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Indiana University Northwest

Office of Marketing and Communications

IU Northwest forum delivers public affairs research to professionals

May 4 session to focus on microfinance initiatives as alternative strategies in poor communities


Media Contact

Emily Banas
Office of Marketing and Communications

Erika Rose
Office of Marketing and Communications

The School of Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA) at Indiana University Northwest has introduced a new opportunity for academic researchers and working professionals to put their collective knowledge to work for the betterment of practice in the community.

The next session of the Spring 2012 Research Forum is scheduled for 12 p.m., Friday, May 4 in the Dunes Medical/Professional Building, Room 2134. Assistant Professor of Public Affairs Atta Ceesay, Ph.D., will address the use of microfinance initiatives as alternative strategies to sustain development and growth in poor communities.

By using a sample of 24 randomly selected microfinance institutions, Ceesay investigated whether the institutions have the right capacities in place to carry out their mission of delivering needed microfinance services to the poor. Ceesay’s findings revealed that microfinance institutions present a number of limitations that affect their ability to effectively prevent fraud, track data and deliver reliable services. During her presentation, Ceesay will also provide recommendations to make microfinance institutions and their initiatives more reliable and effective.

Immediately following Ceesay’s discussion, at 1:30 p.m., Melissa Bowen, a SPEA student, will discuss unfair labor practices and how they yield low employee morale. She will provide recommendations on helping future generations of service workers in the food-service industry demand proper treatment, training and fair wages.

The research forum is relevant to such professionals as judges, prosecutors, re-entry coordinators, law enforcement, employers and all types of agency professionals.

For more information about SPEA’s Spring Research Forums, contact Monica Solinas-Saunders at (219) 980-6661 or