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MicroBanking Bulletin

MicroBanking Bulletin

MicroBanking Bulletin

Read features on critical microfinance industry topics written by MIX staff, microfinance practitioners and academics. First published in 1997, the MicroBanking Bulletin covers a variety of topics including, but not limited to, financial reporting, social performance, transparency, policy & regulation, and investment.

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Recent Features

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Assessing Green Microfinance: Qualitative and Quantitative Indicators for Measuring Environmental Performance

Date: 
November 2015
Author(s): 
MIX and the European Microfinance Platform (e-MFP) Microfinance & Environment Action Group

Beyond Good Intentions: Measuring Impact Investment and Social Performance in Microfinance

Date: 
June 2014
Author(s): 
Micol Pistelli and Armonia Pierantozzi (MIX), Malika Hamadi (University of Sassari)

Beyond Good Intentions: Measuring Impact Investment and Social Performance in Microfinance uses MIX’s extensive MFI funding structure information to determine whether various levels of “social” funding (i.e. funding from self-identified impact—as opposed to commercial—investors) are associated with differences in MFI social orientation, capacity to report on social outcomes, and financial performance.

Measuring the Social Mission of Microfinance

Date: 
December 2012
Author(s): 
Micol Pistelli

The microfinance industry needs reliable indicators to effectively determine whether MFIs are acting in a socially responsible manner and achieving their development goals.  MIX and the SPTF have developed a series of indicators that MFIs have been reporting to MIX since 2009. In this presentation you will learn:

Measuring Governance in Microfinance: Initial Findings from a Pilot Project

Date: 
April 2012
Author(s): 
Micol Pistelli, Stephanie Geake, with Adrian Gonzalez

Executive Summary

Until recently, corporate governance has been a subject of secondary interest in analyses of the microfinance industry. However, the recent economic downturn in some markets and the risk exposure of some microfinance institutions (MFIs) to bailout[1]  has led many in the industry to identify good governance as the primary differentiating factor between those institutions that overcome crises and those that do not[2].

Diamonds no longer forever

Date: 
April 2012
Author(s): 
Scott Gaul

Part of the mission of MIX is to promote transparency for microfinance. At a high level, transparency has increased over the past several years - we've gone from 28 institutions providing confidential information to the first MicroBanking Bulletin in 1997, to 162 with public information on MIX Market in 2003, to over 2000 with profiles and data now on the MIX Market site.

Information Overload: can technology address MFIs' reporting burden?

Date: 
April 2012
Author(s): 
Blaine Stephens

Microfinance reporting has something to learn from how university applications and tax returns are filed.  Every year in the United States, millions of high school students complete lengthy university admissions applications hoping to secure one or more spots at their top choices, all of which have their own admissions applications.  Thanks to the Common Application, students can provide most of the necessary information through a single application, only answering questions from individual universities if they fall outside that application.  Similarly, every year, millions of taxpayers must file tax declarations to multiple levels of government to determine their tax obligations for each one.  Online tax preparation software (such as TurboTax or H&R Block) determines what authorities the filer must report to, and then gathers the information to meet those requirements.  The filer only enters each piece of information once.  In each case, technology offers solutions that reduce the burden on individuals; microfinance should take a cue from these solutions.

Are Non-Microenterprise Loans Less Resilient to Domestic Shocks? Lessons from the 2009 Economic Recession

Date: 
March 2012
Author(s): 
Adrian Gonzalez

Introduction

Before the 2009 financial crisis, it was believed that microfinance institutions (MFIs) were highly resilient to domestic macroeconomic shocks, in particular to contractions of gross domestic product (Krauss and Walter, 2006; Gonzalez, 2007; Ahlin, Lin and Maio, forthcoming).  Bangladesh and Bolivia have been used as classic examples of how the microfinance sector has survived regional and national macroeconomic crises and recovered faster than the rest of the financial system.  Recent studies indicate that the sector may not be as resilient as previously thought, due to an increase in the share of domestic formal-sector lending by MFIs (Wagner, 2010; Di Bella, 2011).  However, this hypothesis has not yet been validated empirically.

The Tipping Point: over-indebtedness and investment in microfinance

Date: 
February 2012
Author(s): 
Luis A. Viada (MicroRate) & Scott Gaul (MIX)

2005 marked a turning point for the microfinance industry. The industry burst into public consciousness – the year of microcredit. One year later, one of its brightest lights was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Yet, in a number of countries, the first signs of structural problems began to appear, most notably in India, where the first cases of large scale defaults and related suicides appeared in southern India. As Damian von Stauffenberg remarked, “microfinance had entered its adolescence.”

Field staff compensation at Indian MFIs: a new perspective on the crisis in Andhra Pradesh

Date: 
February 2012
Author(s): 
Michael W. Krell & Micol Pistelli

Introduction

Businesses often assume that low-level employees are easily replaceable and, as a result, sometimes eschew competitive wages and benefit schemes for this segment of staff[1]. In the realm of microfinance, field staff – those responsible for determining the creditworthiness of potential borrowers, extending loans and collecting payments – are generally at the lowest level of the institutional hierarchy. The behavior of this echelon of microfinance worker has come under increasing scrutiny in the last few years, especially in the wake of the Andhra Pradesh crisis.

Funding Microfinance – a Focus on Debt Financing

Date: 
November 2011
Author(s): 
Ralitsa Sapundzhieva

Why is debt financing important for microfinance?

Microfinance institutions (MFIs) have three main sources to fund their growth: debt, equity, and deposits (for those allowed to mobilize deposits). In this review, we will focus on the role of debt financing and our current knowledge about this source of funds for MFIs.