Results - 25 of at least 39 items found
Jun 23, 2020
Achieving gender equality will require significant amounts of accurate data about the situations and struggles of women and girls. Globally, however, there is a major gap in data that is disaggregated by sex, and this gap often renders women’s societal, cultural, and economic contributions and obstacles practically invisible. It can also exacerbate existing gender divides, feeding and reinforcing biases in social programs, access to financial and other services, economic opportunities, and even development programs designed to address gender inequality. Part of the solution may be in the form of big data, which, if used effectively, can provide the volume of data needed to portray women and their situations accurately, which in turn can inform the creation of evidence-based solutions.
English | 8 Pages - June - Note 86 | IFC 2020
Jun 1, 2020
Artificial intelligence technologies are permeating financial services sectors around the world. The application of these technologies in emerging markets allows financial service providers to further automate their business processes and to leverage new and big data sources to overcome obstacles— including the high cost of serving rural and low-income customers and establishing customer identity and creditworthiness—that prevent the delivery of financial services to many consumers. Realizing financial inclusion benefits through the adoption of artificial intelligence relies on its responsible adoption by firms, on competitive market settings, and on continued investment in the necessary infrastructure.
English | 8 Pages - June - Note 85 | IFC 2020
May 20, 2020
The COVID-19 crisis is expected to roll back some of the progress made against global poverty over the last two decades, with the greatest impact on individuals at the base of the economic pyramid. Inclusive businesses that expand access to goods, services, and livelihoods for these individuals are responding to the crisis by reorienting and adapting their inclusive business models and operations. This note highlights seven actions that companies are taking to address needs at the base of the pyramid. We present their actions here as examples of what other businesses could do in response to the needs of those at the base of the pyramid.
English | 8 Pages - May - Note 84 | 2020 IFC
May 7, 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic shows that digital connectivity is critical to societal resilience and business continuity in times of crisis. For digital infrastructure providers in emerging markets, higher demand for connectivity may be counterbalanced by a series of negative shocks. These could affect broadband operators and smaller companies, leading to less competition, limited availability of open-access broadband infrastructure, and reduced technological innovation. However, the perceived value of digital connectivity is likely to rise, creating opportunities to implement policy reforms to accelerate the rollout of 4G and 5G. Digital infrastructure companies, however, may accelerate their migration toward diversified business models. Against a background of funding withdrawal from emerging markets, financing for smaller or independent companies in the poorest economies may require substantial support from development finance institutions to preserve competition, improve resilience, and pr
English | 8 Pages - May - Note 83 | 2020 IFC
May 5, 2020
Business models utilizing artificial intelligence can help meet rising global demand for food and support a more inclusive and sustainable food system by: (1) enhancing the resilience of farming methods; (2) reducing the cost of quality inputs and services to underserved farmers; and (3) improving market access to facilitate smallholder farmer integration into regional and global supply chains. Although nascent in emerging economies, applications for artificial intelligence in agribusiness will proliferate as farmers’ access to the Internet and adoption of smart devices increases across low-income countries.
English | 8 Pages - May - Note 82 | 2020 IFC
Apr 28, 2020
The energy sector worldwide faces growing challenges related to rising demand, efficiency, changing supply and demand patterns, and a lack of analytics needed for optimal management. These challenges are more acute in emerging market nations. Efficiency issues are particularly problematic, as the prevalence of informal connections to the power grid means a large amount of power is neither measured nor billed, resulting in losses as well as greater CO2 emissions, as consumers have little incentive to rationally use energy they don’t pay for. The power sector in developed nations has already begun to use artificial intelligence and related technologies that allow for communication between smart grids, smart meters, and Internet of Things devices. These technologies can help improve power management, efficiency, and transparency, and increase the use of renewable energy sources.
English | 8 Pages - April - Note 81 | 2020 IFC
Mar 16, 2020
The adoption and diffusion of artificial intelligence and other disruptive technologies will play an important role in market creation and growth. Development finance institutions have a role to play in leveraging their investments to ensure that these technologies sustain both growth and development objectives. To this end, the authors propose adoption of a Technology Code of Conduct as a framework, supported by a set of practical tools for its operationalization, to assist IFC’s clients engaged in technology intensive projects.
English | 8 Pages - March - Note 80 | IFC 2020
Mar 16, 2020
The Progression Matrix is a tool that helps companies adopt the Technology Code of Conduct—a framework designed for IFC clients engaged in technology-intensive projects. In this addendum to Note 80, the Matrix identifies technical and business practices that help companies put principles of sustainable technology into practice in a way consistent with their stage of financing and maturity, including emerging, later-stage, and mature companies.
English | 8 Pages - March - Note 80a - Addendum to IFC EM Compass Note 80 | IFC 2020
Feb 28, 2020
Digital connectivity has enormous potential to support development. Yet today some four billion people in emerging economies remain offline, partly due to a lack of affordable Internet access. Sharing infrastructure among operators and across sectors is a potential solution. It can accelerate digital connectivity at lower cost, especially in the least developed markets where returns to investment can be limited. It can also reduce investment costs and operating expenses for investors and operators, and increase their balance sheet sustainability. Sharing models can also benefit consumers by increasing competition, lowering prices, and raising service quality. The private sector has already embraced this model; further expansion requires targeted policies that promote competition and facilitate sharing.
English | 8 Pages - February - Note 79 | IFC 2020
Feb 11, 2020
Population growth and urbanization in emerging markets will mean expanding cities and rising demand for new housing in urban areas around the world. These trends represent an enormous opportunity to design, build, and operate the homes of tomorrow in intelligent ways that minimize energy consumption and carbon emissions, lower building and homeowner costs. Artificial intelligence will play a pivotal role in this effort by using data—including grid data, smart meter data, weather data, and energy use information—to study and improve building performance, optimize resource consumption, and increase comfort and cost efficiency for residents. AI will also analyze data collected from multiple buildings to improve building design and construction and inform future policy making related to construction and urban planning.
English | 8 Pages - February - Note 78 | IFC 2020
Dec 18, 2019
The intersection of artificial intelligence and 5G mobile technology has enormous potential to deliver dramatic improvements in productivity, efficiency, and cost across business sectors and broader society, delivering innovative products and services not previously possible. Though mainstream applications that combine AI and 5G have yet to emerge, key emerging markets sectors such as agribusiness, healthcare and education will be transformed by the combination of AI and 5G. While many mobile operators remain focused on recouping their investments in previous network standards, there is a growing interest in 5G networks globally.
English | 8 Pages - December - Note 76 | IFC 2019
Nov 6, 2019
Transport in emerging markets often faces acute challenges due to poor infrastructure, growing populations, urbanization, and in some regions rising prosperity, which increases vehicle traffic, cargo volumes, and pollution. Artificial intelligence offers new solutions to these challenges by making market entry easier and allowing countries to reach underserved populations, creating markets and private sector investment opportunities associated with them.
English | 8 Pages - November - Note 75 | IFC 2019
Oct 31, 2019
Rapid increases in computing power and data generation have turned artificial intelligence, blockchain, and the Internet of Things into potent technologies that are rapidly gaining use in many areas of society and commerce, with significant potential benefits for economic growth and development. These innovative technologies face multiple obstacles to implementation and—particularly in the case of AI—a general wariness of their potential implications for human society. Fortunately, an integrated implementation of the three technologies may be a solution that can restore human trust in AI and blockchain applications, resulting in new business models that deliver data security and privacy, efficiency, and inclusion along with their many other benefits.
English | 8 Pages - October - Note 74 | IFC 2019
Sep 18, 2019
The global race to fund, develop, and acquire artificial intelligence (AI) technologies and start-ups is intensifying, with commercial uses for AI proliferating in advanced and emerging economies alike. AI could increase GDP growth in both advanced countries and emerging markets. In healthcare, diagnosis and drug discovery will benefit enormously from AI. In manufacturing, AI can help design better products in terms of functionality, quality, and cost, and improve predictive maintenance. The potential impact of AI on transportation and logistics goes far beyond automation and road safety to span the entire logistics chain. Yet with the exceptions of China and India, emerging markets have received only a modest share of global investment in this advanced technology, despite the fact that they may benefit more from AI implementation than advanced economies.
English | 8 Pages - September - Note 71 | IFC 2019
Aug 2, 2019
Insurance technology, better known as Insurtech, is a rapidly growing industry that is beginning to disrupt traditional insurance provision in advanced and emerging economies alike, and is creating opportunities and challenges for incumbents, start-ups, and investors. The opportunity offered by insurtech is particularly significant in emerging markets, where a large “protection gap” exists due to low insurance penetration. This has major development implications due to the fact that economic growth and insurance penetration are closely intertwined. Technology and new business models are necessary to close the protection gap in these markets, and companies will need to be able to innovate—either internally, by partnerships, or by investing—to seize the opportunity.
English | 8 Pages - August - Note 70 | IFC 2019
Jul 31, 2019
Artificial Intelligence (AI) has enormous potential to augment human intelligence and radically alter how we access products and services, gather information, make products, and interact. In emerging markets, AI offers an opportunity to lower costs and barriers to entry for businesses and deliver innovative business models that can leapfrog traditional solutions and reach the underserved. Harnessing the power of AI is becoming increasingly important to economic development in many nations, and the goals of ending poverty and boosting shared prosperity may become dependent on it. Private sector solutions can play a major role here; to scale new business models, develop new ways to deliver services, and increase local markets’ competitiveness.
English | 8 Pages - July- Note 69 | IFC 2019
Jun 3, 2019
Digital Financial Services have progressed rapidly since the first mobile-money services in East Africa a decade ago. Their early success in Kenya and Tanzania sent telecom firms, banks, technology firms, and development institutions scrambling to launch similar services. Yet many or most of these new services found only limited success of their own. The process delivered valuable lessons to the industry, however, including insights about scale, effective engagement models, the importance of adopting new technologies and rethinking corporate cultures, and the need for new digital financial services and products.
English | 6 Pages - June - Note 68 | IFC 2019
Apr 3, 2019
Together with private sector investors, IFC has been leading a global effort to develop new guidelines for responsible investing in digital finance. These guidelines leverage IFC’s significant experience with the Equator Principles and responsible investing in micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) by focusing on strengthening governance, risk management, consumer protection, and financial well-being for the unbanked and underserved—as well as IFC’s experience as advisor and investor in the digital finance space.
English | 8 Pages - April - Note 67 | IFC 2019
Mar 18, 2019
Technology disrupts and transforms. And disruptive technologies are critical to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, many of which can be advanced and accelerated through technological innovations. For a comprehensive examination of the ways these innovations alter private sector business models in emerging markets, IFC conducted a tour of the technology horizon in eight selected sectors—power, transport, water and sanitation, digital infrastructure, manufacturing, agribusiness, education, and financial services—and six selected themes, from gender and climate-smart cities to e-logistics and personal identification, among others. This report examines each of these sectors and themes in terms of what true disruption looks like, which technologies are most likely to have a dramatic impact, and the specific opportunities they offer.
English | 112 pages | IFC 2019
Jan 23, 2019
This report provides an examination of blockchain implementation in financial services and global supply chains; a regional analysis of blockchain developments in emerging markets; and a new focus on blockchain’s ability to facilitate low-carbon energy solutions as well as a discussion of the legal and governance issues associated with the technology’s adoption.
English | 88 pages - Second and Expanded Edition, January | IFC 2019
Jan 16, 2019
Blockchain is an emerging technology that enables direct transactions within a ledger without need for a central authority or trusted intermediary. In emerging markets, it has the potential to re-engineer economic models and enable the creation of markets and products previously unavailable or unprofitable. But organizations considering its use must also consider the risks and how they can be managed. These include jurisdictional challenges, crypto assets, privacy and data protection, double spending, and distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks.
English | 8 pages - January- Note 63 | IFC 2019
Nov 26, 2018
Emerging markets must attract significant international financing to meet their goals for mitigating carbon pollution and increasing access to clean, affordable, reliable, and resilient energy. The authors of this note examine how blockchain technology can—if paired with smart, interconnected devices—promote needed investments by both improving investment processes and promoting the adoption of modern energy systems and business models. Given the nascent status of both blockchain technology and blockchain applications specific to the energy sector, this note offers guidance to better assess where and how to apply blockchain technology to achieve a modern, clean, energy future including in emerging markets.
English | 8 pages - November - Note 61 | IFC 2018
Sep 21, 2018
Developing a proper governance and regulatory framework for blockchain-based applications will be essential to providing market participants the stability they need to fully engage with the technology, and allowing innovation to flourish. Given the global, multi-sectoral reach of blockchain, regulators and industry will have to work in a collaborative manner to ensure they can both experiment and learn, and so shape the future of the technology in a way that benefits all parties and society as a whole.
English | 8 pages - September - Note 57 | IFC 2018
May 15, 2018
Technological progress is often associated with the creation of novel and useful products through innovation and ingenuity. Yet in several emerging markets, including low-income economies, it is often more common to adopt, adapt, and scale technologies created elsewhere. EM Compass Report
English | 100 Pages - April | IFC, 2018
Oct 26, 2017
More than a billion tons of food are lost annually across global food supply chains. Spillage, spoilage, insects, and rodents are the causes. Addressing it is a daunting challenge due to the complexity of the many factors involved. But it is a worthwhile challenge because of the potential benefits, including improved food security, nutrition, economic productivity, and response to climate change. Poor or nonexistent public infrastructure is often an underlying cause of food not being transported or processed effectively. And climate change damages existing infrastructure and increases losses. Despite the numerous environmental, economic, and socio-cultural barriers involved, there are many examples of private sector enterprises that have tackled post-harvest loss successfully. They focus on education, collaboration, and markets.
English | 8 Pages - October - Note 47 | IFC, 2017