Over the past 30 years, the microfinance sector has grown and diversified massively. There are now many different actors providing financial services to the world’s poor. Some institutions focus on tackling poverty through microfinance, where others have a stronger focus on profits – and most microfinance institutions fall somewhere between the two extremes. The variation in microfinance models has led to increasing debate about the ultimate aims of microfinance; who it should target and how it should be administered.
RESULTS UK hosts the Secretariat for the All Party Parliamentary Group on Microfinance. This group is concerned with how microfinance might be used to reduce poverty among the global poor. As part of the APPG’s work in 2011, they are conducting an inquiry in order to tackle the questions that have arisen from this diversification, in particular, whether microfinance institutions need to be intentional about improving the welfare of their clients in order to have an impact on poverty alleviation. It will look at the the way in which Donors and the UK Government should seek to contribute to the microfinance field and provide recommendations to the Department for International Development (DFID) based on its findings.
The quality of the final report will be reliant on the quality and diversity of submissions and so we would encourage submissions from anyone who feels that they would like to add to the debate. If you would like to know more about the inquiry or if you would like to contribute to it then you can find the Terms of Reference and instructions for submission on the ‘Inquiry’ section of the APPG website: http://www.appg-microfinance.org/inquiry.php