Measuring the Performance of Microfinancing Institutions: A New Approach
Microfinancing Institutions (MFIs) have grown in popularity as an effective tool for reducing poverty in the developing countries over the last three decades. MFIs are different from traditional financial institutions like banks in many ways. They mainly provide financial assistance (usually without any security) to the needy poor who are denied access to institutional credit from other sources. Data relating to 2007 has shown that there are more than 3,000 MFIs operating around the world. Hundreds of millions of dollars of donor funds are injected into the microfinancing sector. Therefore, the 'performance' of MFIs which affect the effective and efficient utilization of these funds is an important issue. Standard criteria used to measure the performance of commercial enterprises such as profitability, return on investment, share price, etc., are not appropriate to assess the performance of MFIs which have fundamentally different objectives that conflict with commercial interests. This article analyzes the issues relating to criteria used for identifying the performance of MFIs and recommends a new approach to measure the performance of MFIs in an objective manner.
South Asia Economic Journal