Livelihoods

The Dalai Lama, in his Compassion or Competition?, said that “The world has also learned that economic growth, by itself, cannot close the gap between rich and poor.” The final goal, then, of any economic program cannot be restricted just to monetary gains but also overall increases in quality of living. The research conducted at the Center for Microfinance is intimately connected with this belief. Researchers at CMF are not just concerned with what people think will be better, rather scientific experiments are conducted with the final goal of increasing the general livelihood of those concerned. Livelihoods research is not only concerned with the program itself, but also with its implementation: for example are earmarked funds reaching constituents or does government corruption prevent actual benefit? This research supports the claim that poverty action cannot be contained as an economic experiment, but must also account for social and cultural factors such as social and migrant networks.