Stuart Rutherford, the originator of the ‘financial diaries’ research methodology, is a researcher, writer, practitioner and teacher. His books "The Poor and Their Money" and the co-authored "Portfolios of the Poor" describe how poor people around the world manage their money. "The Pledge" tells the story of the emergence and growth of microfinance in Bangladesh, in the form of a biography of ASA, a major Bangladeshi microfinance organization. He has also written many journal articles.
As a practitioner Rutherford has tried to put into practice some of the ideas in his written work. In Bangladesh in 1996, he set up SafeSave, the world’s first microfinance organization aimed at helping poor people with basic money management (as opposed, say, to microenterprise development). He taught for several years at the Boulder Microfinance Training Course and at Southern New Hampshire, and is a Fellow at the Global Development Institute at the University of Manchester, UK. His consultancy clients include many local and international NGOs, bilateral and multinational donors, and philanthropic trusts like the Ford and Gates foundations.
Rutherford was educated at Cambridge University and the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London, but has lived most of his life abroad, including 16 years in Bangladesh. He is currently based in Japan, where his wife teaches at a development studies institute.