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Archive for the ‘The village’ Category

Cash? Can I take it in lumber, please?

A number of mobile banking experts have been envisioning the ‘cash-less village’, in which villagers pay for groceries and services on their mobile phones. But, in his book Predictably Irrational, Dan Ariely, a behavioural economist at Duke University, shows how the degree of abstraction of our currency can lead us to experience greater and greater distance from our ethical values, increasing moral hazard.

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Quietly watching us.

Imagine if, each morning as you pulled out of your driveway, you were touched by the gaze of the same child, watching you from the sidewalk. Her gaze is as open and undemanding as the earth, and as curious and deeply conscious as any you’ve received from your own children. She is also visibly poverty-stricken.

I took this photo while visiting a small village bank in Cambodia. Whenever foreigners enter a village there, curious children gather to watch. These two stood quietly on the fringe of my meetings with the village adults for over an hour. (more…)

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Poor villagers in the developing world are a distinctive, underserved microfinance segment. There are nearly a billion rural people who make less than $1.25 a day, and most are illiterate or marginally literate, so microfinance documents are inaccessible to them.

There are three widely neglected factors that make rural microfinance fundamentally different from urban microfinance. (more…)

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Rural villages in the developing world are oral cultures; that is cultures in which the technologies of literacy (especially writing and print) are unfamiliar to most people.

Kraing Tbong Village Bank, Takeo

A village bank in Cambodia

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