Ideas to Action:

Independent research for global prosperity

Tag: Microfinance

 

David Roodman - Due Diligence: An Impertinent Inquiry into Microfinance

David Roodman My guest on this week’s Wonkcast is David Roodman, senior fellow and author of the long-awaited book, Due Diligence: An Impertinent Inquiry into Microfinance. After more than three years of unprecedented investigation into the movement, David was able to cut through the hype and come to understand the capabilities and limitations of microfinance in ending poverty.

Muhammad Yunus Forced Out –Whither Microcredit? David Roodman

Muhammad Yunus has been forced by a Bangladesh court to step down as the head of the Grameen Bank, leaving the world to wonder what will become of the institution that helped inspire the microfinance revolution. On this week’s Wonkcast, we consider the rise and uncertain future of microcredit, not so long ago the darling of development experts and activists alike, and discuss whether or not the arc of Yunus’s remarkable life serves as an apt metaphor for the microfinance movement.

My guest is CGD senior fellow David Roodman, who has been tracking the Yunus trial since it began as part of his Microfinance Open Book Blog. The book in public on the blog, Due Diligence: An Impertinent Inquiry into Microfinance, is nearing completion and will be published before the end of the year.

Fresh Ideas for Haiti Begin to Take Hold

Following the devastating earthquake in January, CGD experts offered fresh ideas on how the U.S. and the international community could help Haiti rebuild, particularly through non-aid channels. Several recent developments in the U.S. legislative branch reflect or build upon these ideas:

Trade

Five Winning Ideas in Finance and Development Marketplace

Kudos to AFD, the Gates Foundation, and the World Bank for organizing an outstanding Marketplace on Innovative Financial Solutions for Development last week in Paris. The organizers managed to bring together a lot of people with good ideas, and created an energized atmosphere worthy of the ‘marketplace’ idea.

Here is a round-up of the five winners of the contest, and some other ideas that stuck out:

Large-scale finance

The Myth of Microfinance? Why MFIs Shouldn’t Be Freaking Out (Yet)

This is a joint post with Michael Clemens.

The headline in the Boston Globe on September 20, 2009 was catchy: "Billions of dollars and a Nobel Prize later, it looks like 'microlending' doesn’t actually do much to fight poverty." The article referred to the findings of two recent impact evaluations in microfinance in India and the Philippines conducted by researchers at MIT and Yale, respectively. The studies, which were randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of microfinance interventions, found “weak and in some cases nonexistent effects” of microfinance on profits, expenditures and well-being. Privately and publicly, donors, MFIs and practitioners are expressing concern about the impact of these studies on the future of microfinance. Are they right to be worried?

Pages