Questions have always been raised on the basic intent of micro finance, not just by critics but even by its supporters. Is it a tool for financial inclusion or a route to economic development or a mechanism for improving quality of life and social empowerment? In-spite of several studies, especially in the recent years by various entities, the findings indicating positive economic and social impact in the lives of Microfinance clients have not been found acceptable for want of statistical rigour. The latest Impact Assessment study on Ujjivan by Delphi Research Services and Case Studies by Social Performance Task Force, Michael & Susan Dell Foundation and Harvard Business Review provides clear empirical evidence that well managed microfinance meets all three objectives.
Delphi Research Services conducted an exhaustive Baseline Survey in 2010, Round 1 of the 'Impact Assessment Survey', as part of Ujjivan's Social Performance Management Program. The survey was designed to capture data relating to various socio-economic and quality of life indicators that would enable monitoring and tracking of changes in the overall well-being of Ujjivan customers occurring over a 3-year period. Round 2 of the survey conducted in 2013. Overall data from Round 2 indicated a marked improvement in the lives of a majority of the active customers as detailed in the report.
Various independent research institutes and Govt of India entities including Planning Commission of India and Ministry of Finance provided technical reports on micro finance Industry and reforms of financial sector. These reports described pragmatic evidences on outreach of micro credit, its impact on financial inclusion and social performance, prevailing challenges and the way forward for the sector.
Micro Finance Institutions Network (MFIN), a Self-Regulatory-Organization, has been publishing "Micrometer" quarterly newsletter from June 2012. The Micrometer provides a statistical overview of the Indian Microfinance Industry from the data being collected from 43 MFIN member MFIs which an aggregated basis constitute around 85% of the microfinance business in the country (excluding SHGs).
These reports highlights the impact Ujjivan has made over the time. Clck on the blocks for detailed studies.