Displaying all posts by Timothy Ogden
April 30, 2013
A regular theme in our writing is about the need for the microfinance industry to learn from and adapt to the needs of poor households. A few weeks ago, a new paper appeared based on an interesting attempt to test whether MFIs are interested in generating and using rigorous evidence.
April 17, 2013
Timothy Ogden and Economist Rohini Pande discuss how standard microcredit may undermine business investment in this FAI Video interview.
Transcript of the Conversation
April 15, 2013
We had the good fortune to host, with NYU-Wagner and NYU-Stern, a talk by Muhammad Yunus today at FAI. If you couldn't join us in the room or via the livestream, you can read the tweetstream from the talk by searching Twitter for #FAIYunus, and soon we'll post video of the event.
One way to cope with an emergency is to borrow money from family and friends. But that typically doesn’t work when a disaster strikes a whole area. Sending and receiving money over larger distances, when transferring cash from person-to-person is impractical or impossible, can be very expensive. There are a litany of costs, from communications, to finding and traveling to agents, to the actual financial cost of the transfer. And don’t forget the cost of delay—in an emergency, delays in receiving needed funds can have big consequences.
January 22, 2013
The microfinance space has never been a dull place. As the tumult of the last few years—debates about effectiveness, industry crises and crashes in several countries—seemingly dies down, it’s a good time to speculate about what’s next. It seems clear that “business as usual” in terms of rapid growth and expansion paired with unvarnished enthusiasm and uncritical praise is not what’s next.
So what is?
January 16, 2013
At FAI, we’re big advocates for data. Why? Because you can’t make good policy without data. Data can be collected in many ways and come in many forms: transaction records, panel surveys, financial diaries, or field experiment results. We get excited about the opportunity to collect or analyze data about the financial behavior of poor households.
December 14, 2012
One of the many important questions in the transition to mobile and/or electronic money is who will bear the costs associated with using the system. This question is particularly salient since the Kenyan government announced it was planning to begin taxing mobile money transfers, adding to the cost of the system.
November 30, 2012
A few weeks ago I wrote that a transition to electronic payments will not be a boon to poor households unless the financial systems that undergird payments become more focused on serving poor households. It’s vitally important to think of the value and benefits of electronic payments within a system.
A couple of recent news stories highlight what a financial system enabled by electronic payments can do, even without the active cooperation of traditional banks.