Monday, October 23, 2006

Micro Banks and Development

One of the problems with different perspectives on problems and proposing new solutions to long-term issues is that there is no experience to indicate if they will work and tremendous resistance to change that alters existing approaches (even when those approaches are not working). Moreover, when an idea or solution is counter-intuitive to axiomatic constructs, the barriers to their adoption can be huge. It is gratifying then when new solutions are put into place despite "official" scepticism and even more gratifying when those approaches become the new standard for implementation.
One such example is discussed by Llosa, who looks at the success of the Grameen Bank, which has shown a radically different and successful way to move people from the very bottom of the poverty ladder, up a few rungs on their way to development and prosperity.
Contrast this with the fraud perpetrated by the co-opting of the Lonelygirl15 character to hype the stasist perspective on development, poverty reduction and the continued need for bureaucratic intervention in the development process. The good sign is that the power of the internet is such that this type of media exploitation is exposed rapidly and that the majority of web-based information consumers are savvy enough to see through such attempts at manipulation.