Measuring Microfinance Impact – ACCION Ambassadors Blog the World – September 29, 2011

> Posted by Center Staff
How does the idea of “measuring microfinance impact” play out on the ground?
Aurélie Dagneaux takes a close look at this question through the lens of her observations of Fundación Paraguaya. She’s been visiting there as part of the ACCION International Ambassadors. She and the other Ambassadors have been deployed around the globe to gain insight into the state of the industry. Their blog is here; you can even subscribe.
Here at the Center blog, we have already highlighted reports from Ambassadors Nirav Chheda, Pamela Chang, David Firth Bard, Stephen Matthew Lee, Jason Loughnane, Wei Wei Pan, and Leah Vinton.
Dagneaux’s post “Measuring Microfinance Impact” begins:
As ACCION Ambassadors, our mission is to document the impact of microfinance.
Let me share with you what my first week in Fundación Paraguaya taught me. I’ll shed a light on some other experiences I had in other places as a microfinance consultant.
“Fundación en Acción”
For our readers already familiar with the Fundación, I’ll be brief on what they do.
Fundación Paraguay is a 25-years old NGO, conducting 3 main programs: microfinance, self-sustainable agricultural schools, and youth business education. I’ll only discuss here the microfinance part. I will even narrow it only to its village banking part (making the bulk of clients: 70%). The village banking consists of women committees of 10-15 entrepreneurs each. There are over 2,000 committees, representing 32,000 clients. Women receive loans, starting from 100,000 Guarani’s ($25), up to 1,200,000 Guarani’s ($300) after a few loan cycles. FP also provides them with training (ranging from financial and business education, increasing your sales, business plans to interpersonal relations). Women are required to save money in order to educate them to do so. Unfortunately that’s not a service of the Fundación itself, as it is not a regulated bank enable to take savings, but a NGO.
Last year, Fundación Paraguay – like many organizations maturing – started feeling the need to measure their impact on client’s lives and to document it.
You can read the rest of this post, and check out the other Ambassadors’ reports, by clicking the link “Measuring Microfinance Impact.”
Image credit: bdesham
Have you read?
 Grameen Foundation Releases Report Reviewing Microfinance Impact Studies
Picturing Impact: Microfinance Miracle or Myth
Measuring Small Changes