Microcredit, microfinance or access to financial services – what do Pacific people need, 2001

Often it seems that microfinance ‘models’ are applied, with very little variation, in situations where the operating context is much different from that in which they were developed. There are many elements in the economic and socio-cultural context of the Pacific region which distinguish it from Asia. Is it possible that the rush to replicate existing microfinance models, using ‘best practice’ principles developed far from the Pacific, is curtailing careful market analysis? Could it also be stifling innovation, in the sense of finding alternative solutions for providing access to financial services for the poor in the Pacific?

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