Performance of Subsidized Microfinance Organizations - Bancosol of Bolivia and the Grameen Bank of Bangladesh

Author: Schreiner, Mark
This study provides a framework for the evaluation of microfinance organizations, applied as an example to the two best-known microfinance organizations in the world, BancoSol of Bolivia and the Grameen Bank of Bangladesh. It shows how to adapt existing evaluation frameworks (for example, economic benefit-cost analysis) to the particular application of microfinance organizations. This is a major area of interest because microfinance is rapidly becoming the major development took in first-world/third-world development assistant.


“…innovative and powerful. The comprehensive methodology offered should encourage policy makers, development specialists, managers of development financial institutions, and designers of credit intervention programs to return to their drawing boards and to rethink how to better assess the desirability of using scarce public funds for financial intermediation directed to target groups. The arguments expressed against the prevalent neglect of using straight forward cost-effectiveness techniques when financial intermediation by donors and states is practiced are unambiguously convincing… this publication is packed with information, relevant data, and computations that allow the reader to evaluate the performance of what are likely to constitute two of the best known microfinance institutions….The proposed analytical framework for evaluation is the most comprehensive approach that I have seen. It provides the development community with a tool that allows a solid evaluation of the progress made by a microfinance institution toward subsidy independence over time….The practical recommendations about how to handle the less-than-perfect managerial systems and financial accounting data are eye-opening and down-to-earth.” – Jacob Yaron, The World Bank

“…a powerful publication packed with information on a timely topic. It is a must-read for donors, evaluation specialists, financial analysts, and academics interested in development finance. Practitioners will also find the book useful in that it discusses in plain English the logic behind the evaluation of microfinance organizations and the reasons why evaluators are concerned about certain issues…. Schreiner’s prose is crisp and clear, a refreshing surprise in a book dedicated to what can be a dry subject. Extremely technical topics are explained in the appendices, and the chapters themselves are short and sweet. Finance can be fun.” – Geetha Nagarajan, consultant, Rural Finance and Microfinance, co-author of Rural Financial Markets in Asia: Policies, Paradigms and Performance (Oxford University Press)

Table of Contents

Table of contents (main headings):
Preface; Foreword; Introduction
1. The Analysis of Microfinance Organizations (MFOs)
2. Subsidies and Subsidized Funds
3. Sustainability
4. Repeated Use by Poor Customers
5. Private Profitability for Investors
6. Financial Self-sufficiency for Workers
7. Cost-effectiveness for the Poor
8. Market Leverage for Donors
9. Links Between Views of Performance
10. Weaknesses of the Framework
Appendices; Bibliography; Index