Kiva Confusion

Photo: Jared and Corin/flickr
Photo: Jared and Corin/flickr

The New York Times published an article on Sunday that highlighted a blog post by David Roodman, a research fellow at the Center for Global Development, that questioned the transparency of Kiva, a ‘microfinancing matchmaker.’

Kiva promotes itself as a middleman between microlending organizations and microborrowers. The problem, according to Roodman, was that due to how the microborrowers were showcased on the site, some donors believed that they were giving money directly to microborrowers and not to microlending organizations.

He also suggested that Kiva does not (or did not, since they’ve changed the wording on their site) do a good job in explaining the money path.

Over at Foreign Policy’s blog, Passport, Annie Lowery gives a great summary of the confusion about Kiva and the publicity surrounding that confusion, so I won’t go into that.

Since the issue seems to focus on the wording on the site, which is Kiva’s calling card, then the critcism is probably warranted. But if you want to learn more about Kiva and what it does, check out this ISN Podcast with Kiva’s Fiona Ramsey from June.