14 February 2009

Banker to the Poor

Banker To The Poor: Micro-Lending and the Battle Against World PovertyI read this book by Muhammad Yunus for a book group and enjoyed it very much. Yunus writes and interesting and readable book. He has good and important ideas. The book is recommended, although it didn't really clear up any of the controversy over microcredit, for me.

International development is something my husband and I talk about a lot, especially now that he's taking development classes. We both feel strongly that groups often overlooked by aid agencies, like women and the very poor, are where more efforts need to be targeted. We both think education is a huge part of the solution, although it's certainly not the only part. Some people think Grameen is an excellent tool to help end poverty, others are much less certain.

So which is it- does Grameen help people get out of poverty, or is it a debt trap? Is it financially sustainable? A lot of the criticism of Grameen comes from World Bank, which isn't exactly my favorite institution. And certainly there are predatory microcredit institutions out there.

If anyone can point me to a balanced article about Grameen and the conflicting claims about it, I'd appreciate it. And I recommend the book.

1 comment:

  1. I can't help you, sorry. I should read this book, but a HUGE part of me wants to skip the discussion next month. Just because I can't work up any enthusiasm for microlending...