The mobile phone is gaining widespread popularity as a means to bridge the “last mile” – to bring information and financial services to people without ready access to them. To get a better picture of how to best deliver mobile services, we conducted a case study with our partner, Cashpor Microcredit, based in Varanasi, India.
Monitoring and Evaluation
Most economic development programs that aim to reach the poorest households have not been designed using a sustainable business approach. Instead, these programs have been developed as grants and charity-driven projects. While there is a role for grant-driven programs, organizations can also make sustainable business decisions to extend outreach to poorer populations in the medium to long term.
Grameen Foundation’s holistic approach to microsavings provides the framework and tools to develop and offer convenient, accessible, and secure poverty-focused savings programs while building sound financial, organizational, and operational practices that help transform microfinance institutions (MFIs) from credit-led to demand-driven institutions.
Targeting and selecting groups for social development programs based on poverty levels can be a powerful first step in achieving greater impact. However, the complex nature of poverty often leads to processes that are accurate, but extremely customized, making it difficult to make comparisons across projects and geographies. This paper presents a methodology that aims to address both these issues.
This is not volunteerism for the sake of volunteerism, but rather a new business model for solving some of the real problems impeding the scale, sustainability, and impact of microfinance and T4D initiatives. A greater and more strategic use of volunteers can help the field to realize, more rapidly, strategic and operational improvements.
In Measuring the Impact of Microfinance: Taking Another Look, Odell examines studies which have demonstrated that microfinance helps poor people better cope with financial shocks that often upend their lives. It also addresses the difficulties in isolating microfinance’s impact from the myriad forces at play in poor people’s lives.
Grameen Foundation’s Community Knowledge Worker Initiative is based on the belief that a distributed network of intermediaries, or Community Knowledge Workers (CKWs), can use mobile devices to collect and disseminate information to improve the livelihoods of smallholder farmers.
Grameen Foundation's Growth Guarantees program was launched in 2005 to increase microfinance clients’ access to loans by guaranteeing local funding for the microfinance institutions (MFIs) that serve them.