What Can the World Learn from Andhra Pradesh?

> Posted by Anita Gardeva
The industry is still piecing together Andhra Pradesh, sizing up the government’s response, and puzzling over how to prevent a repeat.
To tackle this, microfinance’s biggest challenge to date, the Center for Global Development (CGD) hosted a panel of experts for a wide-ranging discussion on December 9th.

  • CGD Senior Fellow David Roodman laid the foundation for the discussion with facts from the ground in Andhra Pradesh
  • Stephen Rasmussen, technology program manager at CGAP, added the context of India’s long history of financial inclusion initiatives and vast array of players.
  • Swaminathan Aiyar, one of India’s leading economic journalists, brought perspective on India’s political economy, how it contributed to this crisis, and why Andhra Pradesh is far from a one-time affair.
  • CGD Senior Fellow Liliana Rojas-Suarez argued for adoption of policy principles that could have prevented this crises.
  • Beth Rhyne,  managing director of the Center for Financial Inclusion, shared an agenda for how we can “re-calibrate” the microfinance industry.

Among the questions the panel members grappled with:

  • Can the principles and honorable ambitions in financial inclusion help us fight counterproductive and misaligned political forces?
  • How do strong corporate governance, credit bureaus, better understanding of the client, and improved solvency (through savings) provide hope that we can learn from our mistakes?

Hear the panel members’ take on the answers to these questions by watching a video of the event available  here.