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Article

Gordon Abekah‐Nkrumah, Patience Aseweh Abor, Joshua Abor and Charles K.D. Adjasi

This paper aims to examine links between women's access to micro‐finance and how they use maternal healthcare services in sub‐Saharan Africa (SSA).

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine links between women's access to micro‐finance and how they use maternal healthcare services in sub‐Saharan Africa (SSA).

Design/methodology/approach

The authors use theoretical and empirical literature to propose a framework to sustain and improve women's access to maternal healthcare services through micro‐financing.

Findings

It is found that improved access to micro‐finance by women, combined with education may enhance maternal health service uptake.

Research limitations/implications

The paper does not consider empirical data in the analysis. The authors advocate empirically testing the framework proposed in other SSA countries.

Social implications

It is important to empower women by facilitating their access to education and micro‐finance. This has implications for improving maternal healthcare utilization in SSA.

Originality/value

The paper moves beyond poor access to maternal health services in SSA and proposes a framework for providing sustainable solutions.

Details

International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance, vol. 24 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0952-6862

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Article

Walter E. Block

The purpose of this paper is to shed critical light on micro‐finance.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to shed critical light on micro‐finance.

Design/methodology/approach

This scheme is managed from an economic perspective.

Findings

Micro‐finance comes to us as a left wing attack on the free enterprise system; as such, it ought to be opposed by all freedom lovers, at least in its present format. Other baggage weighing it down is, if not absolute fraud, then, what might well be considered at least serious chicanery. A further criticism is the cult‐like behavior now surrounding it. However, is micro‐finance per se necessarily fraudulent? Can it only be favored by critics of laissez faire capitalism? What of micro‐finance shorn of all such encumbrances? Should it then be supported? No. Even the Platonic Ideal of micro‐finance has serious difficulties. This claim is a matter of prudential judgment, not praxeology. But, even a pure‐as‐the‐driven‐snow variety of this scheme still violates the economic concepts of specialization and division of labor, an appreciation of the infant industry fallacy, and several other basic building blocks of the dismal science. There are other better ways to “cure poverty” than this misbegotten scheme. This one, paradoxically, exacerbates impoverishment by placing investment resources in hands less capable of making it grow than would otherwise be the case.

Practical implications

It would be unwise to invest in or support this scheme.

Social implications

Society should instead rely upon free enterprise banking, the occupy movement to the contrary notwithstanding.

Originality/value

It takes a minority position on this very popular institution.

Details

Humanomics, vol. 28 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0828-8666

Keywords

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Article

Sreekanth Nair, Aarti Jagannathan, Suresh Kudumallige, Channaveerachari Naveen Kumar and Jagadisha Thirthalli

Micro-finance self-help groups empower caregivers to indulge in productive activities based on the local availability of resources to reduce their financial burden. The…

Abstract

Purpose

Micro-finance self-help groups empower caregivers to indulge in productive activities based on the local availability of resources to reduce their financial burden. The purpose of this paper is to assess the need for and feasibility of initiating micro-finance groups for the caregivers of persons with mental disability in a rural socio-economically backward community of Karnataka, India.

Design/methodology/approach

The design of the study was a cross-sectional survey, with mixed methodology design out of the eight localities where the Mental Health Public Health Centres (PHC) were running successfully in Konandur area, Thirthahalli Taluk, Karnataka, one PHC was selected using simple Random Sampling Design and a 5 kms radius from Konandur town was selected as the area of the survey (190 households). During door-to-door survey, if the family indicated that a particular member is mentally unwell, the GHQ-5 and Symptoms and Others checklist were administered on him/her and the women caregiver was interviewed using qualitative needs assessment schedule and Perceived Social Support Scale.

Findings

Ten persons/households with mental illness (5.26 per cent) were identified in the community. Themes of financial needs, capacity of the caregiver, community resources, need for the microfinance self-help groups, informational needs, social support, burn out, and stigma elicited in the interview were depicted in the form of a conceptual framework to understand the inter-connectedness between the various themes.

Research limitations/implications

This study is the first initiative in the field of micro-finance self-help groups for the persons with mental illness and families. The design of the study was a cross-sectional survey, which is found globally to be the most suited in conducting prevalence studies, as it provides accurate results for future studies as well as it is the first step to obtain accurate baseline values to later plan a prospective follow up study. The study used mixed methodology design. Though the sample size was small, the information collected from the participants in qualitative and quantitative method was triangulated and conceptual frameworks were developed. As this study is one of the first of its kind in the country, the results of this study from the stated sample can be considered as an important pilot for future longitudinal and cross-sectional studies to be planned in the community.

Originality/value

There is hardly any scientific literature which talks about the need for Micro-finance self-help groups for Persons with Disability, especially with person with mental disability. In order to initiate any Micro-finance SHG activities, it is essential to first undertake the need for and feasibility of initiating such micro-finance group activities in any given area. This study will be an important milestone in initiating any self-help group activity for caregivers of persons with mental disability, as it would help us understand the financial needs of the community, based on which a draft proposal to initiate micro-finance self-help group activities can be drawn up.

Details

Mental Health and Social Inclusion, vol. 22 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-8308

Keywords

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Article

Chamhuri Siwar and Basri Abd. Talib

Malaysia introduced its first micro‐financing programme in 1986 to replicate Grameen Bank's successful specialised delivery system, emphasising direct targeting…

Abstract

Malaysia introduced its first micro‐financing programme in 1986 to replicate Grameen Bank's successful specialised delivery system, emphasising direct targeting, informality of delivery, and delivering credit to the “doorsteps” of the poor. Since then, micro‐finance programs (MFPs) have been part of the poverty alleviation policies and strategies. MFPs became a popular approach, especially to reach the poor who would normally be excluded from the formal credit sector. This paper evaluates the performance of three MFIs, namely Amanah Ikhtiar Malaysia (AIM), Yayasan Usaha Maju (YUM) and Koperasi Kredit Rakyat (KKR). The paper provides a micro‐finance capacity assessment to identify issues and constraints especially with respect to outreach, viability or sustainability, resource mobilisation, and policy environment.

Details

Humanomics, vol. 17 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0828-8666

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Article

T.S. Anand Kumar, V. Praseeda Sanu and Jeyanth K. Newport

Housing micro‐finance is emerging globally as an important financial activity to help alleviate the housing needs of economically vulnerable people. Micro‐finance

Abstract

Purpose

Housing micro‐finance is emerging globally as an important financial activity to help alleviate the housing needs of economically vulnerable people. Micro‐finance institutions (MFIs) planning to include housing product must carefully assess whether they have the management and technical capacity to do so. The purpose of this paper is to give practical guidance to MFIs in adopting the housing programme, in addition to their existing line of micro‐finance services.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper gives practical guidance to MFIs adopting the housing programme in addition to the existing line of micro‐finance services and inputs about any market study, profiling the customers, product design, pricing of the product, affordability of the clients, income assessment, loan assessment, operational procedures, risk coping mechanisms and technical backup guidance.

Findings

The paper finds that MFIs should also ensure that housing micro‐finance suits their strategy from institutional and financial perspectives.

Originality/value

This paper provides valuable practical guidance to MFIs.

Details

International Journal of Housing Markets and Analysis, vol. 1 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8270

Keywords

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Article

Kenneth Kaoma Mwenda and Gerry Nkombo Muuka

Micro‐finance institutions are critical to Africa's quest for solutions to the continent's development challenge. The area of their greatest potential impact, rural…

Abstract

Micro‐finance institutions are critical to Africa's quest for solutions to the continent's development challenge. The area of their greatest potential impact, rural Africa, is not only home to the bulk of the continent's population, but also the vast majority of Africa's poor. This paper not only defines MFIs with examples from Zambia, South Africa, Mali and Zimbabwe, it also establishes a clear link between MFIs and both poverty eradication and the empowerment and equality of women, two of the major Millennium Development Goals. The paper concludes with some policy recommendations and a set of “best practices” for the future success of MFIs on the continent, including the need to ensure flexibility and careful government regulation and supervision of MFIs.

Details

International Journal of Social Economics, vol. 31 no. 1/2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0306-8293

Keywords

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Article

Olajumoke Olaosebikan and Mike Adams

The purpose of this study was to, using a case study research design informed by organizational economics theory, to examine the prospects for micro-insurance in promoting…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study was to, using a case study research design informed by organizational economics theory, to examine the prospects for micro-insurance in promoting micro-credit in a low-income Anglophone country in sub-Saharan Africa – The Gambia. Two main research questions are addressed: first, what is the most appropriate micro-finance institution (MFI) organizational structure to maximize the economic benefits of micro-insurance? Second, what are the financial management and wider economic benefits of the use of micro-insurance by MFIs?

Design/methodology/approach

To address our two research questions, we used a semi-structured interview protocol, informed by the organizational economics literature, to interpret the data collected from our field cases. We believe that these intrinsic qualities of case study methodology are particularly apt in the present study, given the complex and emergent nature of micro-finance and micro-insurance in low-income countries such The Gambia. By focusing on case studies in a single country, we also to some extent help control for variations in business environment that could confound interpretations of field data obtained from different jurisdictions.

Findings

The results of our study suggest that the mutual (cooperative) structure of credit unions is likely to be the most cost-efficient and effective organizational form for reducing information asymmetries, agency problems and transaction costs. We also observe that micro-insurance can help reduce the risk of loan defaults, thereby increasing returns on savings and lowering the costs of debt. As such, micro-insurance stimulates the demand–supply of financial intermediation in less developed countries and so helps promote economic development. In addition to contributing new insights, our findings have potentially important commercial and public policy implications.

Research limitations/implications

We acknowledge that our research is subject to inherent limitations such as the focus on three interviews in three different types of MFI organization while excluding other structural forms of organization such as government-owned/sponsored organizations. Nonetheless, the organizational characteristics of the cases examined in the present study are representative of most MFIs in developing countries. Given the prevalent hierarchical nature of corporate systems in sub-Saharan Africa, the views of the interviewees are also deemed to reflect those of other board members. Nonetheless, we acknowledge that the conclusions from our research may need to be tempered in line with these inherent limitations with the research approach adopted.

Practical implications

The insights obtained from our Gambia-based research could be generalized to developing countries elsewhere in sub-Saharan Africa, and indeed, other parts of the developing world. Consequently, the study could be of interest and relevance to international financiers (e.g. the World Bank), aid agencies, governments and other development organizations.

Originality/value

Despite its evident business and development potential, academic management research on micro-insurance, and in particular, its role in supporting micro-finance initiatives, is still very much at an embryonic stage. Our study thus seeks to fill this knowledge gap.

Details

Qualitative Research in Financial Markets, vol. 6 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1755-4179

Keywords

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Article

Widiyanto bin Mislan Cokro Hadisumarto and Abdul Ghafar B. Ismail

The purpose of this paper is to suggest a way to improve the effectiveness of Islamic micro‐financing in Indonesia.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to suggest a way to improve the effectiveness of Islamic micro‐financing in Indonesia.

Design/methodology/approach

The approach taken to measure and evaluate the effectiveness of micro‐financing is to point out the change of micro‐enterprises' business performance and then develop a concept based on the research findings and literature review.

Findings

The implementation of Islamic micro‐financing, which was preceded by selection process of micro‐enterprises and also accompanied by business control, incentive system, and construct good relationship, is effective in developing micro‐enterprises and improving the household income. However, an integrated program as an effort to improve the effectiveness of Islamic micro‐financing is still necessary.

Practical implications

Micro‐enterprises' development requires not only provision of financing in an interest free‐based system, but it also needs the provision of other services. For the purpose of holistic approach for micro‐enterprises' development and poverty alleviation, the spiritual development, especially via internalizing Islamic moral values in an entrepreneur's consciousness, is also necessary. In addition, poverty alleviation will be successful if Islamic financing is conducted in many areas, and the government takes part in this program.

Originality/value

This paper shows how, in the Islamic perspective, spiritual development is necessary in improving the effectiveness of financing.

Details

Humanomics, vol. 26 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0828-8666

Keywords

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Article

Sartini Wardiwiyono

This paper aims to contribute to literature on managing Islamic micro financing by formulating and evaluating the implementation of internal control system for Islamic…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to contribute to literature on managing Islamic micro financing by formulating and evaluating the implementation of internal control system for Islamic micro financing. It also aims to investigate the implementation of an internal control system for financing activities practiced by Baitul Maal wat Tamwil (BMT), a special micro finance organization, in Indonesia.

Design/methodology/approach

First, the paper introduces the concept of internal control system. Second, an internal control system for Islamic financing is formulated. Primary data that relate to the implementation of an internal control system for financing activities are obtained through a direct survey using questionnaires. The data are then analyzed using descriptive statistic and qualitative analysis to find the implementations of the internal control system.

Findings

BMTs in Indonesia have implemented an internal control system for their financing activities. The rank of the implementation is: information and communication; monitoring; control environment; risk assessment; and control activities. This study also indicates that the implementation of authorization and consultation to the Shariah Supervisory Board was low.

Research limitations/implications

The respondents of this study are small in number. However, the findings are valid and reliable.

Originality/value

To the author's knowledge, there is a lack of scholars' attention on the implementation of internal control especially for Islamic micro financing. Therefore, this study will provide insight to the literature on how to manage Islamic micro financing efficiently and effectively.

Details

International Journal of Islamic and Middle Eastern Finance and Management, vol. 5 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8394

Keywords

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Article

Mohd Yusof Kasim and Denison Jayasooria

The main aim of this paper is two‐fold: first, to discuss the role of micro‐finance institutions (MFIs) in promoting informal sector in Malaysia; second, to identify…

Abstract

The main aim of this paper is two‐fold: first, to discuss the role of micro‐finance institutions (MFIs) in promoting informal sector in Malaysia; second, to identify issues and policy measures on MFIs and the informal sector. The paper attempts to suggest that there is a strong need for having formal polices and institutions to service the informal sector and tap their potential for economic regeneration. This paper focuses on six micro‐finance programmes, namely, Amanah Ikhtiar Malaysia, Yayasan Usaha Maju, Koperasi Kredit Rakyat, Kooperasi Kredit Pekerja, Partners in Enterprise Malaysia and Projek TEKUN. This paper concludes by reviewing issues and challenges of MFIs.

Details

Humanomics, vol. 17 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0828-8666

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