Impact assessment of Village Community Bank (VICOBA), a microfinance project : Ukonga Mazazini

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Southern New Hampshire University
Generally it is accepted that Impact Assessment (IA) is a critical element in further improving micro-finance services and promoting innovation. Also existing impact assessments have made an important contribution to understanding some of the complex interactions between microfinance interventions, livelihoods and different dimensions of poverty reduction and empowerment (Linda Mayoux 2001). The impact assessment of VICOBA Project has mainstreamed the research process and resulted into findings which shows the importance of this model in reducing poverty to vulnerable and economically active poor especially women. The strength of VICOBA project model has been revealed in various areas including:- -Favourable joining and loan acquisition procedures and acceptable interest rates. -Gender inclusiveness and gender roles in the groups -Capacity building to empower the participant to adequately meet the economic challenges of the business sector. -Low level of dropout from the project. -Increases the members' income levels, wider impact in case of availability of matching loan in time and spillovers/externalities. -Easier to manage and achieve sustainability in credit provision and the participants' income generating activities. However VICOBA project has been operating and expanding in terms of capital and activities and also the number of members interested to join the project. However the environment it operates lacks direct inclusiveness of the Tanzania Microfinance Policy. (Author abstract)