Publications

Meeting the Needs of the Unbanked in Jharkhand

Mary Albino, Sarita Subramanian | January 10, 2008

To better understand Jharkhand’s challenges in achieving financial inclusion and economic growth, this case study gathers a wide range of perspectives on the status and future potential of expanding the outreach of financial services in the state’s banking and non-banking sectors. The perspectives include apex institutions, public and private banks, microfinance institutions and NGOs; it aims to, in aggregate, provide an overview of who is working towards poverty alleviation in the state and the challenges they face.

Use of Smartcards to Deliver Government Benefits in Andhra Pradesh

Doug Johnson | January 9, 2008

Since late 2007, Indian technology company Financial Information Networks and Operations (FINO), in collaboration with the state government of Andhra Pradesh and several partner banks, has delivered payments from two separate government programs – the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) and Social Security Pensions (SSP) to beneficiaries using a platform based on smartcards and mobile smartcard readers. In this report, we describe the smartcard payment system and analyse its impact on the beneficiaries of the programs and the efficiency

Geographic Distribution of Microfinance Services in India, 2007

Doug Johnson | January 8, 2008

IFMR LEAD systematically collected district-wise data on number of active borrowers and loans outstanding for several of India’s largest MFIs over three years as part of its Map of Microfinance project sponsored by the Swiss Agency for Cooperation and Development. In this note, we analyze the data collected as a part of this exercise to paint a picture of the geographic distribution of microfinance services in India and to describe geographic trends in the growth of microfinance services across the

Microfinance Bill 2007

Minakshi Ramji, Yusuke Taishi | January 7, 2008

On 20th March 2007, the Union Government introduced the Micro Financial Sector Development and Regulation Bill 2007 in the Lok Sabha – the lower house in the parliament of India. If passed, this bill may change the way in which microfinance is practiced in this country – and possibly in a way that will not be beneficial to the microfinance sector. This note is an attempt to provide an overview of the bill and point out potential perplexities that would

Management Information Systems in Indian Microfinance

Doug Johnson | January 6, 2008

A high quality management information system (MIS) is a key component of any high performing microfinance institution (MFI). Information systems allow MFIs to reduce time spent on rote paperwork, effectively monitor both staff and clients, and quickly roll out new products and services. This note presents insights from an independent survey conducted by CMF. The survey reveals that many Indian MFIs, despite being located in a country with readily available IT talent, have very low-quality information systems.

Housing Microfinance: Designing a Product for the Rural Poor

Cheryl Young | January 10, 2007

This paper discusses the potential of providing housing finance to the poor through microfinance institutions (MFIs) and issues that are likely to arise in doing so. Using a demand assessment conducted at Ankuram Sangamam Porum (ASP) in Andhra Pradesh, the paper demonstrates how an MFI can develop a housing microfinance product based on their clients’ socio-economic status and demand for the product.

DNA Typing: A Technology of Fear

Sujatha Byravan | January 9, 2006

The expansion of DNA databases in the United States, Europe and a few other countries to include not just convicted felons but arrestees, who might be innocent, raises a number of civil rights concerns. Sujatha Byravan explores how the use of DNA typing in forensics and immigration, given the current climate of fear, in the quest for a safer world, could legitimize discrimination and give rise to a new apartheid.

Satin Creditcare Network Limited: Unique In its Field

Navneet Daga | January 8, 2006

This case study aims to identify innovative practices among MFIs operating in the urban space, particularly strategies for broad basing their clients, financial services offered, and community involvement. With the above goals in mind, this study details the strategies Satin Creditcare uses to overcome operational challenges in the urban space.

Reaching the Other 100 Million Poor in India: Case Studies in Urban Microfinance

IFMR LEAD | January 7, 2006

This study combines several independent CMF studies with six prominent microfinance institutions that operate in urban areas. These case studies identify innovative practices among these institutions, including strategies used for broad basing their clients, examining the array of financial services offered to the urban poor, and discussing the challenges and opportunities that remain in urban microfinance. Six institutions are analyzed in this study, specifically: Ujjivan, SEWA Bank, Working Women’s Forum (WWF), Indian Bank’s Microsate Branch, Village Welfare Society (VWS), and

Sea Level Rise: Impact on Major Infrastructure, Ecosystems and Land Along the Tamil Nadu Coast

Sujatha Byravan, Sudhir Chella Rajan, Rajesh Rangarajan | March 22, 2005

This report concentrates on the impacts of sea level rise on coastal infrastructure, ecosystem and land in the state of Tamil Nadu, India. It aims to highlight the financial implications of sea level rise on existing and proposed infrastructure along the Tamil Nadu coast and to provide thereby an “early warning” of the implications of indiscriminate development close to the shoreline.