Volume 29 Number 4
Published: October 1, 1998
summary Impact assessment in micro‐finance has focused on the impact of services on users and the ability of the organisation delivering those services to sustain its operations into the future. However, a focus on building organisations capable of long‐term provision assumes that they will have a positive impact on the efficiency of the financial market. This is an assumption which impact assessment should also test but which has so far been neglected. Moreover, the search for a framework within which to undertake such an assessment must incorporate the complex array of social and political, as well as economic, relationships which financial markets embody. A fourfold analytical approach is proposed which can incorporate gender relations and which focuses on state involvement, market organisation, market structure and social embeddedness.