breaking down the barriers
|Click on the document title below to read/download the edition: Adobe Acrobat Reader is required to view this document. Click Here if you do not have it.|
Macro, micro and the in-between:
2005 has been a critical year for global development with the G8, the United Nations Summit reviewing the Millennium Development Goals, and the World Trade Organisation Ministerial in Hong Kong addressing access to global markets. It also has been International Year of Microcredit.
The trade debate has rightly focused on the benefits to developing countries of increased access to Northern markets. However, people in poverty face the dual obstacles of lack of access to markets and lack of acces to credit.This edition of Global Future, in bringing together some recent thinking in these two important areas of poverty alleviation, seeks linkages between them.
The development community recognises that micro-level initiatives are key to economic development at local levels. But what is the potential, and what are the limitations, of micro-enterprise development, and in particular microfinance, for solving poverty in a sustainable way?
Contributors to this edition concur that microfinance alone will not solve poverty – though they point to ways to surely maximise its impacts to that end. Clearly it must be part of a multi-faceted, multi-level approach, and be ready to deal with extreme contingencies (such as pandemics). One intriguing question that emerges is the degree to which it is empowered people or people's movements – rather than microfinance per se – that is the “secret ingredient” for breaking local poverty cycles.
On a global level, the Global Call to Action Against Poverty (another people's movement) has emphasised action on aid, trade and debt to solve poverty. Where does microfinance fit into this picture? Few make it across the gap from micro- to small/medium enterprise, and our Brazil case study reports on the sustained effort that is required to seriously bridge the local–global gap. How can we ensure that any advances in trade policy agreed in Hong Kong and beyond will really impact the lives of people in poverty, including the millions of hard-working micro-entrepreneurs? Questions remain, but we hope that this edition offers some key elements for this critical global debate.
Pro-poor market access – one eye on the tide, another on the boat
- Eduardo Nunes & Jo�o Diniz
Towards sustainable finance for the poor in Asia and the Pacific - Geert van der Linden
Microfinance impact, institutions and issues - Malcolm Harper
Microfinance – part of an integrated solution - Lisa Jackinsky
International Year of Microcredit 2005 – celebrating success - Christina Barrineau
Case study: VisionFund Cambodia – quality portfolio despite rapid expansion - Rommel Caringal
Case study: Brazilian small farmers export melons to Europe - Eduardo Nunes & Jo�o Diniz
More credit, less red tape key for MEs in Latin America - Pamela Cox
HIV/AIDS – strengthening economic safety nets
- Jill Donahue
Has the development community over-invested in microfinance?
- Stephen C Smith
VisionFund Cambodia client wins Global Micro-entrepreneur Award - Heather Forbes
Dignity and liberation - Paul Peters