Professor James Copestake addresses conference on the role of microfinance in global poverty reduction
28 June 2011
How far is microfinance contributing to global poverty reduction, and how far is it adding to global personal indebtedness?
James Copestake, Professor of International Development in the Department of Social & Policy Sciences, addressed these questions as the opening speaker at a conference of the Dutch Microfinance Network (Micro-Ned) at the Head Office of Rabobank in Utrecht on 28 June.
The conference created debate as to whether microfinance is living up to expectations as a means of promoting small businesses and poverty reduction in low and middle income countries. There has been much controversy over appropriate methodology for assessing these impacts recently.
The conference attracted Dutch social investors in microfinance who included leading banks (host Rabobank, ING, Triodos), foundations (such as Oikocredit) and non-government organisations (including Oxfam Novib).
Oxford Policy Management and Micro-Ned sponsored the event.
James Copestake and Richard Williams (Knowledge Transfer Partnership research officer at University of Bath) are also authors of a review of evidence on microfinance impact commissioned by the Network.
Further information, including the Conference Report can be found on the MicroNed website.