Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Microfinance Notes: 9 May 2011

At Kiva, we value being in tune with the current news, research, and findings, so each week we are going to bring you the latest updates in Microfinance!

In this post, we cover the following: an environmentally friendly savings initiative in Indonesia, a paper on gender empowerment, a CGAP blog post about Kenya’s technological advancements in banking, a USAID FIELD brief on food security, a look into branchless banking in Latin America, and much more!

If you can only read one...

source: CGAP Microfinance Blog

Kiva just launched Green Loans extending its global microlending marketplace to support sustainable initiatives. Read about an innovative savings product in Indonesia whose goal is to fight poverty and reduce waste. This project, created by BISMA, was a finalist at the Islamic Microfinance Challenge in 2010.

If you can read more…

source: Microfinance Gateway

Kiva has a number of Field Partners with the mission of gender empowerment and/or rural economic development. This paper about microfinance in the IFAD Eastern & Southern Africa Rural finance Knowledge Management Newsletter combines both goals.

source: CGAP Technology Blog

Kiva was built on a strong belief in the power of technology. Read about an innovation in Kenya, which connects government support programs to those most in need.

source: USAID MicroLinks

Microfinance has shown some impact on food security, especially in rural areas where agriculture is the primary economic activity. Read the study completed by FINCA in Zambia and Guatemala about the linkage in this article from USAID.

source: CGAP Technology Blog

Kiva's technology has created a global platform for funding microfinance. Read this blog post about the successes of branchless banking in Latin America by Mireya Almazán & Ignacio Mas from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

source: CGAP Microfinance Blog

While Kiva's model focuses on microlending, we all know how important savings accounts are to the unbanked. This post points out that many people believe that it is critical to ensure universal access, at least to a basic bank account. Read Lessons from India to find out more about matching the right type of savings account to the right kind of social need.

source: Grameen Foundation

Kiva is working on a pilot project with Grameen Foundation around the Progress out of Poverty Index. The PPI can help programs target services, track changes in poverty over time, and report on poverty rates. This tool is now available for use by our Field Partners in Sierra Leone.