Journal of Microfinance / ESR Review


The ability of microfinance institutions (MFIs) to reach and to demonstrate a positive impact on their clients is increasingly recognized as a core principal in poverty-focused microfinance, and there is a growing move toward lower-cost, practitioner-friendly approaches to impact assessment. Interviews with program drop-outs are an important source of information, and they are incorporated into a number of impact-assessment systems. This article explores how useful impact information can be gained from drop-out interviews and presents ideas from the experience of the Small Enterprise Foundation (SEF) in South Africa. Drop-outs provide a very valuable source of information for program improvement, relating both to the performance of the MFI in relation to client needs, and more generally to how an MFI relates to client livelihoods and external conditions. Two approaches commonly used are contrasted--the survey-based client exit interview and a more in-depth case-study approach that seeks to understand deeper, underlying reasons for drop-out.



Journal Title

Journal of Microfinance

Issue and Volume