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International Economic Problems

  1. Create an account on Kiva if you don’t already have one
  2. Click on Lend. You will be presented with a long list of potential microfinance loans to make. You can narrow your search by country, gender, sector, group/individual lending, etc.
  3. Search for a loan in your country. If you cannot find one in your country that you think is worthy of funding, search for a loan either in a neighboring country or one that is at a similar level of development.
  4. In making your decision, you should consider not only the needs and performance of the borrower, but also the field partner that will be managing this loan. Each loan page will have a link that gives you more information about the field partner. Kiva has ratings on these field partners in terms of subjective measures of social performance as well as quantitative financial information
  5. You have the option of making a loan or not. If you want to make a loan, go ahead and lend $25 (or more if you want). You will have the option of donating to Kiva’s operations, though this is optional (you will have to opt out). If you would rather not make a loan, that is fine. You will still complete this project as though you did make the loan (no extra points for actually lending money).


  • Write a brief summary of the loan that explains how much is being borrowed and what the money will be used for. You will go into much more detail on this in the next assignment, so a very brief summary is fine here.
  • Analyze the field partner (i.e. the microfinance institution that will actually administer the loan).
    • On the right side of the loan page, the field partner is listed. Click on the arrow to expand the information and then click on the link that says “More about X” where X is the name of the field partner
    • What is the stated mission of the field partner?
    • How long has the field partner been in operation and has Kiva reported any notable status changes?
    • What is their risk rating? What are their rates of delinquency and loans at risk? What is their default rate? Do they charge interest and fees? What is their average cost to borrowers? What is their average profitability?
    • After collecting the data above, compare these numbers to other field partners on Kiva (scroll down and you should see a table with data for your field partner and aggregate figures for all field partners). Is your field partner safer or riskier than average? Do they charge borrowers more? Are they more profitable?

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