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Microfinance Poverty Assessment Tool


  • Carla Henry
  • Manohar Sharma
  • Cecile Lapenu
  • Manfred Zeller


Currently, no rigorous tool exists to measure the poverty level of microfinance institution (MFI) clients. In order to gain more transparency on the depth of poverty outreach, CGAP collaborated with the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) to design and test a simple, low-cost operational tool to measure the poverty level of MFI clients relative to nonclients. This tool is a companion piece to the CGAP Appraisal Format; donors should not use the poverty assessment tool without also conducting a larger institutional appraisal. The concept of poverty is complex and strongly influenced by local cultural and socioeconomic conditions. The poverty assessment approach presented in this manual supports a flexible definition of poverty that can be adapted to fit local perceptions and conditions of poverty. The tool is intended neither as a means to target new clients nor to assess the impact of microfinance services on the lives of existing clients. It may provide a useful means to verify-both for the donor and the MFI-the extent to which an existing strategy results in poor clients joining the MFI. The tool assesses the poverty levels of MFI clients compared to nonclients within the operational area of an MFI. Using available data or expert opinion, the tool also relates local poverty levels to poverty measured at larger regional and national levels.

Suggested Citation

  • Carla Henry & Manohar Sharma & Cecile Lapenu & Manfred Zeller, 2003. "Microfinance Poverty Assessment Tool," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 15065, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbpubs:15065

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    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Petracco, Carly K. & Pender, John L., 2009. "Evaluating the Impact of Land Tenure and Titling on Access to Credit in Uganda," 2009 Conference, August 16-22, 2009, Beijing, China 51899, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    2. repec:wsi:jdexxx:v:17:y:2012:i:03:n:s1084946712500161 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Zeller, Manfred & Sharma, Manohar & Henry, Carla & Lapenu, Cecile, 2006. "An operational method for assessing the poverty outreach performance of development policies and projects: Results of case studies in Africa, Asia, and Latin America," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 446-464, March.
    4. Balgah Roland Azibo & Emmanuel Yenshu Vubo & Innocent Ndoh Mbue & Jude Ndzifon Kimengsi, 2015. "Rural development NGOs and service delivery to the very poor: An empirical analysis of a training center in rural Cameroon," Asian Journal of Agriculture and rural Development, Asian Economic and Social Society, vol. 5(4), pages 103-115, April.
    5. Asad K. Ghalib, 2011. "Estimating the depth of microfinance programme outreach: empirical findings from rural Pakistan," Global Development Institute Working Paper Series 15411, GDI, The University of Manchester.
    6. Samuel Kobina Annim, 2012. "Targeting The Poor Versus Financial Sustainability And External Funding: Evidence Of Microfinance Institutions In Ghana," Journal of Developmental Entrepreneurship (JDE), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 17(03), pages 1-19.
    7. Muriithi, Beatrice, 2015. "Smallholder Horticultural Commercialization: Gender Roels and Implications for Household Well-being in Kenya," 2015 Conference, August 9-14, 2015, Milan, Italy 212516, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    8. Khor, Ling & Ufer, Susanne & Nielsen, Thea & Zeller, Manfred, 2015. "The Influence of Individual Risk Behavior on Fertilizer Use Decision in Vietnam," 2015 Conference, August 9-14, 2015, Milan, Italy 211844, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    9. Namara, Regassa E. & Hope, Lesley & Sarpong, Eric Owusu & De Fraiture, Charlotte & Owusu, Diana, 2014. "Adoption patterns and constraints pertaining to small-scale water lifting technologies in Ghana," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 131(C), pages 194-203.
    10. Annim, Samuel Kobina, 2009. "Sensitivity of loan size to lending rates: Evidence from Ghana’s microfinance sector," MPRA Paper 21280, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    11. Okojie, Christiana & Monye-Emina, A. & Eghafona, K. & Osaghae, G. & Ehiakhamen, J.O., 2009. "Institutional environment and access to microfinance by self-employed women in the rural areas of Edo state, Nigeria:," NSSP working papers 3, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    12. Kassie, Girma Tesfahun & Erenstein, Olaf & Mwangi, Wilfred & La Rovere, Roberto & Setimela, Peter S. & Langyintuo, Augustine S., 2012. "Characterization of Maize Production in Southern Africa: Synthesis of CIMMYT/DTMA Household Level Farming System Surveys in Angola, Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe," Socioeconomics Program Working Papers 147108, CIMMYT: International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center.
    13. Muriithi, Beatrice W. & Matz, Julia Anna, 2015. "Welfare effects of vegetable commercialization: Evidence from smallholder producers in Kenya," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 80-91.
    14. repec:eee:ecolec:v:140:y:2017:i:c:p:157-165 is not listed on IDEAS


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