The Microfinance and Development Sub-section of the Development Sociology Section of the ASA links scholars and other stakeholders who are engaged in development-oriented nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and microfinance institutions (MFIs) both nationally and globally.
Both NGOs and MFIs are relatively new to the development landscape, but seek to improve the well-being of the poor and to promote economic development in developing countries. Institutionally, they are located between the state and the market and, generally, tend to complement weak states and nascent markets in the development process. Microfinance, in particular, provides credit, savings, and other financial services (such as insurance) to millions of poor people (especially women) usually excluded from the formal financial sector.
In addition to bringing together scholars and other stakeholders engaged in the sub-field of microfinance and development, the Sub-section would highlight and bring to the attention of readers cutting edge information on such critical issues within the sub-field as microfinance performance and assessment methods, commercialization and sustainability of microfinance, commercialization and mission drift, and the evolving relationship between microfinance and the state and the formal financial sector.
The ultimate objective of the Sub-section is to bring various stakeholders together to engage in a sustained and productive dialogue about the critical importance of microfinance in improving the well-being of the poor and increasing their participation in decision-making in their homes, communities and national politics.