Microfinance and Inclusive Development – an Alternative Summit
Globally, microfinance has come a long way in achieving the objectives of impacting poverty. A large segment of poor people have access to microfinance services viz. savings, credit, micro insurance and remittance and there is a perceptible reduction in poverty. Some even talk about/initiated micro pension schemes.
Two distinct approaches characterize the delivery of microfinance – minimalist or financial system approach and poverty school approach. The financial system approach seems to relegate microfinance as a means of addressing poverty. This has led to a debate in many countries as to whether there is a mission drift leading to decreasing focus on developmental outcomes of microfinance interventions. Beyond finance, microfinance programmes have generated social capital providing for synergy to initiate and intensify an inclusive developmental process encompassing livelihoods, education, health and MDG related goals.