The Microfinance Assessment Tool 1.0 (MAT 1.0)
United States of America , September, 27 2006 -
The Microfinance Assessment Tool 1.0 (MAT 1.0) is an interactive decision-making model for investment in microfinance. Please take a few minutes, read all the questions carefully, and provide the best answers based on your knowledge of a potential or hypothetical investment area.
"Actors in the field of microfinance – decision-makers, project planners, and investors – often have a predetermined strategy as to the perceived most appropriate way to provide financial services to poor members of a society. This limited view leads to insufficient reflection on the appropriateness of a particular model when expanding to a new project area. Also, as the use of inappropriate models has potentially harmful effects, it is argued that a project should not be model-driven (top-down), but needs-driven (bottom-up).
Starting from this premise, MAT 1.0 is conceived as a simplified tool to lead through some of the considerations that should guide decision-makers, project planners, and investors when considering what type of financial services could be most appropriate in a particular setting.
Obviously, the complexity of the decision-making process, the high context-specificity of every project, as well as the subjective appreciation of many crucial indicators makes the adoption of a clear-cut formula impossible.
Without addressing issues of actual project design, MAT 1.0 should help to make this complex decision-making process more conscious and aspires to indicate some advantages and pitfalls of different models in particular circumstances. Far from locking decision-makers into a predetermined model, such a conscious process invites to explore innovative ideas to address these pitfalls and enhance the positive outcomes. In essence, it functions as a market research tool.