Microcredit Association in Uzbekistan

by Anonymous on 11/17/2004 · 3 comments

Microcredit method of financing has been hailed as a very efficient way of helping the poor not only in developing countires, but also in the most industrialized ones. This article says how international NGOs do this in Uzbekistan, and what positive results the system brings about.
Among others the article says:

She gave an example of the Shirinobod village of Nishan district, where a ROSCA group called Swallow operates. The group includes 10 girls who recently finished secondary school.

Each contributes $3 a month and every month two of them go to the provincial capital, Karshi, to study at the vocational training centre there for about $30. In the future, the girls are going to create a sewing workshop in their village, an intention worth emulating.

Everything is excellent, but I just cant agree with this excerpt from the article:

Earlier in April, CHF International conducted training under the family micro-credit project and after having learnt the necessary skills, local people began creating ROSCA groups on the ground.

“We organised activities in two southern provinces of the country and the results were successful,” Mark Granius, CHF International’s deputy head of the mission, told IRIN.

I cant agree with this, because this system of microcredit, especially on the family (or clan) level has been used in Uzbekistan at least for all the time I know myself, and without any international NGO telling or teaching locals how to do it.

Arguably, one of the biggest problems with the way of thinking of international organizations in developing countires is that they consider themselves more intelligent and knowledgable about everything than locals. It seems to me that this attitude is not only incorrect, but also counterproductive.

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– author of 49 posts on 17_PersonNotFound.

Education 2003–2004 Master Degree in Developmental Studies (DESS “Gestion et dynamisation du développement”), The University of Pierre Mendès France of Grenoble, France 1998-2003 Bachelor Degree in International Economics, The University of World Economy and Diplomacy of Tashkent, Uzbekistan Work Experience 05/2004-08/2004 Researcher, The Economic Mission of France in Istanbul, Turkey 04/2003-09/2003 Research assistant and Translator in the UNDP project UZB 01/04 on institutional reinforcement of the Higher School of Business under the President of Uzbekistan 01/2003-04/2003 Interpreter, International Department, The Higher School of Business, Tashkent, Uzbekistan 09/2002-01/2003 English Language Junior Editor at the Journal “International Relations, Law and Economy” of the University of World Economy and Diplomacy, Tashkent, Uzbekistan 06/2002-09/2002 Intern, CIS countries Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Uzbekistan

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Nathan November 17, 2004 at 5:31 pm

This is why I’m incredibly happy to have contributors from the region! You are soooooooo right to point out that microcredit has essentially been around for a long time in Uzbekistan. Of course, it’s the kind that doesn’t have a public relations budget and doesn’t solicit donations in the West, so we don’t hear much about it.

I had heard that mahallas sometimes act as a credit union, offering small amounts of credit. Is that the case?

Alisher November 18, 2004 at 7:08 pm

Maybe, but I have not yet heard about this. Usually, the rotating scheme described in the article is used among friends, or among family or relatives, or among neighbours with whom you have good relations based on deep mutual trust.
From the other side, there could be a point in institutionalising this informal microfinance, but I wonder if the formal way would be as efficient, at least now. It would mean needless buaurocracy, it will dehumanise the microfinance, that is the microfinance I am describing in Uzbekistan is not only a way of getting cheap money to buy things, but a certain form of social interaction, of mutual aid, of building trustful relationships. Most of the times, the social aspect has at least the same importance as the monetary one.

Madina Musaeva January 7, 2005 at 6:26 am

Dear Alisher, thank you for your notes on ROSCA article by IRIN News. Your were completely right pointing out, that the idea of ROSCA is not new in Uzbekistan. While implementing ROSCA, Community Action Investment Program had the objective of creating micro credit groups (traditionally called as “chernaya kassa”) in a more formalized form, accentuating on business development. If you have noticed, mostly all the groups have been spending these funds for improving their economical situation, having created own charter and regulations on making periodical contributions and lending decisions.
If you are interested, please, visit http://www.caip-suz.org for more information or contact me via e-mail.

Madina Musaeva,
Public Awareness Program Officer
Counterpart International

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