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Does Microfinancing Really Work?

Steve Scher
01/10/2012 at 9:00 a.m.

Does microfinancing really work? The idea that small loans to poor people can give them the assistance they need to get away from crushing poverty has caught on with the aid community. Economist Muhammad Yunus won a Nobel Peace Prize for the idea and his Grameen Bank is now housed in a skyscraper, a mark of its success. But a new book argues that microloans often impose an obligation that the truly poor cannot meet and may even disrupt simple savings efforts that do help the poor. We will weigh the evidence on the next "Weekday."

Also, the Washington state Legislature is back in session this week. Olympia Correspondent Austin Jenkins gives us a preview of the big issues, the contentions and projected outcomes.


Austin Jenkins is the Olympia correspondent for the Public Radio Northwest News Network.

David Roodman is a senior fellow at the Center for Global Development and author of "Due Diligence: An Impertinent Inquiry into Microfinance."

Jorji Knickrehn is director of investments and partnerships at Washington Cash, a Washington state based microlending program.

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