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REVISITING SOCIAL CAPITAL IN DEVELOPMENT: CAN GROUP-BASED MICROFINANCE REPRODUCE SOCIAL CAPITAL? A Case Study in Rural Cambodia

Iao Jörgensen, Jenny Ngaichan LU (2009) MIDM70 20091
LUMID International Master programme in applied International Development and Management
Abstract
Group-based microfinance programmes, based on trust and solidarity among members, currently dominate development policy and practice as the approach compensates for individual poor’s lack of material resources and market imperfections. Despite strong evidence of its social and economic impact, few researches take an in-depth, empirical look at how the group models manifest and create social capital. Applying social capital theory, this paper seeks to contribute to a better understanding of the social capital building aspect of group-based microfinance by analyzing empirical data from a CEDAC supported village saving project in rural Cambodia. The study asserts that group-based microfinance scheme can indeed bring positive changes to social... (More)
Group-based microfinance programmes, based on trust and solidarity among members, currently dominate development policy and practice as the approach compensates for individual poor’s lack of material resources and market imperfections. Despite strong evidence of its social and economic impact, few researches take an in-depth, empirical look at how the group models manifest and create social capital. Applying social capital theory, this paper seeks to contribute to a better understanding of the social capital building aspect of group-based microfinance by analyzing empirical data from a CEDAC supported village saving project in rural Cambodia. The study asserts that group-based microfinance scheme can indeed bring positive changes to social and gender relations beyond individual loans and savings. These changes are largely influenced by the type of social capital (norms, networks and trust) promoted by microfinance project’s social intermediation processes. The study reveals that group homogeneity and elite avoidance may not matter at all. The study further identifies that the social capital build up, especially where structural and institutional exclusion is addressed to harness all bonding, bridging and linking social capital, has the potential of enabling the poor and marginalized to participate and organize themselves in the community development and society transformation processes. (Less)
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author
Iao Jörgensen, Jenny Ngaichan LU
supervisor
organization
course
MIDM70 20091
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
Svay Rieng, Cambodia, collective action, microfinance, social capital, community saving, village saving, social network, social relations, empowerment, community development
language
English
additional info
I would like to express my gratitude to all those who gave me the possibility to realize this research project. I wish to thank Oxfam America and CEDAC for giving me the permission to study their project and for their valuable input and logistics assistance. I am indebted to the key informants of NGOs interviewed, CEDAC’s project staff and trainees in Svay Rieng and Kampong Cham as well as the members of the two savings groups and the villagers for their time and incredible hospitality. Special thanks are due to my interpreter for her professional service, and for being a wonderful companion, a cultural guide and an occasional motorbike driver during the field study.

I would like to thank the teaching and management staff of the Lund University’s Master program in International Development and Management (LUMID), especially my thesis supervisor, Dr Ellen Hillbom, for her stimulating guidance and encouragement during the entire course of writing this thesis. I am also obliged to my fellow LUMIDers from my thesis group and from the team in Phnom Penh for their moral support, and to a friend, Ayako, for her down-to-earth advice on conducting research in rural Cambodia.

I would also like to thank the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) for the scholarship to finance this study.
Last, but not least, I want to thank my husband, Johan. Without his understanding and support, I would not have been able to complete this thesis while doing a full-time job.
id
1432236
date added to LUP
2009-08-14 13:22:51
date last changed
2010-05-07 13:15:17
@misc{1432236,
  abstract     = {Group-based microfinance programmes, based on trust and solidarity among members, currently dominate development policy and practice as the approach compensates for individual poor’s lack of material resources and market imperfections. Despite strong evidence of its social and economic impact, few researches take an in-depth, empirical look at how the group models manifest and create social capital. Applying social capital theory, this paper seeks to contribute to a better understanding of the social capital building aspect of group-based microfinance by analyzing empirical data from a CEDAC supported village saving project in rural Cambodia. The study asserts that group-based microfinance scheme can indeed bring positive changes to social and gender relations beyond individual loans and savings. These changes are largely influenced by the type of social capital (norms, networks and trust) promoted by microfinance project’s social intermediation processes. The study reveals that group homogeneity and elite avoidance may not matter at all. The study further identifies that the social capital build up, especially where structural and institutional exclusion is addressed to harness all bonding, bridging and linking social capital, has the potential of enabling the poor and marginalized to participate and organize themselves in the community development and society transformation processes.},
  author       = {Iao Jörgensen, Jenny Ngaichan},
  keyword      = {Svay Rieng,Cambodia,collective action,microfinance,social capital,community saving,village saving,social network,social relations,empowerment,community development},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {REVISITING SOCIAL CAPITAL IN DEVELOPMENT: CAN GROUP-BASED MICROFINANCE REPRODUCE SOCIAL CAPITAL? A Case Study in Rural Cambodia},
  year         = {2009},
}