Five Years On: the Microcredit Summit Campaign and the Development of Microfinance in Asia and the Pacific

Abstract

1 Asia is limited here to South Asia and East Asia sub-regions. Executive Summary Started in 1997, the Microcredit Summit (MCS) Campaign has been one of the major forces behind the dissemination of microfinance theories and practices, with the postulate of 'ensuring that 100 million of the world's poorest families are receiving credit for self-employment and other financial and business services by the year 2005'. This paper examines the development of the MCS Campaign over the last five years, using the development of microfinance in Asia and the Pacific as a field of study The campaign The MCS Campaign has contributed to the understanding of microfinance principles by the general public and disseminated a set of best practices throughout the world. It has also reaffirmed the relevance of microfinance to poverty alleviation. However, the Campaign has not always been consistent, probably due to a lack of continued funding and general public attention given to one-off international meetings rather than to a continued campaign. The Campaign has also been misused as a soapbox for promoting different agencies and a small circle of organisations, while too narrowly focusing on the Grameen Bank and its replications around the world, ignoring a wide range of other successful approaches in microfinance. Mexico. This meeting could be seen under different perspectives. Despite its high ideological and political content, the Summit provided some inspiring and valuable information, in regards to the need to develop innovations, to bring the commercial banking sector into microfinance, and to encourage favourable regulatory frameworks. However, it also provided an incomplete and confusing message to microfinance supporters. South Asia, seen as the birthplace of modern microfinance, houses the largest microfinance institutions in the world, in terms of outreach, and also in terms of poverty focus and sizes of loan portfolios. Based on two different benchmarking tools (M-CRIL ratings and the Microbanking Bulletin), analysis shows the diversity of actors in the region, where large and prosperous organisations serve as example for nascent, financially weak organisations with a strong potential for growth. The paper reviews recent developments in the microfinance sectors in Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Nepal. In East Asia, there is also a vast diversity of models and levels of development in microfinance. Large scale, viable models were developed by formal financing institutions as showcases in Indonesia and Thailand. On the other hand, NGOs have a strong presence in the Philippines and …

Cite this paper

@inproceedings{Marino2003FiveYO, title={Five Years On: the Microcredit Summit Campaign and the Development of Microfinance in Asia and the Pacific}, author={P. Marino and Amanah Ikhtiar}, year={2003} }