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Programme Design and Impact Assessments: 'Success' of Microfinance in Perspective

Sayantan Bera
Economic and Political Weekly
Vol. 43, No. 32 (Aug. 9 - 15, 2008), pp. 77, 79-85
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40277833
Page Count: 8
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Programme Design and Impact Assessments: 'Success' of Microfinance in Perspective
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Abstract

The enviable success of microfinance programmes in terms of high repayment rates, vis-à-vis state-led subsidised credit programmes of the past, has mostly been attributed to the group lending aspect with the much celebrated "joint liability" feature. But in practice, such programmes use a host of other dynamic and static incentives features, engage in meticulous designing of financial products and use different models of service delivery, going beyond "group lending with joint liability" This paper attempts to take stock of these developments: the ongoing innovations in designing flexible and tailor- made financial products, the ingenuous use of a variety of incentive mechanisms, and the evolution and acceptance of microfinance from a focused credit intervention approach towards a broader paradigm of livelihood finance.

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