Key points from Bill Gates 2013 Annual Letter

In his continuing quest of improving the world for the next generation and eradicate illness, poverty, Microsoft Co-founder – Bill Gates published his fifth annual letter in which he highlighted the fact that accurate measurements and clear goals are the keys to improving the lives of poor people around the world.


The philanthropic billionaire laid much emphasis on measurement techniques in this year’s letter. He explained, anyone who intends to make a steady progress against difficult global challenges needs to first find a way of measuring progress. Only then can he have clear feedback as to whether his efforts are in the right direction or not. If not, approach can be adjusted or changed a bit, accordingly.

He writes,

In previous annual letters, I’ve focused a lot on the power of innovation to reduce hunger, poverty, and disease, but any innovation — whether it’s a new vaccine or an improved seed — can’t have an impact unless it reaches the people who will benefit from it. That’s why in this year’s letter I discuss how innovations in measurement are critical to finding new, effective ways to deliver these tools and services to the clinics, family farms, and classrooms that need them.

Bill Gates believes lives of the poor people have improved significantly in the last 15 years or so. Reason, identification of the right measures to drive progress towards the pre-set goals. Measurement is a powerful tool that can be used gauge progress. If you get it right, you can do wonders. How? You know what’s working and can work on scaling the best solutions. If not, you can invariably correct the course. And when you have it all placed well, you can be sure of the impact of each intervention.

Finding the right measures are just as important as setting goals to figure out how to spend aided budgets for the welfare of the poor.  Bill Gates understands this well. Hence, the statement from him –

Historically, aid was largely discussed in terms of the total amount of money invested. Now that we’re more precisely measuring indicators like child mortality, people are able to see the impact aid has in stark terms–that it’s the difference between putting people on AIDS treatment or letting them die.

You can read 2013 Bill Gates Annual Letter completely, here.

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The author Hemant Saxena is a post-graduate in technology and has an immense interest in following Microsoft and other technology developments around the world. Quiet by nature, he is an avid Lacrosse player.