Empowering Change: 12 Steps

Below is a 12-step guide to practical problem solving for NGO’s by Paul Polak (author of Out of Poverty). A social entrepreneur with over 25 years experience, he stressed the below when considering interventions to alleviate ‘extreme’ poverty.
It might come across as common sense, but for anyone in the charity sector it’s a good read for a grass-roots approach to tackling poverty via innovation.
Below are the headlines of the 12 steps:
1) Go to where the action is. You need to visit these areas personally and spend time.
2) Talk to the people who have the problem and ‘listen’.
3) Learn *everything* about the problem’s specific context.
4) Think big and act big. Think of a practical way to put innovation into the hands of millions of people.
5) Think like a child. Strip an issue into its basic elements.
6) See and do the obvious. Took him several years and hundreds of interviews with families to realise this principle.
7) If something is already invented, you don’t need to invent it again.
8] Make sure the approach has positive measurable impacts that can be brought to scale.
9) Design to specific cost and price targets.
10) Follow practical 3-year plans.
11) Continue to learn from the recipients. Frequent, honest and non-judgemental feedback.
12) Stay positive: don’t be distracted by what others think.