading

    Business Solutions for the Global Poor: Creating Social and Economic Value
    Book / V. Kasturi Rangan, John A. Quelch, Gustavo Herrero, and Brooke Barton / 2007

    Buy Online

  • MBA Courses

    Business at the Base of the Pyramid
    Professor V. Kasturi Rangan or Senior Lecturer Michael Chu or Associate Professor Shawn Cole

    See Course Description