Mobilize who? An opening thought for CGI 2013

September 24, 2013 by

The theme for this year’s Clinton Global Initiative is “Mobilizing for Impact,” focusing on mobilizing the right entities, allowing them to reach their full potential for lasting and scalable success.

When I read that I can’t help but think of the millions of people living in poverty that we work with at BRAC, and how we’ve continually sought ways to mobilize them as agents of their own social and economic progress. From microfinance village organizations, to community health promoters, to village WASH committees, every part of BRAC’s programming depends on organizing people who are the most economically disadvantaged on a massive scale to do the work of development. While it can take years of trial and error to learn how many households a self-employed health promoter can cover, the results are staggering. It’s not just because of the improvements in quality of life; it’s also because these women and these communities near the bottom of the economic ladder feel genuine ownership of the results. Don’t just take my word for it — take five minutes and watch the video above, showing how BRAC organizes communities to graduate households out of ultra-poverty.

That feeling of ownership and accomplishment is a large part of why we come together each year at the Clinton Global Initiative here in New York City, but we’re not the only ones celebrating recent accomplishments — nor are we here the only ones making commitments to make the world a better place. The poor are mobilizing and committed too. If you’re looking for massive scale, always include them in your scope of who is mobilizing for impact.