This e-book explores microfinance, microlending, microfinance practitioners and microfinance institutions. The first paper investigates microlending outcomes among Latin American non-governmental organizations (NGOs), specifically microfinance institutions (MFIs). While there is a growing movement of non-profit ventures channeling small loans to the poor worldwide, assessments of their impacts are lacking. Microfinance practitioners have emphasized that appropriate control mechanisms are critical for the success of a microfinance institution (MFI). The purpose of the second paper is to study the effects of external governance mechanisms on MFIs' performance, whereby external governance is defined as the control exercised by stakeholders and markets, and accountability mechanisms that operate to enforce internal governance. The purpose of the third paper is to provide a rigorous, statistically correct, and low-cost way to audit sample a lender's loan portfolio, be they a microlender or other type of lender. No other paper applies this method to loan portfolios, even though it is a high demand application. The next paper reviews the successful Bangladesh experience with microfinance popularly known as microcredit. The paper emphasizes the role of autonomous national microfinance fund and analyzes the efficiency of microfinance delivery mechanisms in Bangladesh. The paper examines the new realities/challenges faced by the microfinance movement in Bangladesh. The purpose of the final paper is to highlight important factors that influence funding decisions from the perspective of commercial lenders, and suggest commercialization of microfinance as a source of alternative development finance.
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