“The campaign has been thinking very hard about how do you get a real conversation going between citizens and governments about realizations on the MDGs, for the past two years, how do you get into the specifics of what is and what is not working?” explained Corinne Woods, director of the U.N. Millennium Campaign, an inter-agency initiative hosted by the U.N. Development Program.
The answer, it seems, is to enable and empower citizens to voice their concerns quickly, efficiently and cheaply, while providing them with a public platform to ensure that their queries are not getting buried in a suggestion box. It is a solution that ultimately requires participation from all sectors of society, including government and civil society organizations at local, national and international levels, which will serve different roles in the outreach, follow-up and tracking process. 5 Months After MDG Summit, Citizen Tracking Mechanism is Launched in Kenya
Mr. Yunus says interest rates should be 10 to 15 percent above the cost of raising the money, with anything beyond a “red zone” of loan sharking. “We need to draw a line between genuine and abuse,” he said. “You will never see the situation of poor people if you look at it through the glasses of profit-making.”
Yet by that measure, 75 percent of microfinance institutions would fall into Mr. Yunus’s “red zone,” according to a March analysis of 1,008 microlenders by Adrian Gonzalez, lead researcher at the Mix. His study found that much of the money from interest rates was used to cover operating expenses, and argued that tackling costs, as opposed to profits, could prove the most efficient way to lower interest rates.
Banks Making Big Profits From Tiny Loans via the New York Times
Check out the MIX Market for more information about the microfinance business sector.