As you are probably aware, Kiva believes in the power of people across the globe to come together in pursuit of poverty alleviation through microfinance. In our operations, hundreds of volunteers support the editing and translating of businesses and the Kiva office is often teeming with volunteer interns and consultants from Oliver Wyman pitching in.
Uniquely and relatedly, David Roodman, a Research Fellow at the Center for Global Development, is quasi-crowdsourcing his new book on microfinance. David describes the purpose of his new book as
to probe and limn the truth of microfinance, such as it can be understood, and draw out the implications for all those who back microfinance or contemplate doing so. It does so by viewing microfinance through the perspectives of history, economics, ethics, and politics and through the eyes poor clients struggling to protect and improve their lot, microfinance managers struggling to at least break even. Each perspective offers a piece of the truth of microfinance. Many books have been written about microfinance, but I don’t think any other has quilted together so many perspectivesDavid’s a jack of all trades, he’s written and published previously on instruments in regressions, develop countries’ commitment to development, and microfinance’s business model. Now, he is pioneering a new, participatory way of writing his book about microfinance. David is releasing chapters as he completes drafts and is inviting comments as he molds a final version.
The book already has three chapters up to read (all free and easy to download) here. I’m particularly excited for the three chapters looking at microfinance from the perspectives of development as impact, development as freedom, and development as building institutions. This new perspective on an evolving field is an exciting opportunity to take stock of what we know, what we care about, and where we can do better. Check out the book and comment!
Microfinance Partnerships Manager, Anglophone Africa