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CGD Policy Blogs


Bangladesh Dispatch from Beth Rhyne

A characteristically fine essay from Beth Rhyne on her recent visit to Bangladesh:

Ask a casual observer to describe microfinance, and most likely he or she will mention Bangladesh and tiny group-guaranteed loans for women. But on a recent trip to Bangladesh, I learned that the Bangladeshi microfinance sector has moved on. Way on.

Roodman Reviews Role Reversal Revisited

The microfinance rating agency MicroRate recently released an update of its Role Reversal report, which received wide attention five years ago. Like the original, Role Reversal Revisited makes a strong case that public agencies such as the World Bank's International Finance Corporation are investing heavily in microfinance institutions that are also capable of attracting finance from private investors. Thus public investors are "crowding out" private investors, in contravention of their own policies.

Amount × Collection Practices = Debt Burden

Sanjay Sinha points out that government-backed Self-Help Groups (SHGs) have indebted the poor of Andhra Pradesh three times as much as the microfinance institutions (MFIs) have. That certainly should be food for thought for anyone who heaps calumny on the MFIs.

"Think Again" Piece in Foreign Policy

Foreign Policy just published a piece I wrote in their Think Again format. The format is inherently contrarian, which makes it more fun, but my views on microfinance are not purely contrarian. See what you think of how I tried to strike a balance.