Topic: Getting Ahead with Almost Nothing: What Immigrant Communities Can Teach Us About Achieving the American Dream
Jeffrey Ashe is a Fellow at the Carsey School of Public Policy, University of New Hampshire, Research Fellow, Global Development and the Environment, Tufts University. Through March 2013 Jeff led Saving for Change at Oxfam America which grew to703,000 Savings Group members in Mali, Senegal, Cambodia, El Salvador and Guatemala. By training groups of about 20 to save, lend to each by the thousands these groups provide a better way to save and lend at a small fraction of the cost and complexity of financial institutions. Jeff previously founded and led Working Capital for several years this country’s largest microfinance initiative honored by President Clinton at the White House. While at Acción International he directed the PISCES studies, the first worldwide study of microfinance and introduced group lending with this model replicated worldwide. He has consulted to microfinance projects in more than 30 countries. Through Carsey Jeff is bringing Savings Groups to the USA building on immigrant savings circles, introducing savings groups through Conditional Cash Transfer programs in the Dominican Republic as he launches research on the long term survival of these groups. His book In Their Own Hands: How Savings Groups are Revolutionizing Development published by Barrett Koehler has been well received. He teaches microfinance at Columbia and Brandeis Universities.