Microfinance Notes: 22 September 2011

At Kiva, we value being in tune with the current news, research, and findings, so each week we are going to bring you the latest updates in Microfinance!

In this post, we cover the following: how borrowers are spending loan money, how technology is making the job of loan officers easier, the role of Microfinance Investment Intermediaries (MIIs), when do best practices become the new norm, the burden of reporting for MFIs and much much more.

If you can only read one:

What Percentage of Microfinance Loans Actually Go to Business Investment?
source: Freakonomics
We know in microfinance that loans don't always go to business investment, and that often businesses can be positively impacted when loans are used for a variety of expenses. This study explores the challenge of getting honest survey results and what to think about their implications.

If you can read more than one...

Simple MFI – Open Source Android application for microfinance loan officers
source: Microfinance Daily
A Google developer on sabbatical created "Simple MFI" to make the job of a microfinance loan officer easier.

Opportunities and Obstacles to Financial Inclusion
source: Center for Financial Inclusion
Kiva participated in a survey earlier in the year on the topic of financial inclusion. The feedback of 300 microfinance experts has been compiled in this report, which we are excited to share with you.

Technology: A slate for micro-finance
source: The Hindu
Technology has played a critical role in Kiva's success. Read about a new slate device intended to simplify microfinance in India.

CGAP and Microfinance Investors: New Questions, New Role
source: CGAP Microfinance Blog
Microfinance Investment Intermediaries (MIIs) like Kiva are the subject of several new studies.

Responsible Finance: Will it become the “new normal” in financial services for the poor?
source: CGAP Microfinance Blog
When do best practices in microfinance become the new normal?

Why Housing Microfinance is Not a Base of the Pyramid Solution
source: Microfinance Gateway
Housing microfinance has grown in recent years. Read a view of the challenge of bringing this innovation to the base of the pyramid.

Understanding MFIs' Reporting Burden
source: MIX Market
Kiva is built upon data. Read about the challenge of reporting burden on microfinance institutions and how that can impact resources and the delivery of financial services.

Rethinking Multiple Borrowing
source: MIX Market
Multiple borrowing is often cited as a major cause of borrower over-indebtedness. Read this more nuanced approach to the topic.

About the author

Jonathan Bloom

As the Portfolio Manager for South America, Jon is responsible for managing relationships with existing field partners and growing Kiva’s presence in the region through due diligence on potential partners. Based in San Francisco, Jon started at Kiva as the Portfolio Associate for Central America, supporting partners with their Kiva operations. Before joining Kiva full-time, Jon interned here with both the Community Outreach and Social Performance Teams. His passion for international development began as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Panama, working in the field of environmental conservation while living on an indigenous reservation. He began his career in microfinance as a graduate intern in Chile while researching his thesis. Jon holds a B.A. in Psychology and Spanish from Sonoma State University and an MSW from the University of Nevada, Reno.