Kiva, run by 2008 Skoll social entrepreneurs Matt Flannery and Premal Shah, has just launched an initiative to make it easy to connect to Kiva. Kiva has created an application programming interface to help computer programmers write software that connects to and leverages Kiva data. The motive is to expand Kiva’s reach. Per the Kiva site, “Our website has already done so much to connect people and bring new opportunity to the developing world, but it is nothing compared to the impact we think that technology and microfinance together will have to alleviate poverty. It is going to take a lot of innovation, a lot of creativity, and a lot of passionate people bringing the opportunity of loans to places they’ve never been.”
Some of the ideas Kiva floats are:
* - an application for iPhone or Blackberry that let’s you keep up with Kiva on the go * - a service where lenders can register for alerts on new entrepreneurs they want to fund * - integration into a social network where friends can engage around each others’ activity and loan updates on Kiva * - a map that simulates the realtime transfer of funds across the globe
Kiva is keeping a list of proposed applications here.