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Microfinance institutions during and after the pandemic: Assessing their support and the ensuing social and economic impact on programme beneficiaries 
Ahmad Nawaz (Lahore School of Economics)
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Asad Ghalib (Liverpool Hope University)
Fariya Hashmat (Lahore School of Economics)
Syeda Ayesha Subhani
Politics and political economy
Palmer G.01
Thursday 29 June, -, -, -
Time zone: Europe/London

Short Abstract:

Amidst longstanding debates on microfinance as a tool for poverty reduction and empowerment, the pandemic had a profound effect on these institutions in developing countries. This panel evaluates if, how and to what extent they supported their beneficiaries during and after the pandemic.

Long Abstract:

The outbreak of the pandemic resulted in a significant effect on microfinance institutions and their beneficiaries all across the world. Research has shown that more than two-thirds of the borrowers have had their livelihoods to be either completely shut down or severely impacted in one form or other by the pandemic.

Given the significant ensuing impact on borrowers' livelihoods, this panel invites empirical contributions that focus on aspects such as:

-How were beneficiaries impacted across various social and economic dimensions? We will be looking forward to contributions that capture short and long-term impact across both rural and urban areas.

-How did microfinance institutions respond to the pandemic? What sort of safety mechanisms did they put in place for their clients, if any? Were these sufficient and sustained? We welcome perspectives from practitioners and academics.

-A number of state-led initiatives across the world offered safety nets through cash and non-cash transfer programmes. We welcome contributions that carry out empirical assessments of how, and to what extent such interventions aid borrowers in sustaining their microenterprises.

-To what extent has the pandemic introduced new forms of governance and new political regimes in the management of microfinance?

We welcome contributions that look critically at the role of the various MFIs across the globe.

Accepted papers:

Session 1 Thursday 29 June, 2023, -
Session 2 Thursday 29 June, 2023, -
Session 3 Thursday 29 June, 2023, -