Revealing the Invisible Poor

| 12/5/2008 4:39:59 PM

Making philanthropic efforts more effective is a daunting challenge: How do organizations decide who gets what, especially when resources are stretched thin? One part of the answer can be found in census data that tracks community needs like healthcare and education. But often the people who need that aid the most are those who, on paper, don’t exist.

Mobile Metrix, a nonprofit market research company created at Stanford University, has a mission to count the uncounted and transform those statistics into better programs and resources for communities in need. The organization works with local governments, international agencies, and nongovernmental organizations across the globe to provide accurate data on things like access to drinkable water, education, and adequate sewer systems.

Even the company’s data-collection method works toward the goal of eradicating poverty. Mobile Metrix trains and employs young activists to gather data in their own communities, who in turn earn a living wage comparable to what they'd take home in illegal trades like drug or sex trafficking.

(Thanks, Changemakers.)

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