Promoting Inclusive Markets and Financial Systems
This paper discusses the results of preliminary research done by the Poverty Outreach Working Group to identify promising approaches for serving very poor people with microfinance and non financial services. The working group identified 10 microfinance institutions (MFIs) and asked them each to submit a case study describing how effective their programs were in reaching their target clients, how they measured their clients’ poverty levels, and whether (and how) they could document their effectiveness. From these case studies, the POWG hoped to identify and examine any common elements that made these MFI programs successful and from this recommend areas for further research. As a result, the POWG developed an extensive questionnaire for the next stage of research.
The upshot of the POWG’s preliminary research shows that servicing very poor people is possible—perhaps more possible than now appears— but that greater success will be dependent on understanding what the critical factors are and addressing them realistically and in ways that produce results that can be documented.