First published in 1998, this collection of essays by eminent microfinance practitioners provides a range of perspectives on contemporary issues in the field. Different approaches are proposed for achieving improved access by the poor to financial services. The common denominator in these essays is financial sustainability for the service provider. Issues addressed include: is savings mobilization integral to microfinance and, if so, how should it be incorporated in new programs? Are borrower groups a necessary element of successful microfinance programs? Are NGOs the right institutional vehicle for sustainable microfinance interventions? Is standardized and generalizable microfinance credit rating system feasible? While there is considerable diversity in the approaches recommended in these essays, the importance of cost efficiency and cost recovery forms the basis for most of the discussions.
1. Introduction. Mwangi S. Kimenyi, Robert C. Wieland & J.D. Von Pischke. Part 1. The Microfinance Market. 2. Do Financial Institutions have a Role in Assisting the Poor? Claudio Gonzalez-Vega. 3. Critical Issues in Microbusiness Finance and the Role of Donors. Reinhard H. Schmidt & Claus-Peter Zeitinger. Part 2. Microfinance Program Design Strategies. 4. Microfinance: the Paradigm Shift from Credit Delivery to Sustainable Financial Intermediation. Marguerite S. Robinson. 5. Altruistic or Production Finance? A Donor’s Dilemma. Dale W. Adams. 6. Combining Social and Financial Intermediation to Reach the Poor: the Necessity and Dangers. Lynn Bennett. 7. Balancing Perspectives on Informal Fiinance. Otto Hospes. 8. Developing Alternatives to Informal Finance and Finding Market Niches. Carlos E. Cuevas. 9. Basing Access on Performance to Create Sustainable Financial Services fro the Poor in Nepal. Lynn Bennett, Mike Goldberg & J.D. Von Pischke. Part 3. Sustainability and Accountability in Microfinance. 10. Credit Scoring to Predict Loan Repayment Performance: an Application to Rural Customers in Burkina Faso. Laura Viganò. 11. Keys to Financial Sustainability. Robert Peck Christen. 12. Other People’s Money: Regulatory Issues Facing Microenterprise Finance Programs. Robert C. Vogel. 13. Measuring the Performance of Small Enterprise Lenders. J.D. Von Pischke. 14. A Road Map for Financial Stabilization of Credit Unions: the Guatemalan Experience. David C. Richardson, Barry L. Lennon & Brian A. Branch.
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