PlanetNepal Blog

Ideas for Nepal

Archive for March, 2010

winning idea for microfinance development

Posted by Sandeep Puri on March 11, 2010

Quoting Center for global development

The proliferation of saving, lending, and insurance ideas at the conference left no doubt that this sector is rapidly maturing. It is no coincidence that three out of five winners came from this field. (Having evolved in our thinking from microlending to microfinance, how long before we start extending the concept to microservices other than finance?) I did not see a revolutionary new concept, but there were many small, smart innovations on display.

Winning teams: IFPRI’s team led a field of initiatives influenced by behavioral economics with a rainfall insurance program for Ethiopia. It has been carefully whittled down to the simplest possible structure, and adapted to the local context. The scheme offers insurance tickets in $1 increments, color-coded for growing seasons, and with payout-rules customized to local definitions of big and small rains. The increase in flexibility over standardized parametric insurance seems considerable. Researchers will be excited to hear that the team would like the insurance tickets to be ultimately available to non-farmers – recognizing that drought also affects other businesses.

Another prize was taken by the Grameen Foundation for a ready-to-use business process for MFIs. A third went to a French team that has written code to allow online shoppers to round up every payment they make, and invest the difference in a Kiva-like micro-lending project.

Full article at blog.
Microfinance seemed to have so much promise for nations in the developing world. Nepal, however, seems stagnant, or unwilling to move in that direction. Even has zero players in Nepal.


Posted in blog | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Power of garbage

Posted by Sandeep Puri on March 10, 2010

Trapped lightning could help zap trash and generate electricity

Trash is loaded with the energy trapped in its chemical bonds. Plasma gasification, a technology that has been in development for decades, could finally be ready to extract it.

Excerpt from Scientific American.. part of a series of articles about world changing ideas.

The research could have repercussions on energy production in the developing world where trash is as much a big problem in terms of health..

Full article at

See also

Posted in blog | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Backpack hydropower of 500 watts

Posted by Sandeep Puri on March 1, 2010

Bourne energy introduces back pack hydropower plant…

Some thing like this could easily provide power for research stations, outposts, remote schools in Nepal..

The BackPack Power Plant – Type 1 (BPP-1) is a man-portable renewable energy generator only 3 feet in length and weighing less than 30 pounds. Each unit is self-contained with its own integrated power, control, cooling and sensor systems. The unit collapses into a backpack size module with the generator, hub and folded blades stored inside.
The unit produces approximately 500 W/unit high quality continuous power
depending on river current. The BackPack Power Plant can be set up singularly
or in arrays of over 30 kW.
backpack hydro

Wired article

Bourne Energy

Posted in blog | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »