The politics of microfinance

18/02/2007

Yunus joins politics in Bangladesh by launching his own party in the coming month, writes several newspapers. The connection between politics and microfinance has always interested me as many microfinance institutions survive in environments were involvement in politics is a necessity for doing business. At the same time, previous times’ rural finance has been infamous for being captured by politicians. Bangladesh is one of the most corrupt countries in the worlds, which does not make the connection less interesting. Right now it looks as if that is one of the likely conclusions in my thesis: Microfinance should not be public, but probably not entirely private either, in order to achieve it’s double goal of financial and social performance. The question is not whether or not there is a connection between politics and microfinance, but which connection and how it works. Yunus has made this question even more interesting by his move today.


Danske studerende om mikrofinans

14/02/2007

Der faktisk en del danske studerende, der i tidens løb har beskæftiget sig med mikrofinans og en del af deres arbejde er tilgængeligt pp internettet. For nogle år siden skrev Mia Buthler Olesen om mikrofinans i en antropologisk perspektiv, lidt i stil med hvad Ana Marr har gjort i Journal of Microfinance. Olesen er dog mindre skeptisk end Marr, idet hun finder at mikrofinans godt kan have positive konsekvenser på kvinders empowernment. Silke Mechlenburgs opgave fra IU på RUC er et nyere bidrag. Hun finder at USAIDs mikrofinansprogram baserer sig på en snævert konomisk forståelse af fattigdom. Lytter man efter i krogene vil man vide at der også er en gruppe CBS-studerende, der skriver om fænomenet, ligesom nogen fra økonomi er på vej til Uganda for at se på det – og nogle andre ting :-)
Al denne aktivitet har givet anledning til et virtuelt netværk for mikrofinansstuderende – klik på linket til højre hvis du vil være med.


DANIDA Study on Global Guarantee Fund for Microfinance

07/02/2007

DANIDA has recently funded a study done Development Associates on the possibilities of funding a Global Guarantee fund for microfinance. Very interesting, because it highlights the important debate on how donors best can support the sector. The guarantee funds is an attempt to overcome the schism between sustainability and subsidization: Local banks, is the assumption, will not lend to MFI’s because they think it is too risky. But with a guarantee, they will start, and hopefully find out that they were wrong about the risk. This is nothing new. ACCION has had a Guarantee fund since 1984 and has recently revised their concept. If DANIDA uses their 2 decades of experience it’ll sure work great. But great idea, under all circumstances.


Microfinance video clip on YouTube

07/02/2007

Who said microfinance was techincal? Here’s a pedagogical (an only a little rørstrømsk) film by the interesting US NGO, UNITUS.