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Setting the Future Research Agenda for Islamic microfinance: Establishing the Evidence Base for Impact and Sustainability Dr Mohammed Kroessin Global.

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Presentation on theme: "Setting the Future Research Agenda for Islamic microfinance: Establishing the Evidence Base for Impact and Sustainability Dr Mohammed Kroessin Global."— Presentation transcript:

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2 Setting the Future Research Agenda for Islamic microfinance: Establishing the Evidence Base for Impact and Sustainability Dr Mohammed Kroessin Global Microfinance Advisor ISLAMIC RELIEF WORLDWIDE

3 Islamic microfinance research Agenda Why research? An emerging research agenda How can IMFIs drive research? The way forward

4 Islamic microfinance research Why research? -What is research? -Academic / IF fiqh -Market research -R&D / product development -Knowledge generation -Pure knowledge: academia -Applied knowledge: product development

5 Islamic microfinance research An emerging research agenda What do we know: –I-MF in academia: very little interest in I-MF (Habib Ahmed) –I-MF R&D: some internal product development & innovation (Grameen- Jameel etc.) –I-MF market research: slowly emerging (IRTI, Kuwait Finance House, CGAP etc.)

6 Islamic microfinance research An emerging research agenda Knowledge gaps (what don’t we know) Sustainability - Outreach / impact

7 Islamic microfinance research An emerging research agenda Significance of knowledge gaps: “Sustainability”

8 Islamic microfinance research An emerging research agenda Significance of knowledge gaps: “ Sustainability in the I-MF context” –Social non exploitative financing modes Ethical vs. Sharia complaint –Environmental Renewable resources (energy, raw materials, pollution) –Economic Financial viability

9 Islamic microfinance research An emerging research agenda Research questions about “Sustainability” –Uptake of I-MF (0.5% of global MF is Shari’ah compliant, CGAP survey 2008) Economic behaviour of clients Socio-political analysis Effectiveness of marketing strategies

10 Islamic microfinance research An emerging research agenda Significance of knowledge gaps I: Impact/Outreach –I-MF still relatively small (IBBL RDS in Bangladesh 500k clients) –Business models not easily scalable –Outreach: depth vs. breadth –Impact

11 Islamic microfinance research An emerging research agenda Significance of knowledge gaps II: Impact/Outreach –Evidence for social impact vs. rhetoric “In the development NGO sector internationally there has be an increasing recognition of the weakness of institutional learning and accountability and a growing gap between the rhetoric of agencies and the reality of what they achieve” (IMP-ACT).

12 Islamic microfinance research An emerging research agenda Research questions: Impact/Outreach –What is the impact of I-MF products that are in economic terms very similar to conventional products (i.e. Murabaha, Qard Hassan with 15% mark-up/fee as compared to conventional MF with 15% interest)? –How can we measure the impact especially of the salient features of I-MF, i.e. equitable financing? –How can I-MF make a difference in particular contexts, i.e. Is asset-based financing or P/L better mitigating against external economic shocks etc?

13 Islamic microfinance research How can I-MFIs drive research? building partnerships with academia –privileged access to data –encourage research –engage in critical debate

14 Islamic microfinance research How can IMFIs drive research? Case study: El Shaarani Centre for Islamic Business and Finance partnership with IR - At Aston Business School, Birmingham: - Shared research agenda - Looking for a market niche - Looking to be relevant to industry and society (Research Assessment Exercise) - Research on client behaviour (marketing) and comparative impact assessment

15 Islamic microfinance research The way forward -consortium-based research allows smaller I-MFIs to contribute by pooling resources -Global players (e.g. IRTI, WCMP) to take lead on global issues - bridge competitive ‘industry’ -conceptualise and operationalise research - knowledge exchange

16 192 Ahmad Block, New Garden Town, Lahore - Pakistan. Ph: (92-42) , Fax: (92-42)


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