Articles by Jeffrey Ashe
Yunus Was Wrong — Savings, Not Credit, is a Human Right: Here’s How the Financial Inclusion Sector Can Shift its Focus
After playing a key role in the early development of the microfinance sector, Jeffrey Ashe went to Bosnia in the mid-1990s to consult on a new microfinance project. In those days, microcredit was widely viewed as a silver bullet that could end poverty, but while working in Bosnia, he learned that informal savings groups were already providing an effective alternative to formal loans in the local community. Ashe has spent the subsequent decades studying and supporting savings groups in countries around the world. He shares research that illuminates these groups' vast global impact, and argues that they could achieve far more if the financial inclusion sector supported them.
The Next Financial Inclusion Revolution: The Transformative Potential of Scaling Small Group Savings in the World’s Poorest Communities
Despite $52 billion invested in financial inclusion in 2019 alone, nearly 2 billion people – many of them among the world’s poorest – still lack access to formal finance. As Jeffrey Ashe at Grassroots Finance Action points out, these communities often turn to informal savings and credit groups to meet their financial needs – but there are many who are too poor and marginalized to be invited to be part of these groups. He explores a proposal that aims to expand access to informal savings groups to reach these financially excluded individuals around the world.
NexThought Monday – Second Chances in Global Development: How savings and lending groups can achieve what microcredit hasn’t
Jeffrey Ashe’s early research on behalf of USAID helped make microfinance a global development phenomenon. He now believes that savings and lending groups could have an impact that’s just as profound, but with a key difference: while microfinance struggles to reach the very poor, he says, savings and lending groups are expressly designed to meet their needs.