Best of the Microfinance Blog 2010
It’s inevitable that a review of the year would highlight the dramatic turn of events in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, as well as other fundamental issues about the provision of financial services for the poor that emerged in such stark light in 2010.
Early in the year CGAP released new research that raised concerns about the pace of growth in some markets and the degree to which that could strain MFI systems. By the end of the year, the unfortunate turn of events in South Asia took center stage.
In between, we saw the breathtaking SKS IPO, and much debate about different approaches to delivering services, high interest rates, and the various facets of commercial microfinance.
It wasn’t all controversial or bad news. Financial Access 2010 showed that access to financial services had continued to grow in 2009, despite the financial crisis. The G20 took up the cause of financial inclusion, and in June endorsed “Nine Principles for Innovative Financial Inclusion” at the Toronto Summit. And the Basel Committee–the Vatican of global banking– issued its first guidance on microfinance in August. All signs of progress.
Here is a quick recap from 2010′s most popular and most discussed posts. We hope the CGAP Microfinance Blog provided some context, and perspectives that went beyond what you were hearing in the news. The issues raised last year remain imminent, and the conversation flows into 2011. As new issues emerge, we hope the CGAP Microfinance Blog will continue to offer new ideas, data, and informed opinion, and we hope you’ll offer your views by commenting on the issues at hand.
- The Perils of Uncontrolled Growth by Xavier Reille – “The Morocco microfinance sector wasn’t a casualty of the global financial crisis: this was primarily a crisis of the MFIs themselves.”
- How to Tell Good MFIs from Bad MFIs by Richard Rosenberg – Rich points out how there is no black and white formula to separate the two.
- Perplexed about Over-indebtedness, part 2 by Richard Rosenberg – “What do we mean when we use that term? This question, like most others about over-indebtedness, gets annoyingly complicated.”
- The Next Decade of Microfinance by Alexia Latortue – “Advancing financial access isn’t just about expanding access from a sheer numbers perspective—though that’s critical—it’s also about the quality of that access.”
- 6 Questions for SKS by Stephen Rasmussen – The post kicked off the blog series on SKS, shortly after the largest MFI in India launched its IPO. Steve asks whether SKS will be passing on the gains from the capital markets to their millions of clients in India.
- Is SKS any Different from Wal-Mart and does it matter if it isn’t? By Malcolm Harper – “Now microfinance is a mainstream business, it’s been “Wal-Martised,” whether we like it or not, Compartamos and now SKS have shown the way, and soon many more will follow. The clock cannot be put back.”
- Who’s the Culprit? Accessing Finance in Andhra Pradesh by Justin Oliver – The Andhra Pradesh crisis has been a critical turning point for microfinance in India and the globe. Justin’s post, which kicked off the series on this topic, was the most read and most discussed post of the year.
- Crisis by Invitation by N.Srinivasan – “More than 15 years of hard work has gone into the (microfinance) sector. For the mindless actions of a few with a profit motive, a large number of customers are set to lose linkages to institutions that had helped them over the years.”
- Andhra Pradesh Crisis or Opportunity by Parmesh Shah – The post argues for creating a pro-poor ecosystem which includes a diverse range of financial products and services that meet needs related to health, food, education, and livelihoods.
- Will the Indian SHG Movement Withstand the Competition offered by MFIs? By CS Reddy – Reddy’s post offers an analysis of why the SHG movement is such a critical way to include the poorest people in India.
Which did you like the best?