Publication Type:

Journal Article


Journal of Sustainable Finance & Investment, Earthscan, Volume 6, Number 2, p.85–94 (2016)



This research note reflects on existing research and perspectives on the efficacy of microfinance as a poverty alleviation tool. We argue that while the story about the success of microfinance is widespread, its failure is also well documented at various levels. More importantly, systematic reviews of the existing research on microfinance performance do not support the efficacy of microfinance. This suggests that microfinance has failed. However, these reviews are based on studies that have adopted widely criticized empirical/quantitative techniques. Thus, in this research note, we attempt to sensitize both the research community and policy-makers to reconsider what has really failed in the context of microfinance, and act accordingly.

Cite this Research Publication

Sefa Awaworyi Churchill and Nuhu, A. Salim, “What has failed: microfinance or evaluation methods?”, Journal of Sustainable Finance & Investment, vol. 6, pp. 85–94, 2016.