Claudine Emeott

Claudine is the Director of Strategic Initiatives. In this capacity she is focused on growing and deepening Kiva's impact, particularly through partnership with non-financial institutions working in agriculture, clean energy, education, health, and water and sanitation. Claudine joins Kiva after working in Nepal for a year, beginning with a Kiva Fellowship and concluding with consulting assignments for the Asian Development Bank and multiple microfinance entities. Prior to her year in Nepal, Claudine worked at a Chicago-based consulting firm, where she conducted financial and economic modeling, performed due diligence, and developed implementation strategies for urban development projects in underinvested communities throughout the Midwest. With more than seven years of experience in economic development, Claudine has worked on a range of projects both in the U.S. and abroad. Her sector expertise includes access to finance, affordable housing, and public-private partnerships, and her regional expertise centers on China and Nepal. Claudine holds a B.A. in East Asian Studies from Harvard College and a Master's in City Planning from MIT.

Fellows Blog Posts by Claudine Emeott

May 3, 2011 NP Nepal

By Claudine Emeott, KF14, Nepal

To sign off from my post as a Kiva Fellow with BPW Patan in Nepal, I thought that I would take a cue from Alexis Ditkowsky, who wrapped up her Fellows Blog contribution by leaving readers with a note that she wrote to lenders who have funneled loans to WDB in South Africa. Below is my own note to BPW Patan lenders, but the gratitude from the Kiva borrower featured below should be enjoyed by all.

Dear BPW Patan lenders,

As I wrap up my three-month Kiva Fellowship with BPW Patan in Nepal, I want to share a few highlights with you and thank...

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Apr 17, 2011 NP Nepal

By Claudine Emeott, KF14, Nepal

The last 15 years have produced a political roller coaster for Nepal: the 10-year Maoist Revolution and civil war (1996-2006); the brutal royal massacre at the hand of the Crown Prince (2001); the suspension of Parliament and martial law (2005); the abolition of the monarchy (2007); the formation of a republic (2008); and the ongoing battle to write and enact a constitution (time is ticking!).

Against this backdrop of political upheaval, Kiva’s local partner, BPW Patan, has not only maintained course as a women’s advocacy group and...

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Mar 17, 2011 NP Nepal

By Claudine Emeott, KF14, Nepal

On my first day of work at BPW Patan in Nepal, I took a quick look around the office and was amazed to find myself surrounded by almost all women. Granted, it is a small office — BPW occupies just one room — but the ratio of women to men is nonetheless striking. All of BPW’s full-time staff, including loan officers and accountants, are women. BPW’s entire board is made up of women with impressive and varied backgrounds, ranging from commercial bankers and university professors to a former Supreme Court Justice (she and...

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Feb 25, 2011 NP Nepal

By Claudine Emeott, KF14, Nepal

Over the last several months, the microfinance industry has come under considerable fire. These criticisms largely address reports emerging from the Indian state Andhra Pradesh, where the rapid growth of microfinance led to predatory lending and overindebtedness.

In Nepal, just across the border from India, I find myself contemplating the opposite problem: the slow growth of the microfinance sector in remote mountain areas.

On a clear day in Kathmandu, you can actually see the Himalayas from the city:

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Feb 6, 2011 NP Nepal

By Claudine Emeott, KF14, Nepal

Yesterday marked BPW Patan’s first microcredit fair, which gathered 50 of BPW’s women borrowers to showcase their products.

"Heartly" Indeed: BPW Lovingly and Proudly Showcases its Borrowers

BPW’s director, Urmila Shrestha, confided that this fair has been a dream of hers for the last two years, but she was nervous about pulling together the resources — both money and manpower — in order to...

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Jan 31, 2011 NP Nepal

By Claudine Emeott, KF14, Nepal

When I arrived in Nepal to begin work with Kiva’s local partner here, BPW Patan, the majority of tourists and trekkers had just cleared out, likely heading for warmer climates or at least easier living conditions — because, by most standards, winter makes life in Nepal rather challenging.

First, there is the cold. Yes, daytime temperatures reach the mid 60s, which is about 60 degrees warmer than the temperatures I gladly left behind in Chicago. But there is no central heat, and buildings are constructed of cement and marble...

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