Freedom from Hunger’s last week released a white paper, “Human Faces of Microfinance Impact,” which presents the impact story methodology of carefully collecting and analyzing stories of randomly selected microfinance clients. This method has proven to be a meaningful tool for evaluating impact. The paper, authored by Lynne Jarrell, Bobbi Gray, Megan Gash and Christopher Dunford, describes both the methodology and preliminary findings from Freedom from Hunger’s use of the tool with partner organizations in eight countries.
Download report at the link below
About Human Faces of Microfinance Impact – White Paper
Offering insightful results and a distinctive contribution to the narrative about the impact of microfinance, “Human Faces of Microfinance Impact” provides a noteworthy combination of rigorous method and storytelling. In so doing, this approach involves open-ended questions, careful listening, and free-flowing follow-up of the answers to capture a more complete picture of a client’s experience than can be achieved by standard interview techniques.
Since 2007, Freedom from Hunger has been developing and testing the impact stories methodology to discover client experiences that are representative of the whole clientele of a microfinance institution or even multiple institutions. A variety of methods is available to measure impact, including randomized controlled trials with highly structured interviews, but each is deficient for providing a holistic view of impact. To complement other techniques, the impact story approach enables a researcher to hear the bigger story of the individual or family and tries to find out what else is happening that might not have been anticipated.
The stories collected in “Human Faces of Microfinance Impact” paint a picture of the hope that participants bring to their microfinance experiences. The 274 individuals who participated in this study, representing both incoming and long-term clients in Freedom from Hunger’s programs around the world, entered their local microfinance program from a variety of backgrounds and family situations. This significant white paper highlights the importance of relying on multiple qualitative and quantitative methods to help researchers understand the full range of possible benefits of a value-added microfinance program.