The Centre for Civil Society based within the School of Built Environment and Development Studies invites you to the seminar – Civil society’s microfinance mistakes
Speaker: Milford Bateman
Date: Thursday 13 September, 2012
Venue: CCS Seminar Room 601, 6th Floor, MTB Tower, Howard College
The microfinance fad has done enormous damage by way of overindebtedness, mass suicides in India, and ideological indoctrination that together, prevent a coherent narrative regarding poverty and anti-poverty activism. Civil society has often been part of the problem, given the profusion of NGOs, community organisations, women’s groups and academics drawn into the industry of promoting a ‘right to credit’, even where conditions for attacking poverty through banking are terribly adverse. Extremely high interest rates are not the only problem. The microfinance agenda often represents local economic policy nonsense, for it aims to assist the poor to find paid work for themselves through establishing and better managing an informal microenterprise. But this supply-side agenda fails to acknowledge the lack of local demand in poor communities, a factor becoming worse because of the global recession.
Milford Bateman is Visiting Professor of Economics at the University of Juraj Dobrila Pula, Croatia. His recent book Why Doesn’t Microfinance Work? (Zed Books, 2010) has been a crucial corrective to civil society activists, academics, development practitioners, aid agencies and the financial industry.