What costs does microfinance reduce for the unbanked poor?

How much evidence do we have that the recently unbanked poor are getting a comparatively good deal from microfinance providers? The most basic narrative of microfinance is that the poor are able to get loans from microfinance providers at substantially lower interest rates than are charged by local moneylenders.  This assertion may seem obviously true, but for the Evidence Project of Freedom f read more...

Do the Poor Get a Better Deal from Microfinance?

Among our multitude of social purposes, are there any we all can share?  I believe there are at least two. First, we want the unbanked to have access to good-quality financial services.  Second, we want these people to get a better deal from microfinance than they have been getting without microfinance.  Given that the public (and the press) insist that we offer evidence of achievement of ou read more...

Does Evidence of Success in Poverty Alleviation Divide Us?

There are many different objectives for microfinance.  Let’s acknowledge the dominance of poverty alleviation in the public understanding of microfinance.  The association of the microfinance brand with poverty alleviation is extremely strong in the minds of most donors, lenders and investors.  If microfinance is not explicitly and demonstrably alleviating poverty, isn’t it failing the prev read more...

How Does Evidence Unite Us or Divide Us?

How do you think evidence unites or divides us?  Perhaps it’s because we share some of the same objectives for microfinance and differ in others? I am starting this new blog to invite you all into a conversation about what we know regarding the benefits and costs of different kinds of microfinance for the poor – and how we know it. I do have an agenda. Freedom from Hunger has a lot o read more...