Kiva updates and comments

June 20, 2006 at 3:26 pm

I think in my mind I was a lot harsher on Kiva when it opened than what I actually wrote here.  But Kiva has expanded (it's partenered with NGOs in Bulgaria, Cambodia, and Palestine, amongst others) which means that increasingly NGOs in these countries are starting to work in the opposite way they traditionally have, they're taking the people around them's ideas and investing in. A similar philosophy has inpsired the Acumen fund and others recently. My original problem was the limitation of scope Kiva seemed like a bit of a moral washing exercise in which the profile and journal of someone was listed, but the archecture of Kiva seemed to ensure that it would limit the number and hence effectiveness of your money to a few individuals. It was in another words, a kinda selective sponsoring of people. My second problem was that it's not a real bank, after all actual growth often comes from the ability of local institutions to further growth. The later problem is something that will probably be answered by an increase in business (a problem that Kiva is obviously helping) the former problem seems to be going away. As the number of partners expands, Kiva is beginning to operate like any other loan organization, it has offices and takes applications and then the lender evaluates the client. I know this might seem cold, but I'm just trying to break it down to it's component parts.

The folks behind Kiva are also training people to be able to post to Kiva with out an agent getting in the way. In one video on their incontext blog, it shows them training people how to get e-mail, and then register for Kiva. One thing that does strike me about this example is that is e-mail needed? After all cell phones are far more popular and cheaper than computers and internet access. In other words, could someone register for kiva, put in their mobile number, and then just return an SMS to verify that the number they entered is their number? The user could then text message in their own loan or be alerted by SMS when their loan is approved.  Additionally, they could then SMS loans for individuals in their area, and then a picture could be snapped when they come to pick up the loan. Anyway, new businesses are now available for your philantrophic needs. I'm starting to like this service more and more as I browse both it's failures and sucesses.

Kiva Tag Micro_finance

Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

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