Atlas Network's new international development strategy to help people lift themselves out of poverty involves locally grown solutions. In this short video learn about the new strategy, and if you'd like to learn how you can be a part of it, visit

We all know the old adage about whether it’s better to give a man a fish or teach a man to fish. Which is the strategy that can lead to a lasting reduction in global poverty? The answer is neither. The answer to global poverty requires new thinking. Giving a man a fish only helps in emergency situations. And teaching a man to fish misdiagnoses the problem in a patronizing way. The problem in poor countries is not that there’s a lack of talent or know-how. The problem is a lack of economic rights for the poor. Bad public policies create big obstacles to saving, investment, and entrepreneurship. If you get the obstacles out of the way in poor countries, you’ll see the poor create “fisheries,” and other commercial enterprises. So you’re not talking just about people feeding themselves or their families, but entire communities, communities that then will prosper, from more productivity, more specialization, and more free exchange. But changing policies on-the-ground is fraught with difficulties. You can't simply transplant institutions that work in one place to another. We call this the Outsider's Dilemma. Changes that last and have cultural buy-in always come from the bottom-up.

That's why it's tremendously exciting that there now exists a network of civil society organizations in 90 countries, which are creating "locally grown solutions" to poverty. They're bringing about incremental changes to break down the barriers to prosperity and opportunity, piece by piece.

This is a strategy that changes the trajectory of poverty for the long-term. It's a strategy that works. It's a strategy we can scale up.

It is time for us to be doing development differently.