Josh Weinstein

Fellows Blog Posts by Josh Weinstein

Mar 19, 2010

Josh Weinstein, KF9 Philippines

This week President Obama reminded the world that, despite its slow drift to the back pages of the newspaper, the crisis in Haiti is far from over.   What is the role of microfinance in the immediate aftermath of a natural disaster (the first 30 days)?   The short answer is that, under the circumstances, microcredit is less effective.  A prerequisite for microcredit is a functioning economy.  Goods and services need to be worth money for capital infusions to make a difference.  For example, an MFI lends money to a woman for the...

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Feb 12, 2010 PH Philippines

Josh Weinstein, KF9, Philippines

Last week I went to a town called La Castellana about an hour south of Bacolod to visit the NWTF branch there.  I was there to meet a handful of Kiva borrowers and interview them about the progress of their loan.  Over the course of two days, I met six women that currently have a loan with Kiva, and another four that I am going to post to the site this week.  La Castellana is a town in the mountains that is largely supported by agriculture.   It is also one of the major areas impacted by agrarian reform and home to some of NWTF...

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Feb 2, 2010 PH Philippines

By Josh Weinstein, KF9 Philippines

The happy couple.

This Kiva Fellows job is unique, in that it offers an endless supply of intellectual stimulation and satisfaction.  Every day, I learn something new about something interesting.  For the time being, what interests me most is microfinance.  My knowledge of microfinance prior to working with Kiva could be described as purely...

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Jan 24, 2010 PH Philippines

By Josh Weinstein, KF9 Philippines

I spent the last week with the research department touring the region, tagging along on a market research survey.  On the last day, we were driving through a coastal town when the paved road turned to dirt.  According to the driver and director of the research department at NWTF, when the road turns to dirt, you know you are headed in the right direction.  Sure enough, within a few minutes we reached a squatter community bustling with people.  (In the Philippines, the government protects squatters, and large communities spring up on other...

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Jan 10, 2010 PH Philippines

by Josh Weinstein, KF9 Philippines

How do you define poverty?   A basic needs index looks at whether (and to what extent) fundamental needs are fulfilled – food, water, shelter, clothing – and whether people have access to critical services – education, information (newspapers, etc.), sanitation facilities, healthcare, financial services.  This is an absolute poverty calculation, which uses a standard threshold that can be compared across countries and continents.  Another method is to use a national poverty line, usually a...

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Dec 10, 2009 PH Philippines

The road to the home of a Kiva borrower

by Josh Weinstein, KF9 Philippines

I spent the last three days in “the field,” a term used to describe the front lines of microfinance where the money is distributed to the clients of the MFI.  Beginning early Tuesday morning, I set out for the town of Valladolid, a rural municipality about 50 km from Bacolod City.  The road snakes along the coast through increasingly less urban communities, until reaching...

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