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Micro Enterprise Development Network (MED-Net)

About this page

GiveWell aims to find the best giving opportunities we can and recommend them to donors. We tend to put a lot of investigation into the organizations we find most promising, and de-prioritize others based on limited information. When we decide not to prioritize an organization, we try to create a brief writeup of our thoughts on that charity because we want to be as transparent as possible about our reasoning.

The following write-up should be viewed in this context: it explains why we determined that we wouldn't be prioritizing the organization in question as a potential top charity. This write-up should not be taken as a "negative rating" of the charity. Rather, it is our attempt to be as clear as possible about the process by which we came to our top recommendations.

A note on this page's publication date

The last time we examined Micro Enterprise Development Network (MED - Net) was in 2010. In our latest open-ended review of charities, we determined that it was unlikely to meet our criteria based on our past examination of it, so we did not revisit it.

We invite all charities that feel they meet our criteria to apply for consideration.

The content we created in 2010 appears below. This content is likely to be no longer fully accurate, both with respect to what it says about Micro Enterprise Development Network (MED - Net) and with respect to what it implies about our own views and positions. With that said, we do feel that the takeaways from this examination are sufficient not to prioritize re-opening our investigation of this organization at this time.


Published: 2010

Background

The Micro Enterprise Development Network (MED-Net) is a microfinance bank in Uganda affiliated with the large charity World Vision.1 (For more information, see our overview of microfinance.)

Our investigations of Med-Net to date (details below) have not been able to answer what we consider key questions about an organization working in this area. These key questions include:

  • What is Med-Net's "true" repayment rate? (More on the "true" repayment rate on our blog)
  • What interest rates does Med-Net charge and how do these compare to other available interest rates?
  • How does Med-Net monitor clients' potential over-indebtedness? What steps do partners take to prevent potential intimidation of clients by loan officers?
  • What are Med-Net's dropout and retention rates? (More on the importance of dropout/retention rates on our blog)
  • What are Med-Net's methods for targeting the very poor, and can they demonstrate that they are successfully doing so?

Because we have not been able to answer the questions above, we cannot recommend Med-Net to donors.

Details of our evaluations

We reviewed MED-Net in late 2009 as part of our process to distribute $250,000 in funds to an economic empowerment organization in Sub-Saharan Africa. We identified MED-Net as a candidate through the process described in our overview of how we identified candidates for the economic empowerment grant.

Our review consisted of reviewing materials MED-Net submitted in response to our questions and a phone conversation and email correspondence Harriet Mulyanti, MED-Net CEO.

We believe that the documents MED-Net sent us did not adequately address our questions for microfinance charities. In particular, the documents MED-Net sent did not provide compelling evidence that it is working with poor clients.

Ms. Mulyanti asked that we keep the documents she sent us confidential. Interested donors should contact MED-Net directly.

Sources

  • 1.

    "Micro Enterprise Development Network (MED - Net) is a Micro-Finance Institution affiliated to World Vision Uganda. The principal activity of the company is provision of short-term loan facilities to rural urban micro, small and medium clients." Med-Net, "Financial Statements (2008)."