Category: Emerging Markets Investing
There are 28 entries in this category.
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 16, 2009
There’s been a great deal more conversation about the gap between the Kiva story and the Kiva reality since my post on Monday. You can see a mostly comprehensive guide to the conversation here (and I really recommend reading through the first several articles there if you’re not familiar with the debate). The most important update is that Kiva tonight posted a new, more complete description of how it operates. I want to react to various points made in the debate and Kiva’s update, clarify where I stand and ask a few more questions of everyone involved. I truly hope the outcome of all of this conversation is lots of Kiva users, and lots of other donors, who are willing to accept less connection in favor of more effectiveness.
Oct 13, 2009
The posts and comments have been flying fast and furious over the issue of Kiva specifically and the issues of transparency and donors demands for illusion. For those who haven’t been able to keep up, I thought it would be helpful to provide a mostly comprehensive guide to the various posts. I’ll try to keep it updated when/if more is added.
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.
Oct 07, 2009
Rwanda is a place where the generally accepted and reported narrative is increasingly diverging from the facts on the ground. The narrative is well-known: Since the genocide, Rwanda has made steady progress in economic growth, stability and reconciliation under the benevolent and enlightened leadership of President Paul Kagame who is attracting economic investment from the business community rather than by soliciting aid.
But the narrative is breaking down at all levels. Rwanda is starting to look much more like a bitter tragedy than an inspirational new model.
Jun 22, 2009
A year ago the global food crisis was front and center in international circles. Today, you’d be hard pressed to find the phrase appear at all. But the problems so evident last year have not been solved, they’ve mostly just been displaced from their position at the top of the crisis list. With the rapid spread of Ug99 wheat stem rust, we could be facing a food crisis soon that utterly dwarfs the last two years.
Jun 08, 2009
We know the current economic slump is going to seriously hurt the poor (the World Bank estimates that several hundred million people have been pushed back below the $2/per day threshold), not to mention nonprofit and social finance funding. Financial scarcity demands an unprecedented level of collaboration, resource leveraging and new alliances. With the world economy slowing, the social entrepreneurs, funders, social financiers and nonprofit leaders who have committed themselves to economic justice are called to do more, to do it better and to do it faster. We can’t waste a minute.
May 24, 2009
Some readers may think the report is fairly damning to the marketing claims of the impact of microfinance—more studies like this in other areas and over longer periods are necessary before we can reject the traditional views though. Ultimately, though, this study is very good news for microfinance because it begins to illuminate what is really happening among borrowers. That information, in turn, can be used to improve the product to make sure that the best products are offered to clients—and the impact of microfinance can improve.
May 06, 2009
Day Two of the Council on Foundations annual conference featured two great sessions that we’ll turn into articles soon. In each case, the presenters had useful, substantive and thought-provoking things to say. Of course, there were a couple of not-so-great sessions as well.
Mar 25, 2009