Financial Inclusion

How Does Innovation Happen, in the Financial Inclusion Movement and Elsewhere?

How Does Innovation Happen, in the Financial Inclusion Movement and Elsewhere?

March 12, 2015

By V. McIntyre - Center for Financial Inclusion

Rohini Pande and her colleagues recently researched whether changing some features of a loan contract can alter its impact for the women who choose to take them up. Certain aspects of the classic microfinance loan contract, developed by the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh in the 1970s and still prevalent today in South Asia, seem more conducive to some business activities than others.

NexThought Monday - The (Financial) Wisdom of the Crowd: How a group of non-experts outperformed traditional credit ratings at identifying good and bad borrowers

NexThought Monday - The (Financial) Wisdom of the Crowd: How a group of non-experts outperformed traditional credit ratings at identifying good and bad borrowers

March 9, 2015

By V. McIntyre - Next Billion

Determining risk has always been a hurdle for financial inclusion practitioners, as well as a barrier for small and micro-businesses looking to expand. But if non-traditional measures prove dependable, they may fill the information gap and make lending to poor entrepreneurs and small businesses more feasible...Working with the American P2P website Prosper.com, Asim Khwaja...and coauthors Rajkamal Iyer, Erzo F.P. Luttmer and Kelly Shue analyzed 194,033 borrower listings from the site, 17,212 of which were funded.

Doorstep banking in rural Sri Lanka increases customer savings … and income

Doorstep banking in rural Sri Lanka increases customer savings … and income

February 3, 2015

By Michael Callen, Suresh de Mel, Craig Macintosh, Christopher Woodruff - VoxEU

Recent findings in development economics indicate that microloans are likely to perform best when accompanied by financial education, insurance, and savings products. This column presents evidence from a natural experiment in Sri Lanka, which involved door-to-door collection services among rural households.

Day One at “Rethinking Financial Inclusion: Smart Design for Policy and Practice” Penicillin Versus the Magic Bullet, or, Why Data is Not a Mere Annoyance

Day One at “Rethinking Financial Inclusion: Smart Design for Policy and Practice” Penicillin Versus the Magic Bullet, or, Why Data is Not a Mere Annoyance

April 3, 2014

Posted by V. McIntyre, Freelance Writer for the Harvard Kennedy School
The Financial Inclusion 2020 campaign at the Center for Financial Inclusion at Accion is building a movement toward full financial inclusion by 2020. This blog series spotlights financial inclusion efforts around the globe, shares insights from the FI2020 consultative process and highlights findings from “Mapping the Invisible Market.”

Credit worthy

Credit worthy

September 1, 2013

HKS Magazine
By Vestal McIntyre
Once the brightest idea in development economics, microcredit is under attack. But Rohini Pande, a co-founder of Evidence for Policy Design at Harvard Kennedy School, is looking for ways to make this sector fulfill its original promise to the world’s poorest women.

Soft information can speak loudly when it comes to credit

Soft information can speak loudly when it comes to credit

June 5, 2013

Harvard Kennedy School Communications
By Jenny Li Fowler
There are myriad ways to measure credit risk, and sometimes "softer" is better. A new Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) Faculty Research Working Paper co-authored by HKS Professor Asim Ijaz Khwaja explores the promising potential for utilizing unconventional risk assessment methods when evaluating smaller borrowers.

Using evidence to analyze the success of microfinance programs

Using evidence to analyze the success of microfinance programs

February 13, 2013

Harvard Kennedy School Communications
By Jane Finn-Foley
Every day in Arusha, Tanzania, Jamila Jiendeleze bakes 1,000 cupcakes in a hot, small tin shack. After her husband passed away a few years ago, Jiendeleze struggled to provide for herself and her four children until she received a microfinance loan of $700 which allowed her to start baking. Now, she owns her own business and is on her way to financial independence.