When we (rigorously) measure effectiveness, do we want accountability or learning? Update and dilemmas from an Oxfam experiment.

October 21, 2013

What use is a theory of change? 6 benefits, and some things to avoid.

October 21, 2013

Some feelgood for Monday morning. 500 Ugandan women entrepreneurs lipsynching to Jessie J.

October 21, 2013
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Can’t find that much info about it, but this video was made by a Dutch NGO called SYPO to publicise its microfinance crowdsourcing site, microbanker.com. There’s also a couple of youtube clips of the making of the video and the afterparty – which looks a lot of fun. The afterparty clip eased a few qualms (do all women speak enough English to fully understand the lyrics? Do 500 entrepreneurs really think ‘it’s not about the price tag’……) (h/t Mary Matheson)

Update: Duko Hopman from Sypo responds in the comments 


  1. Hi Duncan. I liked this video too. But also wondered what your take is on micro finance programmes? Do they actually work? Does Oxfam support giving people small loans like this and asking for them to be paid back?

  2. Nice and funny Video! But “fun-washing” doesn’t improve the usuries of microfinance institutions, not even if it is organized by crowdsourcing. I guess singing will have its limits vis-à-vis the high interest rate of annually 35%.

  3. Hi Duncan,

    Thanks for writing about our video! It was an incredible amount of fun to make. The core objective of the video was to promote our new website http://www.microbanker.com, on which sponsors can select and support individual business plans of women in Uganda. We practiced for the ‘lipdub’ for two weeks, and all the women who volunteered to participate learned and understood the lyrics. They do think it’s about the price tag – money is obviously important for them to support their families – but at the same time most of them thought the song was appropriate because they’re not asking for handouts, but rather just the opportunity to work for a better future themselves. An opportunity in the form of a loan, which they repay with interest. To Duncan’s comment – we’re actually doing a very thorough impact analysis right now, and will publish/share the results as soon as they come out in the next couple of months. But having worked with the women for many years, I’m convinced that microfinance, if done right, is an absolute condition to poverty alleviation. Even if it’s not the magic bullet all by itself, it’s extremely hard to grow out of poverty without proper financial services.

    Thanks again for the support and for sharing our message, and please contact us if you have any further questions!


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