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The Impact of Microfinance in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Systematic Review of the Evidence

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  • van Rooyen, C.
  • Stewart, R.
  • de Wet, T.

Abstract

Microfinance is seen as a key development tool, and despite the current deepening crisis within the industry, it continues to grow in sub-Saharan Africa. We systematically reviewed the evidence of the impacts of micro-credit and micro-savings on poor people in sub-Saharan Africa. We considered impacts on income, savings, expenditure, and the accumulation of assets, as well as non-financial outcomes including health, nutrition, food security, education, child labor, women’s empowerment, housing, job creation, and social cohesion. The available evidence shows that microfinance does harm, as well as good, to the livelihoods of the poor.

Suggested Citation

  • van Rooyen, C. & Stewart, R. & de Wet, T., 2012. "The Impact of Microfinance in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Systematic Review of the Evidence," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(11), pages 2249-2262.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:wdevel:v:40:y:2012:i:11:p:2249-2262 DOI: 10.1016/j.worlddev.2012.03.012
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    3. Lowicki-Zucca, Massimo & Walugembe, Patrick & Ogaba, Innocent & Langol, Saul, 2014. "Savings groups as a socioeconomic strategy to improve protection of moderately and critically vulnerable children in Uganda," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 47(P2), pages 176-181.
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    7. Luan, D. X. & Bauer, S. & Kuhl, R., 2016. "Income Impacts of Credit on Accessed Households in Rural Vietnam: Do Various Credit Sources Perform Differently?," AGRIS on-line Papers in Economics and Informatics, Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, Faculty of Economics and Management, vol. 8(1), March.
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    9. Frederick Murdoch Quaye & Valentina Hartarska, 2016. "Investment Impact of Microfinance Credit in Ghana," International Journal of Economics and Finance, Canadian Center of Science and Education, vol. 8(3), pages 137-150, March.
    10. Fenton, Adrian & Paavola, Jouni & Tallontire, Anne, 2017. "The Role of Microfinance in Household Livelihood Adaptation in Satkhira District, Southwest Bangladesh," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 92(C), pages 192-202.
    11. Michael O. Harhay & Mary C. Smith Fawzi & Sacha Jeanneret & Damascène Ndayisaba & William Kibaalya & Emily A. Harrison & Dylan S. Small, 2017. "An assessment of the Francois-Xavier Bagnoud poverty alleviation program in Rwanda and Uganda," International Journal of Public Health, Springer;Swiss School of Public Health (SSPH+), vol. 62(2), pages 241-252, March.
    12. Winkler, Adalbert & Wagner, Charlotte, 2013. "Growth patterns of microfinance clients - Evidence from Sub-Saharan Africa," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79945, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    13. Sefa K. Awaworyi, 2014. "The Impact of Microfinance Interventions: A Meta-analysis," Monash Economics Working Papers 03-14, Monash University, Department of Economics.
    14. Barry, Thierno Amadou & Tacneng, Ruth, 2014. "The Impact of Governance and Institutional Quality on MFI Outreach and Financial Performance in Sub-Saharan Africa," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 1-20.
    15. Mazumder, Mohummed Shofi Ullah & Lu, Wencong, 2015. "What Impact Does Microfinance Have on Rural Livelihood? A Comparison of Governmental and Non-Governmental Microfinance Programs in Bangladesh," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 68(C), pages 336-354.
    16. Gori Maia, Alexandre & Eusebio, Gabriela S. & Silveira, Rodrigo L. F., 2016. "Impact of microcredit on small-farm agricultural production: evidence from Brazil," 2016 Annual Meeting, July 31-August 2, 2016, Boston, Massachusetts 235682, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    17. S. SARAVANAN & Devi Prasad DASH, 2017. "Growth and distribution of microfinance in India: A panel data analysis," Theoretical and Applied Economics, Asociatia Generala a Economistilor din Romania - AGER, vol. 0(1(610), S), pages 127-146, Spring.
    18. Maimbo, Samuel Munzele & Henriquez Gallegos, Claudia Alejandra, 2014. "Interest rate caps around the world: still popular, but a blunt instrument," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7070, The World Bank.
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    20. Kumar, Neha & Quisumbing, Agnes R., 2014. "Gender and resilience:," IFPRI book chapters,in: Fan, Shenggen & Pandya-Lorch, Rajul & Yosef, Sivan (ed.), 2013 Global Food Policy Report, chapter 17 International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    21. Akotey, Joseph Oscar & Adjasi, Charles K.D., 2016. "Does Microcredit Increase Household Welfare in the Absence of Microinsurance?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 77(C), pages 380-394.
    22. Katz, Benjamin & Chaffin, Josh & Alon, Inbal & Ager, Alastair, 2014. "Livelihoods, economic strengthening, child protection and well-being in Western Uganda," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 47(P2), pages 149-156.
    23. Michael L. Goodman & Beatrice J. Selwyn & Robert O. Morgan & Linda E. Lloyd & Moses Mwongera & Stanley Gitari & Philip H. Keiser, 2016. "Improved food quality, quantity and security among Kenyan orphans and vulnerable children: associations with participation in a multisectoral community-based program, age, gender, and sexual risk," Food Security: The Science, Sociology and Economics of Food Production and Access to Food, Springer;The International Society for Plant Pathology, vol. 8(2), pages 427-442, April.
    24. Awaworyi Churchill, Sefa & Korankye Danso, Jeffrey & Appau, Samuelson, 2015. "Microcredit and Poverty Reduction in Bangladesh: Beyond Publication Bias, Does Genuine Effect Exist?," EconStor Preprints 123722, ZBW - German National Library of Economics.

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