Hannah Trachtman is a project associate with the Group vs. Individual Liability Project in Peru.
IPA is evaluating pilots of the CGAP-Ford Ultra-Poor Graduation program in 7 different countries. The idea is to provide a comprehensive package of support to the very poorest, with the hope that at the end of the program they will have moved out of extreme poverty and be able to generate enough income to support themselves.
Maria Dolores Sanchez Liste reports back on the CGAP blog on the results from our baseline survey in Honduras:
El Profesor Dean Karlan, presidente de IPA, institución que hace evaluación de impactos a través de experimentos aleatorios, habló en Perú acerca de las últimos descubrimientos en el campo de las Microfinanzas. El evento fue organizado por el Instituto del Perú de la Universidad San Martin y se tituló “Microfinanzas: ¿Que funciona y que no?
Al evento asistieron diversas personas ligadas al mundo de las Microfinanzas en el Perú.
I recently returned from a 3-week trip to Cusco, Peru to help out my fellow Project Associate who is based there. I live in Lima, so the trip to Cusco, a sizeable city in its own right but quite distinct from Lima's hustle and bustle, was a welcome respite. I most certainly enjoyed the sunny weather and the lack of noise pollution. However, being based in Lima, I have grown accustomed to the everyday conveniences that are typical of a big city. I was reminded of this point during a trip to the grocery store while I was in Cusco, albeit in a very peculiar way.
Microfinance institutions are often assumed to be socially oriented, but as the industry expands and more institutions enter, it becomes increasingly important to verify these claims. Donors and social investors should require more than a mission statement and a few anecdotes to know whether an MFI is really reaching the poor.
Interesting example of the endowment effect from New York Times restaurant critic Frank Bruni: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/19/dining/19note.html?8dpc
Summing up the quirky behaviors of his dining companions over his tenure as restaurant critic for the NY Times, Bruni describes the way his fellow diners--to whom he had randomly assigned dishes to be sampled--would become protective of "their" choices, defending their quality.
I need to give props to the Kiva Fellows, who work with many of the same microfinance institutions that partner with IPA in the field.