David has served as U.N. correspondent for the newswire UPI and reported for several major newspapers, including the New York Daily News and Newsday. He was chief correspondent for the Kashmir Observer in Srinagar, India, and regularly contributes to the Economist, among other publications. Since 2007, David has reported for Devex News from Washington, New York, as well as South Asia.
The book “Portfolios of the Poor: How the World’s Poor Live on $2 a Day” is almost anthropological, or ethnographic, says co-author Jonathan Morduch. We rarely see the lives of the poor in this great of detail, and similar “financial diaries” are already being used to evaluate development programs, the New York University economics professor and microfinance expert notes.
The idea of “social business” is interesting, but it is still in its infancy, says Jonathan Morduch, New York University economics professor and microfinance expert. To prevent it from becoming a fad, an honest discussion must better articulate business models and address potential trade-offs, he argues.
The finger-printing technology of “smart cards” in India offers the opportunity to link the poor to their banking data, says New York University economics professor and microfinance expert Jonathan Morduch. It allows residents to move from place to place and establish greater credit-worthiness, he notes.
In rural areas, a successful microfinance business model is hard to pin down, says New York University economics professor and microfinance expert Jonathan Morduch. Mobile banking may offer the best solutions on issues such as transaction costs and rural staffing, he notes.
Jonathan Morduch, New York University economics professor and co-author of “Portfolios of the Poor,” suggests linking health and microfinance to create a simple insurance program for possible emergencies.
New York University economics professor and microfinance expert Jonathan Morduch doubts that most microfinance institutions will be self-sustaining in the future. But he does believe donor money can be put to better use to help institutions diversify their funding sources, as Grameen has done in Bangladesh.
Studies show that most microfinance loans are being spent on consumer goods, not the creation of new enterprise. Microfinanciers need to create better consumption loans and couple them with savings and insurance products, suggests Jonathan Morduch, a New York University economics professor.
Microfinance has suffered from a lack of impact studies, says New York University economics professor Jonathan Morduch. Part of the problem has been donors who might not want to know the answers, he argues, adding that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has incited a shift in attitude toward the issue.
We should be willing to accept the trade-offs that come with the ongoing cleavage between profit-seeking and social advancement, between doing good and doing well, says Jonathan Morduch, New York University economics professor and co-author of “Portfolios of the Poor.”