summary Micro?credit programmes have emerged as an antipoverty instrument in many low?income countries. They target the poor, especially women, with financial services to help them become self?employed in rural non?farm activities of their choice. In contrast, micro?credit programmes of the village banks supported by Accion International or Women’s World Banking provide financial services in response to market failures in which formal financial institutions failed to cater financial services to small? and medium?scale enterprises. No matter whether they are instruments for poverty reduction or market failure, micro?credit programmes practice financial intermediation for their targeted clienteles. The article reviews the methodologies practiced to evaluate micro?credit programmes, provides a unified framework for anlaysis, and discusses future research directions.