Why Write a Book on Fonkoze? – Alex Counts Book Project

> Posted by Center Staff

“Why write a book on Fonkoze when there are so many outstanding microfinance institutions in the world?”
Alex Counts poses that question to himself on the blog where he narrates his Fonkoze book project.   It’s a query someone might naturally make, Counts says, upon learning that he is chronicling the work of the Haitian MFI.
Counts, the CEO of Grameen Foundation, sketches out a number of answers to the question based on his recent travels around Haiti. There, he’s been meeting with microfinance industry leaders, and in particular with Fonkoze’s stalwarts and trailblazers.
Counts, who was interviewed for the Center’s “Microfinance Matters” series, joined with other friends of Grameen Bank to set up Grameen Foundation in 1997.
His recent post “Microfinance, Short-Cuts, and Fonkoze” begins:
A natural question people in or close to the microfinance movement could ask me is, “Why write a book on Fonkoze when there are so many outstanding microfinance institutions in the world?”  There are many plausible answers.
It is operating, with considerable success, in a so-called “failed state” and working with very poor people – at a time when many question whether microfinance can be effective in either context, let alone both.  Furthermore, it is populated by some fascinating people and its history is punctuated by dramatic events.  And as noted in an earlier post, it is a women-led organization in a sense that goes far beyond who the CEO is, and extends to who occupies the vast majority of leadership posts and, not unrelated, who defines the cultural norms.
For me, the most interesting aspect from the perspective of a microfinance professional  is that Fonkoze has avoided most of the traps that I would broadly categorize as “taking organizational short-cuts” that stunt long-term performance, especially (but not only) social impact outcomes.
You can click the link to read the rest of   “Microfinance, Short-Cuts, and Fonkoze”, and you’ll have the chance to bookmark the blog in order to follow the progress of the book-writing project more closely.
Image credit: Tango Desktop Project
Have you read?
11 Surprises from Fonkoze – Alex Counts Book Project
Fonkoze and Madame Saras – Alex Counts Book Project
An Avalanche of Material (Including Repressed Memories) – Alex Counts Book Project
Haiti & Fonkoze in 10 Memories – Alex Counts Book Project
Haiti in the Spotlight as Alex Counts Begins Book on Fonkoze
Grameen Foundation CEO Alex Counts Tackles ‘Re-engineering’ Microfinance
Yunus, Grameen, & Bangladesh – What Are the Facts?
Grameen Foundation Increases Support for Strategic Human Capital Practices at Indian MFIs
On the Anniversary of the Haitian Earthquake: Fonkoze and the ‘Super Poor’