This book considers various types of microfinance schemes and compares the effectiveness of different approaches in aiding poverty reduction.
The provision of credit and other financial services has become increasingly seen as the answer to the problems facing poor people. Microfinance interventions have the capacity to increase incomes, contribute to individual and household security, and change social relations for the better. But it cannot be assumed that they will do so and it may often be more effective in terms of poverty reduction to combine credit provision with other development activities.
The authors emphasize the importance of first studying the local context, and then considering the macro-economic factors which may be operating upon the economy of a particular country. Five extended case studies, in the Gambia, Ecuador, Mexico, Pakistan, and the UK, are examined; aspects of sustainability and impact assessment are considered with reference to these case studies and to other examples.
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