The Microfinance Impact:Self Help Group Bank Linkage Program in India
The Microfinance Impact: Self Help Group Bank Linkage Program in India, Routledge, U.K.
When: 4 June 10.00-11.30
Where: Room 18 Sida, Valhallavägen 199, Stockholm
Speaker: Ranjula Bali Swain, Associate Professor, Department of Economics, Uppsala University
Registration: Jenny Collste (Jenny.firstname.lastname@example.org)
Contact/Information: Ebba Aurell, Sida (email@example.com)
Microfinance has enabled a positive change in the lives of the poor, by allowing them to receive small loans without collateral, build up assets, and buy insurance. In the recent years, however controversies, corruption, high interest rates, farmers’ suicides and political interference etc. have presented additional challenges. Sida has a long experience in microfinance and welcomes this impact study focusing on India.
In a comprehensive scientific investigation of the Indian Self Help Group Bank Linkage (microfinance) Program (SBLP) that has covered more than 97 million poor households, Bali Swain discusses the emergence of SBLP in the context of the financial sector in India, its economic and social impact and the challenges that it encounters.
Bali Swain argues that SBLP has positively impacted the lives of the members, leading to decline in vulnerability and greater asset creation. Empirical results demonstrate that on average, there is a significant increase in the empowerment of the women participants, revealing that economic factors, greater autonomy and changes in social attitudes have a significant role in empowering women. Contributing to the ‘minimalist’ and microfinance ‘plus’ debate, Bali Swain contends that training (especially business training) has a definite positive impact on assets. Effects of infrastructure and delivery mechanisms like linkage type are also explored.
Biography: Ranjula Bali Swain is currently working as an Associate Professor at the Department of Economics, Uppsala University. Her research interests are primarily in the field of microfinance, vulnerability and gender. In the past she has also worked as an Expert of Impact Assessment at the International Labour Organisation, Geneva. She has over 20 years of research and field experience from Asia, Africa, Central America and Eastern Europe.