Friday, 13 July 2012

Dialogic Accounting: Microfinance & women's empowerment

Farzana Tanima's study explores competing economic and social logics and their implications for accounting/accountability systems through a participatory action research case study on microfinance and women’s empowerment in Bangladesh.

Here's an abstract of her research

Microfinance and Women’s Empowerment in Bangladesh: A Study of Competing Logics and Their Implications for Accounting and Accountability Systems

This study seeks to explore the issue of microfinance and women’s empowerment in Bangladesh, and its implications for accounting and accountability systems. This is a politically contentious topic.  There are debates about what exactly “women’s empowerment” means, how it fits with the other stated objectives of microfinance, how the success of microfinance should be evaluated, whether or not women are actually being empowered through microfinance initiatives, and concerns about the accountability of microfinance institutions (Kilby, 2006; Mayoux, 2002; Rahman, 1999).  My study examines these controversies drawing and building on Mayoux (1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002) and others’ work on the “competing logics” evident in microfinance theory and practice. In particular, it aims to compare and contrast “economic/commercial” and “social” logics and explore their implications for the way accounting and accountability systems are conceptualised and operationalised.  In recognition of the dominance of economic/commercial logics in traditional accounting, it also responds to calls to develop more multi-dimensional accountings and ways of operationalising proposals for more social accountability (Bebbington et al., 2007a,b; Brown, 2009; Dillard and Roslender, 2011; Dillard and Yuthas, forthcoming; Kilby, 2006, 2011; Kindon et al., 2007; Mayoux, 2002; Molisa et al., forthcoming).  Through a participatory action research case study, it focuses on the potential of dialogic accounting and accountability systems to address some of the problems and challenges identified in both the gender and development studies and accounting literatures.

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