Access for All: DAI’s Brigit Helms Launches Her New Book on Economic Inclusion

December 03, 2018

Despite declining global poverty levels in recent decades, persistent extreme poverty in certain regions and glaring inequality between and within countries means that inclusive economic development remains a critical priority worldwide. Traditionally, this task has been the domain of governments, international donor agencies, philanthropists, and the development community, but the landscape is changing rapidly.

Today, a wider range of players—millennials, institutional investors, corporates, and others—are seeking to promote more inclusive economic growth, in part by pursuing profit with purpose. The Sustainable Development Goals offer a focal point and an ambitious timeline—eradicating extreme poverty by 2030—for these new actors to get involved and for existing donors to revise their frameworks.

“None of these actors, traditional or new, can achieve truly inclusive economic systems on their own,” says DAI’s Vice President of Technical Services Brigit Helms. “Success will demand collaboration, often among uneasy bedfellows. It cannot be business as usual.”

Helms tackles this issue in her latest book, Access for All: Building Inclusive Economic Systems, now available on Amazon. The book sees its U.S. launch on December 5 at the Women Impact Investing Network, a Washington, D.C.-based group that builds community, leadership, and knowledge in the impact investing sector. Helms will discuss her thinking with Elizabeth Littlefield, former President and CEO of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, who called the book “a refreshing and informative romp for development veterans and millennial entrepreneurs alike.”

Access for All outlines two pathways out of poverty: access to services and jobs. “By tracing two pathways out of poverty—access to services and jobs—this new book offers a snapshot of cutting-edge knowledge of how to build inclusive economic systems,” said Alexia Latortue, Managing Director of Corporate Strategy at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. “And three years after the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, it unequivocally demonstrates how the private sector can be, must be, and is indeed often a force for good.”

Over the coming months, DAI will sponsor various events to highlight topics featured in the book and explore how to support economic growth that leaves fewer and fewer people excluded. To stay in touch with the conversation, follow #A4AInclusiveEcon on social media and listen to this podcast with the author from the Center for Strategic and International Studies.



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