Displaying all posts from April 2010
April 30, 2010
Observers of FAI know that if there’s one thing we love, it’s data. Real, hard data that’s high quality and readily available to everyone. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that we’re pleased with the World Bank’s landmark decision to make its data accessible to anyone who wants it.
Improved access to data on microfinance in particular is something we’ve been pushing for for quite some time. And we’ve found that self-reported data, like that found in the...
April 29, 2010
Congratulations to Esther Duflo on winning the John Bates Clark Medal, one of the most prestigious awards a young economist can win (some would say second only to the Nobel). And in fact, it has a reputation as a "Baby Nobel" because of how many awardees have gone on to win that prize as well. (You may have heard of Milton Friedman.)
April 23, 2010
UPDATE from this morning's blog post about the John Bates Clark Medal: Esther Duflo was announced as the winner of the prestigious award. Congratulations from all at IPA!
April 23, 2010
About a year ago, two papers made waves in the microfinance community. They were the first randomized control trials (RCTs) of expanding access to credit, and neither found evidence for the kind of impacts most people had come to expect, fairly or not, from microfinance. The results were somewhat surprising, but the power of these studies—and the...
April 23, 2010
The John Bates Clark Medal is one of the most prestigious awards a young economist can win (some would say second only to the Nobel). And in fact, it has a reputation as a "Baby Nobel" because of how many awardees have gone on to win that prize as well. In this post from the Wall Street Journal...
April 21, 2010
The 2008 global financial crisis intensified conversations about consumer protection. The financial crisis showed us that overly-liberalized credit markets can lead to overlending by institutions and heavy debt burdens for borrowers. Not surprisingly, the buzz these days is about “responsible banking.”
But self-regulation may not be enough—and may not be appropriate. After all, these are the same banks and institutions that created the original problems. Regulators are thus determining their next steps.
There are always trade-offs in designing regulations, though...
April 20, 2010
This month Frances Sinha is writing about lessons from her important new book, Microfinance Self-Help Groups in India: Living Up to Their Promise. Her first post introduced the book. Today's post describes some of the most striking lessons....
April 19, 2010
3ie, the International Initiative for Impact Evaluation, has released a call for proposals for programs to be evaluated. Unlike 3ie's Open Window, in which researchers submit evaluation proposals, this Policy Window is a call for government agencies and NGOs from developing countries to propose programs worth evaluating. 3ie will then issue RFPs to potential researchers for bids to evaluate the winning entries.
This is a nice opportunity for innovative programs to...
April 16, 2010
Last week, a group of leading microfinance organizations came out with a joint statement on measuring the impact of microfinance. It had Accion and Grameen, Unitus and Finca, Opportunity International, and Women’s World Banking. It had a commendable call to be “reasonable and measured in our claims for what microfinance can accomplish.” It...