The Pledge: ASA, Peasant Politics, and Microfinance in the Development of Bangladesh 1st Edition
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"Stuart Rutherford is the single most astute observer of how microfinance really works."--Thomas Easton, Asia Business Editor, The Economist
"This insightful and powerful book about ASA, one of the world's great microfinance institutions, gives a rare view into the real world of microfinance. With his deep knowledge of Bangladesh, microfinance, ASA, and the economics of poverty, Stuart Rutherford uses a variety of perspectives to show how ASA developed and how millions of poor people benefit. The Pledge reveals, at multiple levels and over a 30-year period, the stages of ASA's development. And it does this in astute juxtaposition with the changing environment of Bangladesh, one of the poorest countries in Asia. This book is a gem."--Marguerite S. Robinson, author of The Microfinance Revolution
"Stuart Rutherford's The Pledge is an outstanding contribution to the microfinance literature. ASA is generally accepted to be the most efficient and successful microfinance institution in the worl--and therefore worthy of careful study. There are few authors able to capture the complex nuances and issues of microfinance and write on them with such entertaining clarity...and Rutherford is particularly well placed to document ASA's story, as he has worked with the organisation for nearly two decades. The Pledge provides valuable insights and will be one of the top five 'must read' books for anyone and everyone interested in microfinance."--Graham A. N. Wright, Programme Director, MicroSave
About the Author
Stuart Rutherford is the founder of SafeSave Bangladesh, an organization that provides reliable basic banking services, profitably, to poor men, women, and children in Dhaka. He became interested in how poor people manage their lives and their money as a result of working in developing countries as an architect and then for NGOs. From this perspective he became involved in microfinance as a practitioner (in Bangladesh), teacher, consultant, and writer. He is the author of The Poor and Their Money (Oxford University Press, 2000) and is an Honorary Senior Fellow at the Brooks World Poverty Institute at the University of Manchester, UK. He lives in Japan.
- Publisher : Oxford University Press; 1st edition (February 2, 2009)
- Language: : English
- Hardcover : 256 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0195380657
- ISBN-13 : 978-0195380651
- Item Weight : 14.1 ounces
- Dimensions : 8.3 x 1.1 x 5.4 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #5,181,983 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Shafiq answers in his own words what MFI problem keeps him up at night. Personal backgrounds of high level management are revealed. Mistakes are admitted. Rutherford takes up this exercise with more diligence and objectivity I've seen in any other book. The historical beginning is slow but once ASA moves into double digit year on year growth the text really picks up.
I was impressed to see ASA's principal of transparency holds with so much integrity even in international publications.
As a student of microfinance I was familiar with ASA, but only in general terms. To deepen my understanding of the Bangladesh microfinance field, I acquired a copy of "The Pledge", which is actually an updated version of an earlier account of ASA by Rutherford, titled "ASA: The Biography of an NGO". I was familiar with Rutherford's writing in this and some of his earlier works ("The Poor and Their Money) and was impressed with the clarity and concision of the information he conveyed there. As such, I had similar hopes for "The Pledge".
In all regards, Rutherford did not disappoint: "The Pledge" is extremely detailed, yet very accessible for readers who are not microfinance or development specialists. The author weaves a vivid tale of Bangladesh's history, traditions of peasant activism, war of independence, and microcredit culture with rich personal accounts and experiences of key ASA founders, staff members, and clients. The result is an in-depth journey from ASA's humble beginnings as a "conscious-raising organization" to its current form as practically a modern bank, with millions of dollars in assets and operations in over a dozen countries.
The defining attributes of this book are the level of detail and the human face Rutherford gives to ASA's history. The author is very well informed about many of the minute aspects of Bangladesh and ASA's development, much of which could only have come from his years of involvement in the sector. But this book is much more than just a collection of facts - interspersed throughout are stories of individual borrowers and ASA workers, which really help the material come alive and create a connection with the reader. Combined, this approach creates a highly readable book that is both interesting and informative.
I would not hesitate to recommend this for anyone who wishes to know more about ASA, or microfinance and Bangladesh's development history in general. It is very well written and conveys the subject matter with ease and skill.