Microenterprise programs attempt to help poor people start or strengthen small businesses. Funding and political support have grown rapidly. Is microenterprise a good use of scarce development funds? Unfortunately, most evaluations have been case studies in what not to do. Because benefits and costs cannot be measured completely nor with perfect certainty, rigorous evaluations should support their necessarily subjective judgements with logic and explicit assumptions. The usefulness of an evaluation lies not in its (apparent) incontrovert-ibility but rather in its clarity of assumptions and in its openness to meaningful review and critique.
Mark Chreiner is a consultant with Microfinance Risk Management and is a senior scholar at the Center for Social Development, Washington University in St. Louis.
Journal of Microfinance
Issue and Volume
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
"Evaluation and Microenterprise Programs in the United States,"
Journal of Microfinance / ESR Review: Vol. 4
, Article 5.
Available at: http://scholarsarchive.byu.edu/esr/vol4/iss2/5