Defeating Global Poverty: Is microfinance really helping the poor?
Very good question from KT on post of my recent interview ... just the kind of questions I like to ask! We need to have an open dialog on the outputs/results we are expecting/hoping for.
Dave, in the interview you mentioned: "microfinance has demonstrated, and it’s one of the few tools that I’ve been able to find historically that has had a large impact on actually lifting people out of extreme poverty on a sustainable basis and at a large volume". Do we have any hard evidence of that? In 2006, Economist magazine concluded that while "heart-warming case studies abound, rigorous empirical analyses are rare". Bangladesh is not one of the development success stories by any standards. Out of 7,000 MFIs around the world, fewer than 100 claim self-sufficiency.
I am not trying to criticise microfinance as such but it looks like the claims that it as a successful development tool are really exaggerated.
Here are a few thoughts: ...