It has been said that development is about delivery: the will and ability to deliver interventions to very poor people in order to improve their lives. The development “space” is filled with great ideas and innovative solutions, from technological interventions to new policy initiatives. But the effects of these potentially game-changing ideas are severely mitigated if they do not actually get to the people they are intended to benefit. We think of this challenge in terms of “reach.” Solutions can only solve problems if they reach those who need them most.
Those who live at the base of the pyramid – the poorest of the poor – are also the hardest to reach. Many are homeless or live far in the countryside; they might lack formal identification; or they are socially marginalized because of their ethnicity or gender. As Anthony Lake of UNICEF puts it: “Disaggregate the data and we find that our statistical national successes are masking moral and practical failures. People are left behind simply because they live in rural communities or urban slums, in conflict zones, as part of indigenous groups, with disabilities or because they are girls.”
The Reach Project focuses on the delivery of development interventions to those who need them most. We are a research initiative based in the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy at the University of Toronto. Our team is led by Joseph Wong and supported by the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth. The Reach Project team is composed of researchers from across the University of Toronto. Together, we examine the delivery of social services to those who are hardest to reach.
Joseph Wong is the Ralph and Roz Halbert Professor of Innovation at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, Professor of Political Science, and Canada Research Chair in Health, Democracy and Development. Professor Wong is the PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR for the reach project.
Kirstyn Koswin is the RESEARCH OFFICER for the Reach Project. In addition to serving as a lead researcher, Kirstyn coordinates teams of student researchers as they conduct desk and field research on the provision of social services to those who are hardest to reach. She holds a Master of Global Affairs from the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy.
Anita M. McGahan is Professor and Rotman Chair in Management at the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto. She is cross-appointed to the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy and the Physiology Department of the Medical School. Professor McGahan is a FACULTY LEAD in the reach project.
Avni Shah is an Assistant Professor of Marketing in the Department of Management at the University of Toronto Scarborough, with a cross-appointment to the Marketing area at the Rotman School of Management. Professor Shah is a FACULTY LEAD in the reach project.
Stanley Zlotkin CM, OOnt, MD, PhD, FRCPC is a Professor of Paediatrics, Public Health Sciences and Nutritional Sciences at the University of Toronto, a Senior Scientist at The Hospital for Sick Children Research Institute and a Clinician/Scientist in the Department of Paediatrics at SickKids. Dr. Zlotkin is a FACULTY LEAD in the reach project.