Michael O'Connor is currently a senior lecturer in the accounting and financial management subject group at Portsmouth Business School. His professional background has included working as a consultant with Arthur Andersen and KPMG. This was followed by a length of time based in Russia together with experience gained in Central Asia and China, largely in developing local education businesses and partnerships. He graduated from the European Microfinance Programme in 2013 and has a general research focus linked to the use of technology in delivering increased transparency and efficiency in microfinance.
Joana Afonso is a PhD candidate at the Portsmouth Business School. She became involved with microfinance in Portugal where she was a microcredit officer and trainer at ANDC (Portuguese NGO) for seven years. In 2013 she completed the European Microfinance Programme at the Université Libre de Bruxelles (Belgium). Her research has been focusing on microfinance field practices and on evaluation methodologies and has involved fieldwork in the Dominican Republic, Pakistan and Zimbabwe. She has published in the Journal of International Development and co-authored a chapter in the books “Crises of Microcredit” (Zed Books, 2015) and “Islamic Microfinance – Shari’ah compliant and sustainable?” (Practical Action, 2017).