The escalation of violence in Gaza and Israel is leaving people in Gaza in urgent need of humanitarian support. Please donate now.

Available documents

No available documents

Oxfam Policy & Practice provides free access to Gender & Development and Development in Practice journal articles.

Download from publisher


This article challenges the recent uncritical enthusiasm for the potential of micro-finance institutions to reduce poverty. It is argued that, although understanding about how to design anti-poverty financial intermediation has improved, the current campaign to increase resource allocation in this sector may undermine the very sustainability that is being sought. Further, studies of the impact of micro-enterprise credit suggest that it is not necessarily beneficial to very poor people. Interventions in the provision of financial services should not be made without locally specific analysis of the functions of existing savings and credit facilities. An emphasis on scale acts as a disincentive to such analysis, and increases the risk of the re-emergence of a ‘blueprint’ approach to anti-poverty action.

Additional details






How to cite this resource

Citation styles vary so we recommend you check what is appropriate for your context.  You may choose to cite Oxfam resources as follows:

Author(s)/Editor(s). (Year of publication). Title and sub-title. Place of publication: name of publisher. DOI (where available). URL

Our FAQs page has some examples of this approach.

Related resources

Here are similar items you might be interested in.

Browse all resources