Who Needs Credit ? Poverty and Finance in Bangladesh

Edited by Geoffrey D. Wood and Iffath A. Sharif, Univ. Press, 1997, 395 p, tables, ISBN : 9840513818, $38.00 (Includes free airmail shipping)

Contents: Introduction/Geoffrey D. Wood and Iffath Sharif. I. Overview: 1. Poverty and finance in Bangladesh: a new policy agenda/Iffath Sharif. 2. Poverty and well-being: problems for poverty reduction in role of credit/Martin Greeley. 3. Finance for the poor or poorest? financial innovation, poverty and vulnerability/David Hulme and Paul Mosley. 4. The political economy of micro credit/Rehman Sobhan. II. Case studies & themes: 5. Experiences and challenges in credit & poverty alleviation programmes in Bangladesh: the case of Proshika/Yuwa Hedrick-Wong, Bosse Kramsjo, Asgar Ali Sabri. 6. Brac's poverty alleviation programme: what it is and what it achieved/A Mushtaque R. Chowdhury, M. Aminul Alam. 7. Asa'self-reliant development model'/A.K. Aminur Rashid. 8. Credit for poverty alleviation in Bangladesh: performance of public sector banks/Mosharraf of Hossain Khan. 9. Grameen bank: a case study/Syed M. Hashemi. Lamiya Morshed. III. Problems of reaching the poorest: 10. Micro-credit programmes: who participates and what does it matter?/Hassan Zaman. 11. Those left behind: a note on targeting the hardcore poor/Syed Hashemi. IV. Micro-credit limitations of scale: 12. The renegotiation of joint liability: notes from Madhupur/Imram Matin. 13. Poverty, profitability of micro enterprises and the role of credit/Rushidan Islam Rahman. 14. Breaking out of the ghetto: employment generation and credit for the poor/Geoffrey D. Wood. V. Micro-credit: a restricted approach to financial services: 15. Savings: flexible financial services for the poor/Graham Wright, Mosharrof Hossain and Stuart Rutherford. 16. Informal financial services in Dhaka's slums/Stuart Rutherford. Conclusion/Iffath Sharif and Geoffrey D. Wood. References. Index.

"The book critically examines micro-credit provision in Bangladesh. It critiques the emergence of a panacea formula for credit provision to the poor through the Grameen Bank model, which offer a 'cheaper' attractive option for poverty alleviation avoiding the 'overhead' costs of a broader social development agenda--mobilisation, group formation, support for struggles and campaigns, accessing key resources and opportunities in the market, skills training, and so on. This concern is particularly timely with the prominence of the Grameen Bank model as an expansion of micro credit to the poor worldwide.

"The book therefore presents a critical analysis of opportunities and problems faced by various models of financing the poor through NGOs and grassroots experimentation. The major implementing organisations in Bangladesh have cooperated in this volume in offering an autocritique of present limitations and problems.

"Discussions in the book focus upon the problems of financing the poorest classes in the society, asking whether the poorest are actually reached by existing provisions of micro-credit, whether wider financial services are required by the poor; whether credit or financial services can alone address problems of poverty; or whether they always have to be accompained by broader intervention programmes of social development and mobilisation. In this latter sense, the book focuses upon the issue of borrower sustainability, while pointing out the essential linkage between borrower and lender sustainability--hence the title Who Needs Credit?

[Geoffrey D. Wood is Reader in Development Studies and Director Centre for Development Studies, University of Bath.]

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