Interrogating Microfinance Performance Beyond Products, Clients and the Environment: Insights From the Work of BRAC in Tanzania

  • Nicola Banks
  • Dan BrockingtonEmail author
  • David Hulme
  • Mathilde Maitrot
Original Article


The performance of microfinance organisations can depend on many factors. Current research emphasizes factors pertaining to clients, products, or broader environments, but researchers have paid less attention to the workings and internal systems of microfinance organisations. We explore how variation in performance within an organisation can alter the consequences of loans and their popularity among clients and potential clients. We illustrate with data from BRAC in Tanzania, where the arrival and rapid expansion of BRAC’s microfinance programme provides an apposite case study.


Microfinance BRAC Tanzania Organisational performance 


La performance des organisations de microfinance peut dépendre de nombreux facteurs. La recherche actuelle met l’accent sur les facteurs relatifs aux clients, aux produits ou aux environnements plus vastes. Mais les chercheurs ont accordé moins d’attention au fonctionnement et aux systèmes internes des organisations de microfinance. Nous explorons comment la variation de performance au sein d’une organisation peut modifier les résultats des prêts ainsi que leur popularité auprès des clients et des clients potentiels. Nous illustrons avec les données de BRAC en Tanzanie, où l’arrivée et l’expansion rapide du programme de microfinance de BRAC fournit une étude de cas pertinente.



The authors gratefully acknowledge the staff of BRAC Tanzania and BRAC International for allowing us to study their microfinance operations in Tanzania. We would also like to thank two anonymous reviewers and EJDR’s Editorial team for helpful feedback throughout the review and publication process. Nicola Banks gratefully acknowledges funding from ESRC (ES/K009729/1) under the Future Research Leaders scheme.


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Copyright information

© European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes (EADI) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nicola Banks
    • 2
  • Dan Brockington
    • 1
    Email author
  • David Hulme
    • 2
  • Mathilde Maitrot
    • 3
  1. 1.The University of SheffieldSheffieldUK
  2. 2.The University of ManchesterManchesterUK
  3. 3.The University of YorkYorkUK

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