The 411 Magazine The 411 Issue 1 Jan/Feb 2017 - Page 19

An article in the
Harvard International Review by WomenStrong Executive Director Dr . Susan M . Blaustein explains the genesis of WomenStrong International , a consortium of non-profit organisations in five nations supporting women driven solutions to extreme urban poverty . The article provides an historic context for the importance of women and girls in global development , and explains why they are such central players in realizing the 2030 U . N . Sustainable Development Goals . An outgrowth of the Millennium Cities Initiative at Columbia University ' s Earth Institute , WomenStrong was built on a decade of work during which , Blaustein notes , " we observed that women and girls on the ground had led our most effective programmes in the Millennium Cities .
" Whether through the vehicles of savings groups , community cleanup crews , or Girls ' Clubs , the girls and women clearly valued the chance to succeed , to lead , to form common bonds , and to broaden their range of future opportunities ," she writes . " To continue this work , and as a further proof-of-concept , we resolved to create an organisation explicitly for the purpose of enabling women-driven development , to see how far severely under-resourced neighbourhoods might get with women devising the agenda and leading the way ." Now in its second year , the unusual consortium model of WomenStrong has successfully brought together determined non-profits working with impoverished girls and women in cities across five countries . Two of these — Kisumu , Kenya and Kumasi , Ghana — have built upon the work accomplished under the Millennium Cities Initiative . Together with WomenStrong ' s three new venues in Madurai , India , Borgne , Haiti , and Washington , DC , the projects share and adapt useful tools , resources , programme ideas , and lessons learned from hard-won experience . The members brainstorm solutions to the many common challenges they face , finding inspiration and successful tactics in work being done thousands of miles away . The article " One Path Toward Effective Global Development : Learning from Those with the Most at Stake " can be found at http :// hir . harvard . edu / one-path-toward-effective-global-developmentlearning-stake /
The Harvard International Review is a quarterly journal and website of international relations published by the Harvard International Relations Council at Harvard University . The journal offers commentary on global developments in politics , economics , business , science , technology , and culture , as well as interviews with prominent global leaders and reviews of books and documentaries . The publication aims to feature " underappreciated topics in the international affairs discourse and underappreciated
ABOUT WOMENSTRONG INTERNATIONAL WomenStrong International is a consortium of nonprofit organisations in five nations supporting womendriven solutions to extreme urban poverty . WomenStrong emerged from a decade of work at Columbia University ' s Millennium Cities Initiative , where we found that the most successful programs were local and led by women . Through our Consortium members in Ghana , Kenya , Haiti , India , and Washington , D . C ., we help thousands of women and girls meet their 6 Essential Needs for health , shelter , safety , education , economic empowerment and a functioning urban environment . These women , in turn , improve the lives of their children , families , communities and nations . WSI believes the path out of poverty and toward a more just and prosperous world can be found by making women strong . For more information , visit www . womenstrong . org .


A decade of global work has shown that women and girls on the ground are the true experts in development that alleviates poverty .

perspectives on more widely discussed topics ."
The Millennium Cites are : Accra , Ghana Akure , Nigeria Bamako , Mali Blantyre , Malawi Kaduna , Nigeria Kisumu , Kenya Kumasi , Ghana Louga , Senegal Mekelle , Ethiopia Segou , Mali Tabura , Tanzania 19