Microfinance and Global Development

Researcher calls Microfinance "a delusion" undermining those it would claim to serve

Two closely related pieces that caught our attention recently: This short article by a London School of Economics professor, offering a very critical view of why and how microfinance gained favor amongst the banking industry, why it hasn't worked as promised and how 'direct cash transfers, with no strings attached, appear to be the single most impactful anti-poverty intervention available.'

Also, in this piece, two co-authors break down the microfinance market 'servicing' Cambodia and outline how that overheated market has led to recipients juggling as many as six separate loans at a time. 

Both articles reflect our own work and experiences in this sector and reinforce the need to ensure that those caught-up in the cycle of 'bottom-of the-pyramid' strategies (as its been called) are contributing in a meaningful way to the dialogue about how microfinance loaning impacts their lives. For more, please see our issue page here.



Revisiting Microfinance

Marking an important anniversary date on microfinance policy 

Today we revisit our appearance on Worldview exploring the policies and ongoing scrutiny put on the effectiveness of microfinance programs in places like India and Bangladesh.  

Goldin Institute co-founder Diane Goldin (left) pictured with project partners in Bangladesh.

Informed by our project work in Bangladesh, where we set out to improve the way that microcredit was implemented from the perspective of borrowers, Executive Director Travis Rejman was interviewed to discuss the current practices in place by large banks and how they could improve their lending methods by taking into account what we learned in our research and project developments.

If you didn't get a chance to hear the interview when it originally ran, it is archived and available for stream here. Joining Travis on the show, was our partner from Grantmakers Without Borders Susan Beaudry. We collaborated with Susan to help donors sort through the facts and spin associated with microcredit lending practices in the downloadable guide: Microfinance: A Guide for Grantmakers.