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Microfinance challenges: empowerment or disempowerment of the poor?

Isabelle Guérin
Jane Palier

Editors and Scientific Advisory Committee

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1Isabelle Guérin is currently head of the programme “Microfinance and Socially Sustainable Development” at the Department of Social Sciences, French Institute of Pondicherry. She is also a researcher at the Institut de Recherche pour le Développement, Laboratoire Population-Environnement-Développement (IRD-Université de Provence).

2She is specialized in banking and financial exclusion processes. Before working in India, she worked in West Africa and Europe. She has published in French Femmes et économie solidaire (La Découverte éditions, 2003) and is co-editor (with Jean-Michel Servet) of the annual report Exclusion et liens financiers (Economica éditions, 2000, 2002, 2003). She is also an expert for various national and international institutions, in particular for the International Labour Organization.

3Jane Palier is an economist, PhD student at the University Lumière Lyon 2 (France). She is also associated with the Institut de Recherche pour le Développement, Laboratoire Population-Environnement-Développement (IRD-Université de Provence) and with the French Institute of Pondicherry, where she spent one year conducting her field work.

Scientific Advisory Committee

4Tara Nair is currently working as Associate Professor at the Mudra Institute of Communications, Ahmedabad. Her responsibilities include teaching and research in the area of Media Economics. Prior to this, she worked as Associate Consultant (Research) with the development research and consultancy organization EDA Rural Systems Pvt. Ltd, Gurgaon, on the impact assessment of Indian microfinance institutions, sponsored by the SIDBI Foundation for Micro Credit (SFMC). Her major independent research projects completed include (1) impact of the EU sponsored SCALE project of the Aga Khan Rural Support Programme, India, (2) group-based poverty alleviation approaches, (3) impact of GATT-94 on Indian SMEs; (4) study of the national rural housing programme, and (5) institutional capacity assessment of state-level entrepreneurship development organizations. She has published 35 papers and reports on topics such as poverty alleviation and rural development, microfinance, NGOs, entrepreneurship and policy environment in the Indian press, and has presented papers at seminars in India and abroad (Italy, France, Finland, UK and Singapore) on topics related to these areas.

5M. S. Sriram is currently fellow at the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore. In terms of research, he is specialized in rural finance. His teaching interests are in financial accounting and management of microfinance. His current work is examining the relation between transaction costs and trust in Indian microfinance, and studying financial flows of the rural poor. The book Beyond Micro-credit is his last publication (published by Sage-Vistaar and co-authored with Thomas Fisher). He also worked as a faculty member at the Institute of Rural Management Anand, and is vice president of BASIX India.

6Jean-Michel Servet is Professor of Economic Sciences at the Institut Interuniversitaire d’Etudes du Développement of Geneva, associated with the French Institute of Pondicherry. He has specialized in the social dimension of finance since the 1980s. He has initiated several research programmes on this topic in Africa and Europe. He is also an expert for various institutions (European Commission, International Labour Organization, Caisse des dépôts et Consignations). He is the originator of the research programme “Microfinance and Socially Sustainable development” at the French Institute, which he headed from May 2002 to June 2003.

© Institut Français de Pondichéry, 2005

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