Displaying all posts under the topic of Big Picture
June 18, 2013
When it comes to costs and benefits, we at FAI tend to focus on benefits. The recent release of the Compartamos microfinance impact evaluation was thus a big event in our office. With our heads in the academic literature, we tend to write a lot about RCTs and other ways to measure benefits of interventions.
May 24, 2013
Below are the latest and greatest articles, reports, and research from the field of microfinance and economic development. From remittances in Asia to microinsurance in Africa, it’s definitely been an interesting week!
Half of the adults in the world are “unbanked” -- about 2.5 billion people. That’s the starting point of a new book, Banking the World: Empirical Foundations of Financial Inclusion, published by the MIT Press.
It's an important moment for the microfinance movement. At a time when real progress has been made in making financial services available to the poor, questions abound about the effectiveness of microfinance as a way of helping people escape from poverty. The priveleged position microfinance has enjoyed among poverty interventions and social investment is eroding. Charting the right path forward for microfinance--and effective investments in reducing poverty--requires a closer look at how microfinance really has worked.
Recently FAI hosted a discussion with Muhammad Yunus, founder of the Grameen Bank and pioneer in the field of microfinance. The event was moderated by Jonathan Morduch and co-sponsored by NYU Wagner and NYU Stern.
March 27, 2013
A month ago I wrote a post singling out the Mexican state of Chiapas as a potential site of a coming repayment crisis. No, this is not a follow-up announcing that it has begun, nor am I rooting for one to start. In my next post, I will review the options that the Mexican microfinance sector has to avoid it, and what the global microfinance community can do to help.
Jonathan Morduch talks about the reality of the poverty in a keynote address at The College of St. Scholastica.
February 22, 2013
Here are the articles and blogs we've been perusing over the past few weeks. Let us know if we have missed any essential must-reads in that time via comments.
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.