Microfinance in the Brahmaputra-Jamuna Chars: The Context, the Providers and Way Forward

Informal financial sources dominate the financial landscape of the char areas in ways distinct from the mainland areas of rural Bangladesh. Microfinance in the char areas has not even scratched the surface of the first and basic microfinance challenge – outreach. However, the challenges of expanding outreach and developing innovative products and delivery mechanisms go hand in hand in the char areas, in a way that is distinct from the general mainland rural Bangladesh. This is because investments in a core product and methodology experimentation that works, for the most part, in mainland rural Bangladesh were already undertaken by Grameen and other microfinance pioneers, such as BRAC and ASA. This is not the case for the char areas. Good microfinancing in the char areas would involve significant investment in building knowledge and capacity. The primary objective of the study is to understand the dimensions and dynamics of demand for financial services in the Chars. The second objective of the study is to map the current financial landscape in the chars, in terms of types of financial services, and their performance. The study is based on charland microfinance provision in two char predominant districts of Northern Bangladesh-Kurigram and Gaibandha.

Authors: Matin, Imran; Hassan, M. Emrul; Maniruzzaman, Md
Type: Report
Year: 2002