I wrote a hub equating poverty to the air that people breathe--as in it being an inescapable condition that completely surrounds you, while people on the other side of the glass just looking at it seem to think it is something simple like changing a person's clothes. All they need is a new suit, they might say, but the reality is never that simple or that clear.
I was reading a story about a lady in Haiti, graduate student I think by the name of Sasha Kramer, who went there to build toilets. What she came up with are really simple (what we'd call primitive) shacks with holes and a bucket. But she used all local materials and local labor and the wastes are taken and composted and used as fertilizer. It's a great example of appropriate technology, but it probably isn't ever something that would have been drawn up on a desk in an office, it is something that develops only by being immersed in the culture and the problem. The organization is called SOIL for anyone interested.
The eye in the sky can play a role on a macro-scale and can do things like fundraising and awareness, but I agree with you, that individual solutions are better when they are closer to the ground.
Personally, I think we need to develop an entirely new economic model. Capitalism has failed to create a world of bounty for all or of equality and I don't think it ever will. What we need is a model where small clusters of people can work towards sustainability at their own pace.