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Macro lessons in microfinance

In two very different corners of the world, Lehigh students are developing wireless technology to assist a number of well known microfinance institutions. The technology—customized for lending officials who spend hours traveling into remote and poor areas of Ghana, Peru and Honduras—is making data collection easier and more accurate.

Through these technological advances, Lehigh has been able to forge strong relationships with several leading microfinance institutions (MFIs) in some of the most poverty-stricken corners of South America and Africa. Lehigh University hosted several MFI executives from these continents during a technology roadmap conference in 2008, and will host one of the first African microfinance workshops ever held in the United States this April.

Lehigh’s Todd Watkins, the Arthur F. Searing professor of economics and director of Lehigh’s microfinance program, has helped draw attention to the practice of microfinance. He is partnering with students to publish what will be among the first undergraduate textbooks in microfinance, which could be available as early as 2010.

Read more about the Lehigh’s work in Ghana, and:

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