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3 Rules For Social Innovation In The Developing World

UNICEF’s Rajesh Anandan talks about the lessons his organization has accumulated while figuring out the most effective ways to bring aid to children around the world.

Rajesh Anandan is the senior vice president of U.S. Fund for UNICEF’s Ventures and Private Sector Partnerships. In its extensive work bringing aid to children in the developing world, UNICEF is often at the forefront of social innovation, which Anandan defines as problems affecting people at the base of the pyramid ("social") using solutions that are solving the problems in a transformative way ("innovation").

Most importantly, Anandan and UNICEF have found three important lessons to make social innovations work in the developing world. First, it must be grounded in the community, not solutions imported from elsewhere that don’t make sense in context. Second, it must use the existing infrastructure: Solutions that require shipping new material into the developing world cannot be cost effective. Finally, it must be cost-effective. A solution that loses money, no matter what the benefit, won’t be able to implemented.

This video is part of a series on prominent social innovators, convened by PwC during the 2011 Social Innovation Summit and discussing their work that we’ll be hosting here on Co.Exist.

Here’s a little preview of everyone who will be featured.