Skip to main content

Microfinance is dead! Long live microfinance! Critical reflections on two decades of microfinance policy and practice

The full text article is not available for purchase.

The publisher only permits individual articles to be downloaded by subscribers.

Abstract:

The rise of the financial systems approach has been central to the past two decades of micro finance practice which aimed to achieve sustainability through scale and building profitable institutions. This resulted in extensive debates over its ability to reach poor and very poor people. The approach rode the wave of the Washington Consensus which promoted economic reform and liberalization. Now the policy discourse has moved even further away from a poverty focus to advocate financial inclusion for the unbanked into the mainstream financial sector. On these terms micro finance seems to be dead. However, the diversity of approaches on the ground aimed at poor people and hard-to-reach rural areas, points to a survival of 'micro finance', albeit largely outside the mainstream of the Washington consensus. This article also discusses where these developments leave the women's empowerment agenda that has been so central to micro finance.

Keywords: EMPOWERMENT OF WOMEN; FINANCIAL INCLUSION; FINANCIAL SUSTAINABILITY; FINANCIAL SYSTEMS APPROACH; MICROFINANCE; REACHING THE POOREST

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.3362/1755-1986.2009.033

Publication date: 2009-12-01

More about this publication?
  • Access Key
  • Free content
  • Partial Free content
  • New content
  • Open access content
  • Partial Open access content
  • Subscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed content
  • Free trial content
Cookie Policy
X
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more