Microfinance and poverty

Does microfinance lift people out of poverty?

June 29, 2011

Speaker(s): Dr. Maren Duvendack, IFPRI; Dr. Ruth Stewart, Institute of Education; Milford Bateman, University of Juraj Dobrila Pula, Croatia

In the words of the Nobel Peace prize winner and former Director of the Grameen Bank Mohammed Yunus, microfinance interventions provide credit, savings and other financial services to those individuals that do not have access to formal banking. Often described as a golden bullet to fight poverty, microfinance interventions have been widely implemented all around the world with support from international aid agencies, governments and non-governmental organisations. However, evaluation studies have raised doubts about the effectiveness of microfinance programmes, suggesting that they might be causing harm, as well as good, to the lives of poor people.

This symposium brings together the perspectives from academics, policy-makers and microfinance practitioners. Maren Duvendack from IFPRI and Ruth Stewart from the Institute of Education will present results of two systematic reviews on the impact of microfinance. Milford Bateman, author of the recent book ‘Why microfinance doesn’t work’, will talk about flaws in impact evaluation studies of microfinance. The presentation will be followed by a discussion panel chaired by Howard White and featuring Claire Innes from DFID, Priya Lukka from the Asian Foundation for Philanthropy and UK Financial Services Authority.

Read the discussion highlights and listen to the symposium podcast
To view Dr. Maren Duvendack's

To view Dr. Ruth Stewart's presentation (2.3 MB)
To view Milford Bateman's presentation (25.2 KB)

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