Refuge to Return: Operational Lessons for Serving Mobile Populations in Conflict-Affected Environments (microNOTE)

  • Date Posted: February 22, 2011
  • Authors: Timothy Nourse
  • Organizations: Chemonics International
  • Document Types: Primer or Brief
  • Donor Type: US Agency for International Development

For microfinance programs to become part of the permanent institutional fabric of an emerging post-conflict economy, loan recovery must be a key goal from the outset. This is hard to do with mobile populations, who may at any time literally walk away from their loans. Thus, many practitioners have concluded that it's usually best to work with relatively stable populations. Dave Larson (MBP Microfinance Following Conflict, Brief No. 4, 2002). This note provides a summary of the American Refugee Committee's operational lessons with microfinance programs for refugees of Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea. The note identifies challenges and opportunities faced in implementing microfinance programs for mobile populations affected by conflicts.