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This title challenges the microfinance industry to consider the range of development goals for which microfinance can be used. These include not only poverty alleviation through providing savings, credit and insurance services, but also promoting livelihoods, empowering women, building people's organizations and changing institutions. This book illustrates each of these from actual microfinance practice and explores the organizational challenges of combining such development goals with financial service provision. It provides comprehensive coverage of microfinance practice in India, which has developed numerous innovations, from new products for promoting livelihoods to structures for democratic governance. It includes: detailed analysis of "self-help groups"; comparisons with microfinance practice in Bangladesh; and contemporary methods of assessing performance and impact.