Missing: Hard Data and Analysis on Microcredit
Microfinance's global acclaim has been fueled, in part, by anecdotes about cash-strapped micro-entrepreneurs propelled out of poverty by bits of extra cash in the form of microloans. But research by NYU Wagner's Professor of Public Policy and Economics Jonathan Morduch shows that little actually is known about the magnitude of very poor people who benefit from microloans -- or to what degree. The evidence that does exist, meanwhile, is flawed.
Professor Morduch is a leading microfinance expert, the co-author of the 2005 book "The Economics of Microfinance" (MIT Press), and lead researcher of the NYU Wagner-based Financial Access Initiative supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. On January 21, 2008, he delivered a Distinguished Lecture hosted by the Center for Analytical Finance of the Indian School of Business in Hyderabad. Entitled "Microfinance: The Next Capitalist Revolution?", the presentation focused on expanding concepts of microfinance to meet the needs of the next generation of unbanked customers. The lecture focused on consumer finance, livelihoods strategies, and the roles of the private and poverty sector.
While in India, Professor Morduch also delivered presentations at the Reserve Bank of India, the Delhi School of Economics, and the National Council on Applied Economic Research.
Professor Morduch also visited Japan in December, 2007, where he gave the keynote speech at a symposium on microfinance attended by academics, policymakers, and bankers, held at the Japan Bank for International Cooperation. He delivered talks at Kobe University, the University of Tokyo, and the Ministry of Finance.
Friday, February 1, 2008, Professor Morduch discusses his groundbreaking new paper, "How Can the Poor Afford Microfinance," at the First Annual Forum on Financial Access, hosted at New York University by the Financial Access Initiative. The conference, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., includes a student debate competition moderated by a senior writer and editor from The Economist and discussions by leading experts on microfinance and poverty. For further information, click below.
New Book: Who Makes Good Citizens? Probes Schools' Role
New Report Explores How Cities and 'Anchor Institutions' Can Collaborate
NYU Wagner Innovation Labs' Director Neil Kleiman is the lead author of a new report released Sept. 29, "Striking a Local (Grand) Bargain: How cities and anchor institutions can work together to drive growth and prosperity."
Published by the National Resource Network and supported by the Ford Foundation, the comprehensive report begins: "Cities need partners. At a time when local governments are confronting challenges on multiple fronts ranging from rising inequality to fast-moving global economic tides and reduced state and federal support, collaboration has never been so important... In 2015 it is 'anchor institutions'—universities, medical centers and hospitals—that are the obvious partner for city leadership."
"We are recommending something wholly different: a grand bargain for anchor institutions and cities," the report goes on to state. "This approach is not predicated on discrete transactions, but instead is based on identifying shared interests, and on co-creating ambitious goals and working together to achieve them. High-impact partnerships between cities and institutions will only work when the actors at the municipal level come together as equals and chart a long-term course forward that is transparent, ambitious, and holds itself accountable."
The report, whose other authors are researchers from the Urban Institute, describes exactly how to make this grand bargain happen.
The Atlantic's CityLab dicussed the findings in an article.
New Report Explores Technology and the Nonprofit Sector
The Aspen Insitute today released a new report in Washington, D.C., by NYU Wagner Visiting Professor Beth Noveck and Daniel L. Goroff. The report, "Information for Impact: Liberating Nonprofit Sector Data," shows how new technology designed to improve data on the nonprofit sector can prompt greater innovation and effectiveness.
Noveck is former director of the White House Open Government Initiative. Goroff, while at the Office of Science and Technology Policy, helped establish the new Interagency Task Force on Smart Disclosure. He is a program director with the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.