Economics and Finance

Our PhD students

Photo of Joana Afonso

Joana Afonso

  • Role Title: PhD student
  • Address: Richmond Building Portland Street Portsmouth PO1 3DE
  • Telephone: tbc
  • Email: tbc
  • Department: Economics and Finance
  • Faculty: Portsmouth Business School


Working Title: MFI outreach using poverty scorecards: leveraging the poor out of poverty


Microfinance emerged in the 1970’s as a result of the work of social entrepreneurs who believed that poor people when provided with productive loans that allow them to develop their own businesses can increase their household income and repay their debt. Considering that the main objective of microfinance is to improve poor people’s lives through financial inclusion it is important to track at field level if the programs and services actually target and reach the poor, and if there are really changes in their lives. Therefore, measuring outreach is crucial to support the position of microfinance as a relevant tool in poverty alleviation policies.

The ph.D project aims to analyse how significant measuring outreach using a poverty scorecard (PPI) may be for microfinance institutions that assume as their goal leveraging poor clients out of poverty. This implies validating PPI effectiveness by identifying poor clients at entry level and tracking clients’ progress. On a broader perspective it is also important to assess how it can be used to identify risks and needs associated to the clients, potentially leading to improvements in the existing programmes. The partnership between Portsmouth University and lendwithcare will allow to access data from different countries.

The project addresses a general topic that has been explored before (outreach measurement) but in a new perspective focusing on what can bring about the systematic use of poverty scorecards and, simultaneously, making the bridge between academics and practitioners in a way that both fields can benefit.