Category Archives: Comment

Guest Blog! Madeline Young on London 1.4 Bn Reasons Screening

For this blog entry we hand the authorship over to a guest, Madeline R. Young. Madeline is member of our London group and a good friend of RESULTS. She works as a Research Consultant at the FRIDE Foundation.

On January 11th, RESULTS UK held a public screening of the “1.4 Billion Reasons” D.V.D made by the Global Poverty Project. I am glad that I came to this event! The audience was a diverse mix of people from many backgrounds: volunteers, development professionals, and community members who came together to learn more about hot to get involved in ending extreme poverty. We watched the video and shared our reactions to it. Most of us felt that it was a very good presentation that gave hope and inspiration in the fight against the extreme poverty that is affecting 1.4 billion people who live on less than £1 per day.

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Microfinance controversies: should international aid support microfinance?

Recent media coverage of microfinance has focused largely on scandals surrounding the microcredit industry in Andhra Pradesh, India. Outlets from the BBC to the Financial Times to the Sydney Morning Herald have run stories about the implosion of the microfinance industry in Andhra Pradesh, and just today another article has appeared in the Guardian’s Poverty Matters Blog. So what really happened, and is it representative of the microfinance industry as a whole? Continue reading

2010: The year in review

2010 has been a year that has seen many successes in the areas on which RESULTS campaigns. As the year draws to a close, and we look ahead to the challenges we face in 2011, we’d like to have a look back at those successes and to say thank you to our fantastic grassroots network and all the other individuals and organisations that have lent us their skills and expertise over the past 12 months. Continue reading

Debunking the myths about aid

While the UK has a strong tradition of philanthropy and a history of public support for international aid, aid remains a controversial topic among some sections of the public and media. This controversy has recently been intensified in the context of economic austerity and public sector funding cuts. As a consequence we have recently experienced a ‘backlash’ against aid, and at RESULTS have been concerned to see a number of incorrect assertions about aid, what we call ‘aid myths’, emerging in the debate.

We’ve therefore put together a set of arguments, which are outlined below, for why international aid is important along with responses to some of the most frequent challenges laid at the door of aid. We would love to hear your feedback on how useful these arguments are to grassroots activists as you seek to increase public and political knowledge about and support for effective development aid. Please do comment, or get in touch with us in the office. Continue reading

Purpose, poverty, pitfalls and redemption

RESULTS founder Sam Daley-Harris gave the following speech in Princeton, New Jersey earlier this month. He begins by telling the story of what led him to start RESULTS, and later the Microcredit Summit Campaign, as well as how the transformative effect of microfinance has returned him to his original mission. Continue reading

Controversy over commercialisation of microfinance organisations

The rift between microfinance institutions (MFIs) who’ve decisively turned to commercialisation and those who believe that MFIs must retain their altruistic spirit by remaining non-profit organizations has further widened during the last few weeks, when it was revealed that SKS Microfinance, India’s largest MFI, which serves about 5.5 million clients intends to raise $250 million in an initial public offering (IPO). This means that they will be offering shares in the MFI to be bought by the public for the first time, and they will therefore become accountable to their shareholders for delivering a return upon their investment – effectively meaning that they will be required to make a profit. Continue reading

Major microfinance figure make the case for his model at Microfinance Club

The name of Shafiqual Choudhoury might not ring a bell to the general public’s ears, but it definitely does resonate with any microfinance aficionado. “Shafiq” Choudhoury measures up to Nobel Prize winner Muhammad Yunus and recently-knighted Fazle Hasan Abed, on the much historical and symbolical Bangladeshi Microfinance scene. Actually, he might already be overshadowing his inspiring elders. In 2007, in their first – and last to date – worldwide  ranking of MFIs, Forbes Magazine estimated that ASA (Association for Social Advancement – “Asa” also meaning hope in Bengali),  the microfinance institution (MFI) founded and presided by Shafiqual Choudhoury, was simply the best microfinance institution in the world, based on a combined assessment of scale, efficiency, portfolio risk and profitability. Continue reading