Week of April 27, 2015

1. Impact Investing: There's no clear definition of "impact investing," made apparent by the US Council on Foundations' annual conference and the Milken Institute Global Conference both having impact investing tracks this week populated by quite different people. Read Tim Ogden's reflections from the Council on Foundations (Part 1Part 2 and Part 3) where the emphasis was on starting small, and Jean Case's take on Milken Institute's theme of going big.

2. Microinsurance: Does the microinsurance industry have anything to show after 10 years of experiment, investment and excitement? Not much, according to Peter Gross. CGAP

3. Remittances:  Since their initial launch two years ago, Orange and MTN's cross-border mobile money transfer services have exhibited rapid adoption rates and transfer activity in West Africa. Does this success signal potential disruption in the African remittance market or does the preexisting socioeconomic integration of the region make this a unique case? GSMA

4. Income Volatility: Concerned about managing cash surpluses and dealing with shortfalls? There's an app for that. The New York Times

5. Informal Financial Services:  After decades of economic mismanagement under the previous political regime, poor Burmese turn to informal providers like pawn shops to access credit and manage their financial lives. The Guardian

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