Category: Eastern Europe
There are 16 entries in this category.
Jul 13, 2011
Whenever I read one of Banerjee’s and Duflo’s papers or talk with them I walk away with the exhilaration that only comes from (as the economist’s would say) changing my priors—in other words, I learn something and look at the world in a new way. That’s why I was so excited to spend more than an hour talking with them this spring after Poor Economics came out. We’re publishing a transcript of that extended interview in parts because it runs to over 6000 words in its entirety.
Over the course of the interview we discuss microcredit, microenterprise funding and growth, labor markets in developing and developed countries, the evidence for focusing on women and girls with aid programs, the debate over RCTs and how they think about their own impact on changing the world.
Nov 02, 2010
There was a huge amount of information and data presented at the recent Microfinance Impact and Innovation Conference. It was hard to take it all in, but thankfully there were a number of bloggers and other interested parties at the event who have provided summaries, interviews and reactions. Those posts are collected here for easy access and we’ll be updating the list as we go.
Aug 10, 2010
While Russia’s decision isn’t necessarily a sign of another rampaging food crisis, it is just another alarm bell about the state of the world food supply and how susceptible the system is to weather and government action. Ultimately, this is another data point on the priority of improving yields around the world, fighting the brown revolution with every tool we have, and ending the unjust and evil tyranny of developed world food policy.
Jun 29, 2010
Jun 02, 2010
It’s often discussed that philanthropy has a fad problem. Philanthropic attention tends to gravitate to the “new”, and even when these “hot” areas show success, they are infrequently carried to scale. In other cases, donors simply declare victory and move on, leaving programs that require on-going funding to spiral downward into failure.
Agriculture is one area that has been a victim of philanthropy fads. Investment poured into the sector during the 1960s and 1970s and yielded perhaps the greatest success in the history of global philanthropy: the green revolution. But the success of the green revolution in Asia led many funders to focus on other sectors, believing the problem was solved. As a result, investment in agriculture and agricultural research declined and progress on improved varieties of global staple crops slowed—and the green revolution never reached Africa.
Recently there has been some movement on this front. The Gates Foundation in particular has become vocal about agriculture in Africa in particular, initiating the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa and bringing other funders on board.
But the neglect of the agricultural sector has exposed us all to a counter-revolution, a brown revolution.
Nov 16, 2009
Impatient optimists are like investors in subprime mortgages in 2007. They can be so blinded by the upside that they fail to do their due diligence. In the end, their impatience and pursuit of outsize returns fuels waste and disappointment. Patient optimists, by contrast, have lowered their expectations of any particular program or intervention, but not their belief in a better world over the long term. If we’re going to succeed in making the world a better place, we need to convince more people to lower their expectations, too.
Oct 28, 2009
This has been a banner year for gathering real evidence about microfinance. But does all of this research matter? Will it change what donors believe about microfinance? In other words, is microfinance more like autism or Hormone Replacement Therapy?
Oct 12, 2009
Today I saw a Kiva document that, for me, points to a far bigger problem with Kiva than those already pointed out. Two points in the document floored me. First, all losses from Kiva-securitized loans are borne by the Kiva user. Second, Kiva’s monthly repayment reports are not based on actual repayment data.
Nov 21, 2008
Attention in the financial markets has been focused on the struggles of developed world institutions. To date, there hasn’t been much coverage of the impact of the financial crisis on microfinance—either on the flow of new capital to microfinance or the impact on MFIs that have borrowed money in hard currency while making loans in local currencies. Roger Frank is a partner at Developing World Markets, an investment banking and asset management firm specializing in microfinance, and has a front-row seat as the credit crisis increasingly impacts emerging market countries and microfinance. Roger spoke with Philanthropy Action recently about how the credit crisis is affecting investors and MFIs.
Sep 16, 2008