Category: Poverty Alleviation
There are 132 entries in this category.
Nov 13, 2009
If you would only give to an intermediary in order to help someone on the street outside your home, why do you want to do away with intermediaries between you and a person on the other side of the world whose circumstances you don’t understand at all?
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.
Sep 06, 2009
“When we compare participants in microfinance programs to non-participants we have to ask what that comparison means. It would be easy to say, ‘Oh, well look, they are better off, so microfinance is great.‘ The problem is we don’t know what type of person is joining a microfinance program. If we think they are either more motivated to improve their lives or they have more resources at their disposal to find out about the program, or they have a good business idea, or they are more likely to get approved by the program – all these types of things might lead us to believe that the kinds of people who participate might be better off anyway, with or without microcredit. So that means if we see people doing better in those earlier studies compared to non-participants we are not exactly sure whether that is saying something about the program itself or the people who participate in it.“
Jul 10, 2009
A new report shows that the microfinance sector is not as impervious to the negative impacts of the global financial crisis as had been previously suspected.
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 12, 2009
There is no conclusive evidence as of yet that paying teachers for their performance in the classroom in fact results in better learning for students. But a number of experiments aimed at understanding whether it can are being driven by intuitive sense, and the fact that the non-experimental research available is positive.