Through in-country and desk research, the research team assessed the extent to which multidimensional women?s microfinance groups in Bolivia and Bangladesh are capable of supporting civic activism among chronically poor women. For the purpose of this paper, multidimensional microfinance programmes are defined as those that offer more than finance services; they also offer social services often through a group-lending model. These programmes move beyond microfinance alone and have the capacity to reduce the vulnerabilities chronically poor women face. The findings from the study indicate that multidimensional women's microfinance groups in both Bangladesh and Bolivia have a positive impact on women's ability to actively participate, through the education programmes they offered and their facilitation of women's social networks and local government access.
R. Amosu, J.W. Kim, C. McMillon and R. Reid. Supporting civic activism among chronically poor women: to what extent can multidimensional women’s microfinance groups help? CPRC Working Paper 173. Chronic Poverty Research Centre, London, UK (2011) 96 pp. ISBN 978-1-906433-75-8