Skoll Centre Research Grant Recepients Announced!

We are pleased to announce the recepients of the Skoll Centre Research Grants.  This newly lauched scheme offers University of Oxford academics and researchers the opportunity to advance knowledge in the field of social entrepreneurship – with this year’s theme specifically focused on finance. It is an area timely and relevant to practitioners and academics alike.

We were so pleased to receive many other quality proposals from across disciples throughout the University. It is a promising sign that the scholary inquiry into finance for social and environmental advancement will only continue to grow and enrichen our understanding of its broad potential.

Congratulations to the recepients, and look out for next year’s research round in early 2012.

Dr Robert Hope, School of Geography and the Environment

Impact, implications and opportunities for mobile phone water payments in Sub-Saharan Africa
A comparative study of the financial and societal implications of water mobile payment initiatives. It will explore:

  • the degree to which mobile banking can boost revenue collection and strengthen the financial base of water service providers
  • the extent to which mobile payments can benefit poor households due the lowering of water payment transaction costs
  • the broader potential of mobile banking platforms to unlock new and innovative models of water provision for the unconnected urban and rural poor in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Sangamitra Ramachander, Department of International Development

Towards a Framework to Assess Credit Risk in the Group Lending Approach to Microfinance
The study aims to develop a tool for practical use in the assessment of credit risk among borrower groups.  It is basedon previous empirical work identifying the three major sources of credit risk in joint liability group lending:

  • risk at the individual level pertaining to socioeconomic status, financial history and family support toward group membershi
  • risk arising from the particular purpose of loan use such as for productive investments, consumption, home construction, repayment of other loans and so on and
  • risk relating to group dynamics – particularly, the mechanism of group formation and levels of group cohesiveness.

This study will incorporate these major sources within a single analytical framework.

Jonathan Greenacre, Law and Finance, Said Business School    

The Regulation of Micro-Banking Industries
This project aims to design a regulatory framework that can be used to  help regulate micro-banking industries.  It will explore whether the principals, rules, and institutions that regulate retail banking industries in developed countries can serve as a guide to build a “hybrid” model of regulation. It will then examine which types of institutions can effectively apply this hybrid model, with cases studies in Cambodia, Kosovo, and Fiji.