Microfinance Amid Conflict: Taking Stock of Available Literature

A review of the literature on microfinance in conflict situations
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This paper discusses various aspects of the literature available on providing microfinance in conflict afflicted areas.The paper begins by tracing the evolution of studies about providing microfinance in conflict situation and states that:

  • The studies provided overviews on the microfinance sector and captured important lessons;
  • They clearly demonstrated that microfinance can be provided;
  • However, they did not focus on how supply responses were specifically developed to address demand in specific conflict settings;
  • There was a need for quick and easy tools to guide practitioners;
  • Microfinance Best Practices, based on case studies, developed several focus notes to describe design features and implementation details.

The paper then analyzes how microfinance can be provided in conflict situations. It discusses issues that need to be studied in order to improve microfinance provision in conflict affected areas. These are:

  • Various conflict environments;
  • Links between various types of crisis;
  • Donor guidelines to assess whether MFIs have the capacity and ability to work;
  • Informal microfinance;
  • Microfinance other than credit;
  • Ways to integrate youth in microfinance.

The paper concludes by providing a detailed searchable resource list on microfinance amid conflict containing information about literature available on:

  • Background on conflict-affected situations;
  • Microfinance adaptations in conflict situations;
  • Lessons learned and donor guidelines;
  • Monitoring and evaluation;
  • Microfinance for minority groups.

About this Publication

By Nagarajan, G. & McNulty , M.