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My colleague David Roodman has decided to write his next book in public, not only by posting draft chapters as he completes them and inviting comments but also by sharing his discoveries and tribulations as he conducts the research that underpins the book. David writes:
I am using this blog to share the process of writing my book about microfinance (the mass production of small-scale financial services for the poor). The book asks and attempts to answer bottom-line questions about what we know about the impacts of microfinance and what that implies for how governments, foundations, and investors should support it.
For the many people who (like me) have assumed that very small loans to very poor people are a relatively recent phenomenon, David's chapter three on the (surprisingly long) history of microfinance will come as a quite a surprise. Already David is eliciting thoughtful and informative suggestions from readers.
If you haven't yet figured out how to subscribe to an RSS feed and set up a news reader, David's new open book blog may be just the excuse that you need. You can find a list of CGD RSS feeds and instructions for RSS beginners here.
CGD blog posts reflect theviews of the authors drawing on prior research and experience in their areas of expertise. CGD does not take institutional positions.
Recently CGD hosted the Second Annual Birdsall House Conference on Women, which focused on beyond-aid approaches for women’s economic empowerment, with particular emphasis on private sector engagement. CGD experts have written about how international organizations and national agencies should examine and correct gender biases in the design and delivery of their strategies for financial inclusion. But while public sector interventions are crucial for promoting women’s economic empowerment, the panelists pointed out that the private sector is in many ways better equipped to provide opportunities for women to grow their businesses, investments, and incomes. Here’s our takeaway.
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.