MABS and IPA conduct symposium to share microfinance research results

Among the presenters in the research symposium were IPA President and Founder Dean Karlan and Country Director for the Philippines Rebecca Hughes.

Among the presenters in the research symposium were IPA President and Founder Dean Karlan and Country Director for the Philippines Rebecca Hughes.

MABS and the Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) conducted a Research Symposium on August 20, 2009 at the Orchid Garden Suites to discuss the results of recent IPA studies significant to the microfinance industry.

Over eighty representatives from 25 MABS participating banks, BPI, Microfinance NGOs and other participants attended the symposium, which included results of research efforts with MABS-participating banks and other microfinance institutions from around the world. IPA, a US-based non-profit research organization led by Yale Economist, Dean Karlan, applies randomized control test research techniques to develop and test solutions to address real-world problems faced by microfinance institutions in developing countries. In the symposium, IPA provided the participants with an overview of the rigorous methodologies it employs in its studies.

ipa-sympo2The symposium centered on joint research results conducted with MABS participating rural banks since 2002 to explore ways to more effectively and efficiently serve clients and customers with relevant savings and loan product services and features.  Professor Karlan and his team shared methods for using randomized control tests to develop new loan and savings products, improve marketing practices, make use of effective notifications via short message services (SMS), and improve client retention.