Is the Clinton Global Initiative Worth the Hype?

Today’s guest blog post is by Svetha Janumpalli, Founder and CEO of New Incentives. 

Last week, I had the opportunity to attend the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Annual Meeting in New York City. Rather than focusing on grant making like many organizations, CGI brings people together to commit to social good.

I never imagined that I’d have the opportunity to learn about these Commitment to Actions firsthand or to exchange jokes over breakfast with BRAC Founder Sir Fazle Hasan Abed, let alone discuss tools to help vulnerable households just a few hours later.  As I sat surrounded by leaders spanning various sectors, I realized the expansive brilliance of CGI. Overcoming today’s challenges will take more than consensus. It will take colliding with enough change agents to see that the smallest actions we take today be the leverage points needed to move a solution forward tomorrow.

I received a complimentary membership to attend CGI because of my work with New Incentives which I founded to introduce a tools for poverty alleviation called conditional cash transfers to donors. Our Commitment to Action is called the Healthy Moms, Healthy Babies: Safe Motherhood Alliance. This commitment will provide conditional cash transfers to 1,000 ultra-poor pregnant women and 1,000 newborns in Nigeria in exchange for healthy prenatal and postnatal behaviors. Participation in this program will enable these women to earn a monthly stipend conditional upon prenatal checkups, adequate nutrition, antiretroviral adherence and delivery with skilled birth attendants. Through this commitment, pregnant mothers will be able to ensure safe delivery of their children without risking starvation or sacrificing other essential household expenditures.  While only 2% of the world’s population, Nigeria accounts for 30% of the global burden of mother-to-child transmission of HIV making the safe delivery of newborns a critical issue.

I am indebted and forever grateful to the phenomenal support of CGI and Rally staff for helping make this commitment a reality. My experience was a dream come true. I heard about victories I never even thought were possible, and journeys that started with curiosity which now impact the lives of millions of children around the world. I look forward to sharing this knowledge through New Incentive. If you’d like to support New Incentives’ commitment, please check out our Rally page at https://rally.org/newincentives.

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