> Posted by Jeffrey Riecke, Communications Assistant, CFI

There are endless ways to measure the successes of a given year. Number of clients reached. Total new stakeholder endorsement. Amount of capital invested… Though when assessing almost anything, it’s important to think holistically and not be biased by the numbers. That said, I think I can speak for most of the Center in saying that we are excited to share that several CFI-affiliated publications were among the Microfinance Gateway’s Most Popular Publications of 2012. No small feat considering 546 new resources were added to the Gateway this past year. Here’s a brief listing of the CFI pubs that made this top cut:

Over-Indebtedness in Microfinance: An Empirical Analysis of Related Factors on the Borrower Level

This paper by Jessica Schicks analyses the over-indebtedness of microborrowers in Ghana, examining its relationship with poverty, adverse shocks, loan returns, and financial literacy. In defining over-indebtedness, the paper adopts a client perspective, taking into account clients’ repayment struggles and the sacrifices they make to fulfill payment obligations. Some of the paper’s findings are the following:

  • Poorer micro-borrowers are more likely to be over-indebted;
  • Risk of over-indebtedness further increases with the occurrence of adverse economic shocks to a borrower’s income or expenses;
  • Likelihood of over-indebtedness is higher for borrowers with low returns on their investment and if borrowers use loans at least in part for non-productive purposes;
  • Over-indebtedness is higher for borrowers with low, debt-specific financial literacy. General financial literacy is negatively associated with over-indebtedness.

The paper received research and financial support from the Smart Campaign. A less academic version of the paper, published by the Smart Campaign in 2011, can be found here.

Smart Microinsurance: An Overview for Microfinance Institutions on Incorporating Client Protection Practices into Microinsurance

Produced jointly by the Smart Campaign and the Microinsurance Network, this toolkit provides client protection guidance for MFIs offering microinsurance products through external insurance companies. The toolkit includes three sections: a listing of social performance indicators for microinsurance; guidance for product design and partnerships; and guidance for incorporating the Client Protection Principles into each phase of the microinsurance process. The toolkit identifies service points of contact and offers best practices for policies and procedures.

Risk and Relevance: The 2012 Microfinance Banana Skins Survey

Although in a different category than the Most Popular Publications of 2012the Banana Skins report of 2012 was among the top four in the Gateway’s Most Popular Microfinance Voices of 2012 category. The Banana Skins report series presents the most pressing risks facing the microfinance industry and what can be done to manage them. Staying Relevant, the fourth report in the series, found a pressing importance on managing corporate governance risk.

For the full library of CFI publications, papers, and resources, visit our website

Image credit: CGAP Microfinance Gateway

Have you read?

Microinsurance on the Roadmap to Financial Inclusion

Banana Skins 2012: Improving MFI Governance

CFI Publishes ‘Over-Indebtedness of Microborrowers in Ghana’ Report by Jessica Schicks