Philanthropy Action

News & Commentary



Feb 01, 2011

Sunny Days for Microfinance

Many, including SSIR editor Tamara Strauss, have characterized recent news from the microfinance industry as “largely depressing.” I couldn’t disagree more with that perspective. I think the current moment is the beginning of the golden years for microfinance.

Jan 26, 2011

Insights from New Orleans

Jan 25, 2011

Food for the World - New Report on Global Food Future

Feeding the world’s poor today and in the future will require a major agricultural transformation. The problem is, very smart and informed people disagree on what that transformation should look like.

Dec 08, 2010

Good News on World AIDS Day. Sort of.

Using the AIDS drug Truvada as a once-a-day prevention protocol produced a 43 percent reduction, a recent study found.

Oct 29, 2010

Eyes and Mouths Wide Shut?

A planned public discussion of how to evaluate the Millennium Villages Project was canceled this week for unknown reasons. Join a petition to encourage the Center for Global Development, the World Bank and the Millennium Villages Project to reschedule the discussion and make it accessible to all.

Oct 29, 2010

Targeting the Ultrapoor

Encouraging results from two programs replicating BRAC’s pioneering program targeting the ultrapoor.

Oct 26, 2010

Can it Help the Poor if it Hurts the Banks?

Could the rigidity of the typical micro-credit product be partially responsible for the fact that access to credit has limited, if any, income effects for micro-entrepreneurs?

Oct 25, 2010

What Don’t We Know about Microfinance

The first session of Day 2 took a step back to discuss what we don’t know, but should. Panel participants were Chris Dunford from Freedom from Hunger, who spoke about the limits of RCTs; Rich Rosenberg from CGAP discussed overindebtedness; and Abhijit Banerjee from JPAL offered insights into why micro-enterprises never seem to grow.

Oct 25, 2010

No WiFi = No Live Blogging, But More Microfinance Still to Come

Oct 22, 2010

My Favorite Study of the Day: Why Aren’t We Targeting Men?

Two years ago David McKenzie presented results of his work in Sri Lanka on the returns on capital for male and female entrepreneurs. He found that women had zero or negative returns on capital, while men, on average, generated fairly high returns. Since then he’s run a similar study in Ghana. I’ll be writing about this study in more detail later, including an interview with David, but for now I wanted to pass along the content of David’s last slide which covers his conclusions from the studies he’s done on this issue:

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