Posts from Kiva Marketing

Venturing into Kibera

Costa Rica: Connecting People through Pork?

I'm a vegetarian. However, there are occasionally times when I relent and consume meat, especially if it's offered and refusal means either going hungry or—worse—being rude. Even this reluctant acceptance of the occasional meaty meal has its limits, though.

Growing Peppers, Cultivating Businesses

Shaun Winter with his Hot Winter hot sauce

Peru: Over the river and through the woods to visit Kiva borrowers we go!

Alright, you caught me. No rivers were forded, nor were any woods traversed. Mostly dirt roads were traveled on and hillsides were (carefully) climbed.

Southeast Asian hospitality

They say that no matter where you’re from, the Philippines is like home. After spending my first few weeks here, I have to say it certainly gives off that 'homey' vibe.

Cartagena the Sinking City


Saving Coffee in Costa Rica

Costa Rica is a land of beautiful beaches and some of the world's most astounding natural wonders. But, more than anything, Costa Rica is a land of coffee.

Guatemala: Post-Conflict Microfinance - "From Swords to Plowshares"

Swords to Plowshares: Is Micro-finance the proper tool for post-conflict zones?

The morality of microfinance in conflict zones

A borrower in Iraq. We obscure the identities of many of our borrowers in conflict zones for their protection.

Few people question the morality of micro-lending. But when it comes to making loans to borrowers in conflict zones, my first question is, "Is it moral?" More on this later. First, I think it's important for people to understand the realities of conflict zones. 

What is war? Aside from violence and destruction (which has a lengthy history of thought and regulation), war is defined by Clausewitz as “just an extension of politics by other means.” He also asserts that, in order for a country to be successful in a war, a trinity of political leadership, the military, and the civilian population must be in harmony.

Today, this doesn't apply to most wars. The majority are being fought as insurgencies, a portion of a country’s population fighting their sovereign authority in an armed rebellion. In this model, the insurgents and the insurgents' political leadership are a singular, hostile force, while the government authority struggles to retain its authority through political leadership and the military (a notable exception being military dictatorships). The civilian population in insurgencies are the center of gravity and, in the end, this civilian population will decide who wins the conflict.

Counter-insurgency strategists tell us that the most effective way to fight this type of war is to focus on gaining and retaining the support of the non-insurgent civilian population. This has to happen in order for the government to cut off resources and degrade the combat capabilities of its enemies.

Latin America: Starting up the economy with startup businesses

A Kiva borrower in Talca, Chile


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