The move to living more of our lives on our screens presents us with charitable opportunities online. Helping others through microfinance may be an effective way to bring about positive transformation in the lives of others, but sometimes aspects of online lending programs that are invisible to us, such as high interest rates, negatively affect borrowers. In this essay I provide a brief overview of microfinance and discuss why responsible lending is essential, using two online microfinance institutions as examples. I conclude by proposing a guide for lending intelligently and responsibly online. (http://digitalud.dbq.edu/ojs/index.php/character/article/view/18)
This article critically examines the visuals and texts on Kiva.org, using race in cyberspace and the notion of the subaltern as theoretical frameworks (Nakamura, 2002, 2008). The imbalances of the past still exist in digital forms on the Internet. This article argues that, although organizations like Kiva seek to promote social change in low- and middle-income countries, the Web 2.0 technologies they use generate some of the same inequalities they seek to address. These inequalities question the development and social change characteristic of these digital technologies. The study concludes that, although the empowered appear to speak on sociofinancial networks like Kiva.org, paradoxically, their voices are silenced through the same Web 2.0 technologies used to empower them.
Link to full article: http://www.tandfonline.com/eprint/kZmtQIYBcSSRacfuEZUi/full