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Aspects of outreach: a framework for discussion of the social benefits of microfinance

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  • Mark Schreiner

    (Washington University, St. Louis MO, USA)

Abstract

Wide agreement about the goal of microfinance-to improve the welfare of the poor-has not led to wide agreement about how best to achieve that goal. To aid discussion, I propose a framework for outreach-the social benefits of microfinance-in terms of six aspects: worth, cost, depth, breadth, length, and scope. The framework encompasses both the poverty approach to microfinance and the self-sustainability approach. The poverty approach assumes that great depth of outreach can compensate for narrow breadth, short length, and limited scope. The self-sustainability approach assumes that wide breadth, long length, and ample scope can compensate for shallow depth. I show how to use the framework for BancoSol of Bolivia. Copyright © 2002 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Suggested Citation

  • Mark Schreiner, 2002. "Aspects of outreach: a framework for discussion of the social benefits of microfinance," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 14(5), pages 591-603.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:jintdv:v:14:y:2002:i:5:p:591-603
    DOI: 10.1002/jid.908
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Gonzalez-Vega, Claudio & Meyer, Richard L. & Navajas, Sergio & Schreiner, Mark & Rodriguez-Meza, Jorge & Monje, Guillermo F., 1996. "Microfinance Market Niches And Client Profiles In Bolivia," Economics and Sociology Occasional Papers 28332, Ohio State University, Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics.
    2. North, Douglass C, 1994. "Economic Performance through Time," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 359-368, June.
    3. Morduch, Jonathan, 2000. "The Microfinance Schism," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 617-629, April.
    4. repec:pri:rpdevs:morduch_microfinance_poor is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Navajas, Sergio & Schreiner, Mark & Meyer, Richard L. & Gonzalez-vega, Claudio & Rodriguez-meza, Jorge, 2000. "Microcredit and the Poorest of the Poor: Theory and Evidence from Bolivia," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 333-346, February.
    6. Mark M. Pitt & Shahidur R. Khandker, 1998. "The Impact of Group-Based Credit Programs on Poor Households in Bangladesh: Does the Gender of Participants Matter?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(5), pages 958-996, October.
    7. Gonzalez-Vega, Claudio & Schreiner, Mark & Meyer, Richard L. & Rodriguez-Meza, Jorge & Navajas, Sergio, 1996. "Bancosol: The Challenge Of Growth For Microfinance Organizations," Economics and Sociology Occasional Papers 28333, Ohio State University, Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics.
    8. Conning, Jonathan, 1999. "Outreach, sustainability and leverage in monitored and peer-monitored lending," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 51-77, October.
    9. Mosley, Paul & Hulme, David, 1998. "Microenterprise finance: Is there a conflict between growth and poverty alleviation?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 26(5), pages 783-790, May.
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