Friday, April 15, 2011

Microfinance Notes: 15 April 2011

At Kiva, we value being in tuned to the news, research, and latest findings in Microfinance, so we are making an effort to bring you more of the latest in Microfinance!

This post we cover: the challenges of microfinance in Islamic settings, thoughts on the sustainability of microfinance, a case study of using the Grameen Foundation's Progress out of Poverty Index, an article from Beth Rhyne on microfinance in the Philippines, impact evaluations, and much more. 

If you can only read one...

Islamic Microfinance Challenge: Profiling Tanzania Eco-Volunteerism's Honey Project source: CGAP Microfinance Blog

Kiva in 2011 is exploring new kinds of partnerships that are innovative, emerging and well-adapted to borrower needs. This project in Tanzania may or may not be appropriate for Kiva's platform, but it is a good example of the kind of project we like: environmentally friendly, adapted to the local Islamic context and inclusive of value chain considerations.
If you can

Note From the Global Commercial Microfinance Consortium: Making the Microfinance Industry More Sustainable source: USAID Microlinks

Kiva works with a variety of microfinance models. The commercial model of microfinance (typified by Kiva Field Partners XacBank and Credit Mongol) is further explored in this report from USAID.

New Case Study: PT Rekhan Usaha Mikro Anda: A Social Enterprise with an Explicit Double Bottom Line   source: USAID Microlinks

The Progress out of Poverty Index by Grameen Foundation has already proven to have positive implications for poverty outreach and measurement in microfinance. While thinking about how Kiva could utilize the tool in fulfilling its mission, read about this interesting usage of the PPI for building microfranchises. 

The microfinance crisis in India drew worldwide attention. Read industry leader Beth Rhyne's take on how to avoid a similar problem in the Philippines (where Kiva has eight Field Partners). 

While many like to go to the bottom line and talk about impact, others find the term concerning because it is quite difficult to tie a microloan directly to changes in a borrower's life.  

Key Data on the Scale of Microlending in the U.S. (pdf) source: CGAP Microfinance Gateway 

Kiva's 2009 entry into U.S. microlending turned out to be a hugely successful endeavor, drawing new lenders and attention to helping out "in our own backyard." This article explores microfinance in the United States as it attempts to scale up to serve more borrowers.    

Kiva has been fortunate to 'stand on the shoulders of giants' who preceded us in creating today's best practices for serving the base of the pyramid (BOP). Read about five key 'giants' and their contributions to microfinance.