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Measuring the impact of EU microfinance – Lessons from the field. Karl Dayson and Pål Vik Community Finance Solutions University of Salford. June 24, 2010. International microfinance impact studies. Largest body peer-reviewed literature on microfinance

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Measuring the impact of EU microfinance – Lessons from the field

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Measuring the impact of EU microfinance – Lessons from the field

Karl Dayson and Pål Vik

Community Finance Solutions

University of Salford

June 24, 2010


International microfinance impact studies

  • Largest body peer-reviewed literature on microfinance

  • Despite considerable disagreement, convergence around 3 principles

  • Large-scale

  • Longitudinal

  • Experimental or quasi-experimental


UK microfinance impact assessment

  • Conducted a microfinance impact assessment of four UK MFIs

  • Large-scale, longitudinal and quasi-experimental

  • Focused on personal and business lending

  • Personal loan clients: two-wave survey, control group and control location

  • Business loan clients: one-off survey and in-depth case studies


Generating large sample

  • Allow for complex analysis and inference

  • Problematic getting sufficiently large samples

    • Small microfinance client base (population)

    • Small MFIs & sampling frames

    • Low response rates


Achieving scale in EU15


Achieving longitudinal surveys

  • High attrition rates

    • Inability to establish rapport

    • Inability to establish contact

    • Refusal to participate


Isolating the impact of microfinance

  • Quasi-experimental or experimental

  • For personal loan clients had unique (in the UK) control location

  • For business loan clients in EU15 many challenges conventional control groups

    • Using non-clients: Low self-employment rates

    • Using pipeline-clients: Small client base

    • Randomised studies: impractical and unethical


Towards an EU paradigm?

  • International consensus a poor fit?

    • Small-scale, “noise” in form of govt interventions

  • Implications for MF impact assessments in EU15

    • Cross-country studies to achieve scale

    • Qualitative methods

    • No perfect fit

    • Question of audience


Thank you!

  • Findings of study to be presented at drinks reception tomorrow eve 6:15-7:30 at CDFA conference

  • Full report available at www.communityfinance.salford.ac.uk


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