Disparate Impact: A Key Fight Over Housing and Finance, and the Funding Behind It – Inside Philanthropy: Fundraising Intelligence

Nonprofits and funders on the side of improving access to housing and financial assets for low-income people are closely watching a showdown in the Supreme Court on “disparate impact.”

via Disparate Impact: A Key Fight Over Housing and Finance, and the Funding Behind It – Inside Philanthropy: Fundraising Intelligence – Inside Philanthropy.

Inside Philanthropy is a Year Old. Here Are Ten Things We’ve Learned – Inside Philanthropy: Fundraising Intelligence

When you are one, you have only just learned to speak. You move about clumsily and knock things down a lot. You don’t yet know what is possible, but you are burgeoning with life.

Inside Philanthropy is a Year Old. Here Are Ten Things We’ve Learned – Inside Philanthropy: Fundraising Intelligence – Inside Philanthropy.

Why 2015 will be a game-changer for financial inclusion in India

Originally posted on Quartz:

When it comes to digital finance, India punches below its weight.

The 2014 Intermedia Financial Inclusion Insight (FII) Survey of 45,000 Indian adults found that 0.3% of adults use mobile money, compared to 76% in Kenya, 48% in Tanzania, 43% in Uganda, and 22% in Bangladesh.

This stems from a range of factors, but lack of innovation-friendly regulation has been barrier #1.

Most importantly, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) historically allowed non-banks to participate in payment services in two restricted ways. They could build and manage an agent network on behalf of a bank; or they could issue a “semi-closed” wallet which allow customers to cash-in, buy airtime and other services, but not cash-out—not a particularly useful product for a poor customer.

This regulatory framework ensured that India’s banks controlled not only the market for savings and credit, but also payments. The problem is that banks have struggled globally…

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RI Hospital employees and community allies speak out

More than 500 people crowded into the meeting room of Our Lady of the Rosary Church on Benefit St in Providence for the Worker & Community Speakout for Good Jobs and Quality Care on January 17.  At issue was the contract negotiation between Lifespan/Rhode Island Hospital and General Teamsters Local 251 representing some 2,500 hospital employees.

According to Local 251, “As a non-profit entity, Lifespan and RI Hospital are supposed to put the healthcare needs of the community first. Unfortunately, management has taken cost cutting measures, causing shortages in equipment and staff that undermine patient care.”

via RI Hospital employees and community allies speak out.

The Sandler Way: Where Big Philanthropy Meets the Art of Common Sense – Inside Philanthropy: Fundraising Intelligence

If you hang around the more professionalized precincts of philanthropy—like big name foundations with their armies of Ph.D.s or major consulting firms—the business of giving away large amounts of money can seem awfully complicated. (Hence all those Ph.D.s.)

But if you talk with Herb Sandler, as I did recently, it sounds pretty darn simple.

via The Sandler Way: Where Big Philanthropy Meets the Art of Common Sense – Inside Philanthropy: Fundraising Intelligence – Inside Philanthropy.

Anthony Cody: Is There a New Humility at the Gates Foundation?

Originally posted on Diane Ravitch's blog:

Anthony Cody has been a persistent critic of the hubris of the Gates Foundation. Not long ago, he managed to get an agreement from the foundation to engage in a debate about the foundation’s agenda, what it is and what it should be. That debate became the basis for Cody’s recent book The Educator and the Oligarch. Cody wants the foundation to pay more attention to experienced educators, not so much to economists and theoreticians who don’t know much about the realities of classrooms today.

In this post, he holds out hope that the foundation might display a new humility because of the recently expressed views of its new CEO, Sue Desmond-Hellman, who taught for two years in Uganda. She was quoted saying,

On a very practical level, that time in Uganda was a lesson about what it takes to work successfully in a different culture. “I learned about…

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Whitehouse to Prez: Dude, You’re Copying My Ideas! Keep it Up!

From the Whitehouse Press office:

New Obama Administration Goals for Medicare Mirror Sen. Whitehouse Recommendations

Senator Whitehouse has Been Urging Administration for Years to Set Clear Goals to Improve Care and Reduce Costs

Goals Resemble the Whitehouse-Steinberg Compact in Rhode Island

Washington, DC – Today the Obama Administration announced that it is setting clear goals and a specific timeline for reforming the way doctors and hospitals are reimbursed when treating Medicare patients. The goals announced today come after U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) has been urging the Administration for years to set clear targets for health care delivery system reforms, arguing as early as 2011 that, “we can and must have a clear challenge to strive toward.”

In 2013 Whitehouse co-authored an opinion piece urging President Obama to set specific goals for reforming payment systems, noting that “at least 75 percent of Medicare payments should be assessed in some way other than fee-for-service” by 2020. Whitehouse also released a report in 2012 chronicling the Administration’s progress in implementing the delivery system reform provisions within the Affordable Care Act, and identifying payment reform as one of five key areas for reform.

“As we continue working to improve the delivery of care and lower costs in our health care system, it’s vital that we set clear, accountable goals,” Whitehouse said today. “Vague calls to ‘bend the cost curve’ will never galvanize our nation’s health care providers and insurers in the same way that specific goals with a number and date will. Today’s announcement by the Obama Administration reinforces the reforms already taking place under the Affordable Care Act and could accelerate the shift to a system that works better for everyone.”

More specifically, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) today set a goal of tying 30 percent of traditional fee-for-service Medicare payments to alternative payment models by the end of 2016, and tying 50 percent of payments to these models by the end of 2018. HHS also set a goal of tying 85 percent of all traditional Medicare payments to quality or value by 2016 and 90 percent by 2018. Whitehouse was briefed by HHS Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell in advance of today’s announcement.

Since 2011, Senator Whitehouse has been calling on the Administration to set a specific cost-savings target to drive health care delivery system reform efforts, and has identified payment reforms as one of the key areas in any such effort. More recently, he and Rhode Island Foundation President Neil Steinberg brought together a coalition of Rhode Island health care leaders to develop recommendations on how the state can improve care and lower costs. Among the recommendations they agreed to was to establish specific payment reform goals this year.

Senator Whitehouse has long been a leading voice for health care delivery system reforms. He founded the Rhode Island Quality Institute during his time as the state’s Attorney General, helped secure new investments in Health Information Technology in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and was a strong advocate for the inclusion of delivery system reforms in the Affordable Care Act.