Taking critical dialogic accountability into the field: Engaging contestation around microfinance and women's empowerment

Publication Name

Critical Perspectives on Accounting


This paper mobilises Dillard and Vinnari (2019) proposals for critical dialogic accountability practices that address the concerns of marginalised and under-represented groups, rather than privileging finance capital. We approach this through participatory fieldwork with(in) an NGO that provides development programs, including microfinance, intended to empower poor women in Bangladesh. We engage with microfinance representatives, women borrowers, their husbands, program volunteers and gender change activists on the problems and conditions of possibility associated with microfinance and women's empowerment programs. By engaging competing discourses and constructing counter-narratives, based on poor women's lived experiences with neoliberal microfinance programs, we demonstrate the potential of critical dialogic praxis to support marginalised groups’ struggles to hold powerholders accountable for their (in)actions and to promote more enabling development approaches.

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Article Number


Funding Sponsor

University of Wollongong



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