Jan 22nd: Microfinance Living Up To Its Social Mission?

Chris Dunford, Syed Hashemi

The next Silicon Valley Microfinance Network meeting will be held on Monday, January 22nd at Omidyar Network’s offices in Redwood City. Our speakers will be Chris Dunford, President, Freedom From Hunger and Syed Hashemi, Senior Microfinance Specialist, Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP)

Microfinance: Living Up To Its Social Mission?

A Microfinance Report Card on UN Millennium Development Goals & Global Poverty

Meeting Topic: In recent SVMN meetings several members have raised questions surrounding the social impact of microfinance and whether social impact can be and is being measured by microfinance institutions (MFIs). This month two noted microfinance experts will provide a report card on the social impact and performance of microfinance.

Chris Dunford, President of Freedom From Hunger, will discuss his report commissioned by the Microcredit Summit on how microfinance is contributing to the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDG). Syed Hashemi, Senior Microfinance Specialist with CGAP, will speak about the work CGAP is doing to identify MDG social indicators that can be used to measure and assess the social impact of microfinance. Here are additional links to World Bank info on MDG targets & indicators, and a United Nations MDG 2006 Report (pdf).

To register for the event, please click on the SVMN eVite here:


(more info below)

When: Monday January 22nd, 2007

6:00-6:30pm: Registration, Dinner & Networking
6:30-8:00pm: Speaker & Discussion
8:00-8:30pm: Networking & Wrapup

Where: UC Berkeley Extension, on first floor below Omidyar Network offices

1991 Broadway
Redwood City, CA 94063
(directions here)


$20 includes event + dinner
($10 for students & non-profits)

Speaker bios:

Chris Dunford, President, Freedom from Hunger

Dr. Dunford is an international development specialist and non-profit organization leader with 31 years of global work experience with practitioners, technical assistance providers, and scholars. Dr. Dunford provides strategic leadership, participates in program development, designs evaluations, writes frequently about impact and leads development of partnerships for Freedom from Hunger. Dr. Dunford joined Freedom from Hunger in 1984 and became President in 1991.

Before joining Freedom from Hunger, Dr. Dunford was a program officer for the U.N. Environment Program in Nairobi, Kenya and a rural development and environmental assessment consultant for the World Conservation Union (IUCN), Development Alternatives, Inc. and the University of Arizona Office of Arid Lands Studies. Dr. Dunford has a Ph.D. in Ecology from the University of Arizona in Tucson.

Syed Hashemi, Senior Microfinance Specialist, Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP)

Syed Hashemi joined CGAP in 1999. He concentrates on identifying pro-poor innovations and disseminating best practice lessons related to poverty outreach and impact. He developed the CGAP poverty audit for financial institutions and has worked extensively on assessing poverty levels of MFI clients. He is currently involved in developing social performance indicators for tracking changes in the social and economic levels of MFI clients.

Before joining CGAP, Hashemi directed the Program for Research on Poverty Alleviation at Grameen Trust and taught Development Studies at Jahangirnagar University in Bangladesh, where he conducted research on microfinance, non-governmental organizations, and gender subordination in rural Bangladesh. Hashemi has a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of California at Riverside.

Update: here are links to download speaker presentations:


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