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Four answers to the question: Does microfinance work? | 

That, in a nutshell, was the question posed to a panel of microfinance experts at a Seattle forum earlier this week, sponsored by Global Washington and aimed at examining “The global implications of India’s microcredit crisis.”

The answer: Yes and no. Of course.

It’s actually an important, if impudent sounding, question given that microfinance has long been heralded as the most powerful weapon in the fight against poverty. It’s especially interesting in Seattle because this community is one of the leading international hubs of the anti-poverty scheme.


Tom Paulson

From left, Rick Beckett of Global Partnerships, Chris Wolff with Accion Int’l, Peter Bladin of the Grameen Foundation, David Roodman and moderator Steve Davis

I think it’s fair to say microfinance is no longer regarded without question as a panacea for poverty. In fact, as I have written ad nauseum, it is in something of a crisis. Continue reading