Neighborhood Economics brings Povertystoplight to DC

Neighborhood Economics is bringing to Washington DC. An innovation created and proven in multiple countries in the Global South as a way to measure poverty and to do something about it, Stoplight gathers detailed information at the household level that is used to create an action plan that helps lift people out of poverty. Launched successfully a decade ago in Paraguay and now up and running in South Africa, the UK and New Orleans. Martin Burt, it’s creator is one of the world’s leading social entrepreneurs, winner of the Skoll and Schwabb Foundation awards,etc. Martin will be at a SOCAP365 event at the Impact Hub DC February 10 where we will tell the story of the partnership and its goals.

Neighborhood Economics will be deploying the tool out of the Impact Hub DC with partners in the Eighth Ward led by Ronnie Webb of who works in the public schools, public libraries and churches with a network of small community gardens and programs to make green cool. The gardens will find a market in 4P foods, a next generation CSA led by Tom McDougall that makes buying vegetables you want easy from downtown offices to the more affluent wards. Webb, McDougall and Kristy McCarron, director of food and nutrition education for the DC YMCA whose food programs work closely with Green Scheme will join Burt at the event. As a result of these and other partnerships, Neighborhood Economics hopes to be able to work with partners to find, curate and fund cohorts of food system entrepreneurs based in the Eighth Ward who don’t have a rich uncle and need friends and family funding provided by the Runway Project.

Poverty Stoplight and the inclusive food systems that exist and that are being created in the DC region will be featured in the next Neighborhood Economics conference, to be held in Washington DC May 25-26, the day after the May 23-24 conference also in DC of  Neighborhood Economics’ deep partner AEO, the voice of African American microbusiness.

Neighborhood Economics, a non profit, plans to help spread Povertystoplight. throughout the country, so that policy makers and grant makers and impact investors and social entrepreneurs can really hear what people in marginalized communities think their problems are, rather than deciding to push a solution into a community. The household data, gathered in a colorful easy to use survey on a tablet, plugs into software that can aggregate the data on a census track,ward or city wide basis, and can also show findings based on age, gender, race, etc.

While Povertystoplight works at the level of the household, Neighborhood Economics will be partnering at the organization level with Deborah Frieze of Boston Impact and Aaron Tanaka of  the Center for Economic Democracy and their Ujima initiative. Ujima helps organizations in an economic ecosystem, from community foundations to municipalities to anchor institutions, impact investors, entrepreneurs, CDFI’s, banks, faith based groups and local activists bridge silos and create interdisciplinary partnerships. Frieze and Tanaka will be leading an interactive session to map the flows in the DC food system at the May 25-25 conference, that will be used as an ongoing design template for our collective work in the region.