MICROFINANCE PUBLICATION ROUND-UP: Effectiveness of Microfinance in Cambodia; Scaling Up in Agriculture and Development; Mobile Savings in Ecuador

“AMK Cambodia – Have AMK loans helped its clients improve their overall wellbeing?”, published by Angkor Mikroheranhvatho Kampuchea (AMK); January 2014; 12 pages; available at https://www.incofin.com/sites/default/files/attachments/newsitems/Change%20Study_AMK_2014.pdf

This report explores the results of a five-year study of the effectiveness of Angkor Mikroheranhvatho Kampuchea (AMK), a Cambodian microfinance institution, in helping increase its clients’ livelihoods through microcredit services. The analysis compares survey results of client and non-client households undertaken between 2006/2007 and 2012. Even after the authors attempt to control for the general macroeconomic growth experienced in Cambodia during the time period, the survey results suggest that microfinance clients experienced a notable increase in their wellbeing as measured by the number of income earners in a household; the value of household assets; the number of children enrolled in school and the ability of households to afford large expenses related to health, transportation and communication technology. The survey also revealed that despite microfinance promoting income generation and consumption expenditures, both the sampled microborrowers and the control group showed increased vulnerability to economic and weather-related shocks.

The study concludes that there is a notable positive correlation between increased participation in microcredit and increased well-being, yet underscores the difficulty in establishing whether a causal relationship exists.

“The Importance of Scaling Up for Agricultural and Rural Development: And a Success Story from Peru;” by Kevin Cleaver; published by International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD); 2013; 24 pages, available at http://www.ifad.org/pub/op/4.pdf

This discussion paper explores the relationship between agricultural investment, government policy, food security and poverty reduction in emerging economies. The authors contend that there is widespread evidence that large-scale public and private investment in agricultural productivity is more effective at stimulating economic growth, fighting hunger and reducing poverty in emerging economies than fragmented, smaller-scale investment. Working under this assumption, the paper analyzes the effectiveness of various policy-level approaches to promoting agricultural productivity within different political, geographical and social environments. The authors conclude that a comprehensive, sector-level government policy framework aimed at scaling up and addressing all nodes of the agricultural value chain is best suited to promoting development and productivity. Furthermore, data from the analysis suggests that countries in the early stages of development, in which the agricultural sector is a relatively large part of the overall economy, will enjoy the most extensive benefits of a scale-oriented national agricultural policy. In support of this conclusion, the authors highlight the successes of a large-scale agricultural investment and rural development project supported by IFAD in Peru that had significant positive effects in terms of poverty reduction.

“Estudio de Caso Cooperativa San Miguel de los Bancos: Servicio de Captacion Movil,” published by Red Financiera Rural-Ecuador; 2013; 27 pages; available at http://www.mfc.org.pl/sites/mfc.org.pl/files/SP_Fund_San_Miguel_Es.pdf

This case study explores the effectiveness of mobile savings products in promoting savings in rural communities by reviewing the operating results of the Mobile Collections Service (Servicio de Captaciones Movil) offered by San Miguel de los Bancos, a savings and credit cooperative in Ecuador. Prior to implementation of the service, clients performing savings transactions were limited to accessing the three branches of the cooperative. The distances, travel costs, transaction duration and limited banking hours often made transactions prohibitive, thereby discouraging the use of savings accounts.

The case study presents generally positive results: after the implementation of the mobile savings product, the bank registered 700 new clients and a growth of 8 percent in the rate of activation of new client accounts. In addition, transaction times were reduced from 15-30 minutes in person to approximately 5 minutes via mobile, and the overall cost of transactions was reduced by an unspecified amount. However, the authors note challenges to the operational effectiveness of the service including security issues, limited mobile network connectivity, client distrust of mobile services and lack of technological know-how among clients. The case study concludes by offering a set of suggestions to guide other institutions in the development and implementation of a mobile savings strategy.

By A’kos Szebeni, Research Associate

Sources and Additional Resources

Angkor Mikroheranhvatho Kampuchea (AMK), “AMK Cambodia – Have AMK loans helped its clients improve their overall wellbeing?” To be released on February 11, 2014

International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), “The Importance of Scaling Up for Agricultural and Rural Development: And a Success Story from Peru;” http://www.ifad.org/pub/op/4.pdf

Red Financiera Rural-Ecuador, “Estudio de Caso Cooperativa San Miguel de los Bancos: Servicio de Captacion Movil,” http://www.mfc.org.pl/sites/mfc.org.pl/files/SP_Fund_San_Miguel_Es.pdf

MicroCapital, January 22, 2014, “Airtel, Nico Insurance Zambia to Offer Mobile Insurance,” https://www.microcapital.org/microcapital-brief-airtel-nico-insurance-zambia-to-offer-mobile-insurance/

MicroCapital, January 20, 2014, “AITEC Banking & Mobile Money West Africa, March 12 – 13, 2014, Lagos, Nigeria,” https://www.microcapital.org/microfinance-event-aitec-banking-mobile-money-west-africa-march-12-13-2014-lagos-nigeria/

MicroCapital, January 15, 2014, “African Centre for Catastrophe Risks Hosts “International Congress on Insurance and Reinsurance of Agricultural Risks”, January 29 – 31, 2014, Marrakech, Morocco,”  https://www.microcapital.org/microfinance-event-african-centre-for-catastrophe-risks-hosts-international-congress-on-insurance-and-reinsurance-of-agricultural-risks-january-29-31-2014-marrakech-mo/

MicroCapital, December 26, 2013, “Incofin Investment Management Seeking to Raise $200m for “agRIF” Fund for Small-Scale Agriculture,” https://www.microcapital.org/microcapital-brief-incofin-investment-management-seeking-to-raise-200m-for-agrif-fund-for-small-scale-agriculture/

MicroCapital, November 14, 2013, “Overcoming Barriers to Agricultural Microfinance,” https://www.microcapital.org/special-report-overcoming-barriers-to-agricultural-microfinance/

MicroCapital, October 22, 2013, “Airtel, Tanzania Postal Bank (TPB) Partner to Offer Mobile Banking Services,” https://www.microcapital.org/microcapital-brief-airtel-tanzania-postal-bank-tpb-partner-to-offer-mobile-banking-services/

MicroCapital, July 2, 2010, “G20’s Financial Inclusion Experts Group (FIEG) Releases Nine “Principles for Innovative Financial Inclusion” at Leadership Summit in Toronto, Canada,” https://www.microcapital.org/microcapital-brief-g20s-financial-inclusion-experts-group-fieg-releases-nine-principles-for-innovative-financial-inclusion-at-leadership-summit-in-toronto-canada/

MicroCapital Universe Profile: Angkor Mikroheranhvatho Kampuchea (AMK), https://www.microcapital.org/microfinanceuniverse/tiki-index.php?page=Angkor+Mikroheranhvatho+Kampuchea+%28AMK%29

MicroCapital Universe Profile: La Cooperativa de Ahorro y Credito San Miguel de los Bancos, https://www.microcapital.org/microfinanceuniverse/tiki-editpage.php?page=La+Cooperativa+de+Ahorro+y+Credito+San+Miguel+de+los+Bancos

MicroCapital Universe Profile: International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), https://www.microcapital.org/microfinanceuniverse/tiki-index.php?page=International+Fund+for+Agricultural+Development+%28IFAD%29

Do you know that MicroCapital publishes the MicroCapital Monitor newspaper each month? Find out more at https://www.microcapital.org/products-page/.

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