Recently, a group of college students from Haverford College decided to explore the factors that determine where microfinance institutions (MFI’s) locate their branches. They narrowed their focus to Uganda and researched branch locations across Uganda’s 100 districts using a directory of MFI branches in Uganda published by the Association of Microfinance Institutions of Uganda. (via themix.org)
What factors were associated with branch development? Does location or population density have anything to do with the development of these branches? What about the availability of fresh water or easy access to roadways/waterways?
After researching, here is what the group found: Highlights include
- MFI’s locations are not uniformly distributed
- MFI’s locations tend to be in areas of greater population density
- Some areas of medium population densities largely comprised of poor households have concentrations of MFI branches, but others do not
- Past conflict areas may be associated with low levels of MFI branch locations
- Infrastructure can be important. Branch locations often follow roads. Areas with poor infrastructure, for example, low availability of safe water, have low concentrations of MFI branches.