Banyan Global participated in a workshop hosted by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) that addressed women and climate change. Banyan Global's involvement fell under the aegis of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)-funded Expanded Agribusiness and Trade Promotion project. Banyan Global spoke about market approaches to integrating gender into agricultural value chains, as well as about the linkages between gender, agriculture, and global climate change.
The workshop, which ran from May 2225, 2012, included more than 25 gender and agriculture specialists from both ECOWAS and the ministries of agriculture of 10 of its member states. The first two days were devoted to presentations from the International Labour Organization (ILO), Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and individual country delegations. Technical specialists each summarized their country's recent initiatives relating to gender integration in agricultural value chains, recounting a variety of experiences, challenges, failures, and successes. Of particular interest to participants were techniques for collecting monitoring data and developing a more sophisticated understanding of how to design indicators that drive high-quality program activities. Banyan Global participated in these discussions, contributing insights garnered from experiences in Sub-Saharan Africa and globally.
Banyan Global facilitated the entire third day, which began with a discussion of program experiences in Southern and West Africa. Banyan Global described its market-development approach to gender integration, emphasizing the importance of identifying viable market opportunities for women in agricultural value chains. The participants discussed ways of engaging with the private sector to build on areas in which the participation of women is already recognized as adding value, as well as how to assist women to create their own space in a given value chain.
The afternoon was spent on a training focused on linkages between gender, agriculture, and global climate change. While most participants had a working understanding of global climate change, Banyan Global illustrated the projected impacts of it on West Africa, agriculture, and women and agriculture. Through a series of discussions, role-playing activities, and case study analysis, the training emphasized the likelihood that climate change would exacerbate existing vulnerabilities women face and that programming should place emphasis on helping agricultural communities be more efficient with resource use and contingency planning to prepare for the impacts of climate change. Above all, Banyan Global stressed that a voice for gender issues will be critical in crafting any climate change agenda. Participants stated that the training was extremely useful, and that they felt motivated to apply the lessons learned to their own work.
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID)/Georgia selected Banyan Global as the prime contractor to implement the longitudinal impact evaluation of the New Economic Opportunities (NEO) project. NEO works in some of Georgia's poorest communities to increase rural incomes, reduce poverty levels, improve food security, and address critical, small-scale household and agricultural water constraints in targeted communities. Additionally, NEO will enable targeted internally displaced persons to sustainably maintain their households and assist communities distressed by natural or other disasters. Banyan Global is proud to be teaming with Counterpart International and the United Nations Association of Georgia to implement this three-year evaluation to measure NEO's effectiveness and provide USAID and other stakeholders with important knowledge about economic growth programming in Georgia. The NEO project evaluation will be implemented as part of USAID's new evaluation policy and in line with USAID Forward.
The Réseaux des Transformatrice du Céréale du Faso (RTCF) is a key actor in building the capacity of and empowering women cereal processors in Burkina Faso. With a nationwide presence and more than 2,000 members, the RTCF promotes the professionalization of cereal processing, strengthening regional agricultural markets by connecting rural grain producers with urban consumers.
Through targeted activities such as training, quality control, promotional events, and trade fairs, RTCF helps its members to improve their production quantity and quality, packaging, marketing, and distribution. And via long-term relationships with its financial and technical assistance partners, RTCF also leverages financial support through small grants and loans.
A need for credit: To increase the efficiency and expand the scale of its members' cereal-processing businesses, RTCF has sought loans from local microfinance institutions (MFIs) to purchase agroprocessing equipment, such as grain dryers and mills. With funding needs ranging from $1,000 to $9,000, MFIs were hesitant to assume the risk of lending to RTCF members. A loan guarantee from long-term RTCF supporter Afrique Verte and a credit management training Banyan Global offered addressed this concern.
Tailored training: As part of the United States Agency for International Development-funded Agribusiness and Trade Promotion project, Banyan Global designed a one-day tailored training program to 45 RTCF members in three regions. Based on an assessment of the network's needs, Banyan focused its instruction on building the capacity of the members and network to better understand and manage credit.
Concepts and tools: After an overview of microfinance concepts and practices, the training presented simple tools for analyzing the costs and potential benefits of equipment loans; these women entrepreneurs analyzed their capacity to use the loans to grow their businesses and, in turn, reimburse the lender. The training also provided a framework for comparing loan terms and conditions. Finally, participants gained practical experience by role-playing being a loan officer and developed their own credit-management manual for selecting and administering loans.
Outcomes: With the pending disbursement of more than 30 new equipment loans, RTCF members are poised to rapidly increase the quality and quantity of their production. Through the provision of new tools to better manage their businesses and loan repayments, Banyan Global has empowered RTCF members to analyze credit from multiple perspectives. Increased revenue among RTCF members and increased institutional capacity within RTCF itself will measure the combined impact of this access to credit and technical support.
On June 14, 2011, Banyan Global spoke with Carla Koppell, newly appointed senior coordinator for gender equality and women's empowerment and a senior advisor to the administrator at the United States Agency for International Development. Dr. Koppell discussed her new role and the objectives of the Office of Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment (GenDev), the gender-empowerment index and its relationship to economic growth and food security, and revisiting USAID's gender policy. Read More>>
United States Agency for International Development administrator Rajiv Shah announced a new initiative that uses USAID's Development Credit Authority (DCA) guarantee and the U.S. Department of State's Office of the U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator to leverage private-sector financing for private health care businesses in Ethiopia that offer HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis services. Banyan Global was instrumental in identifying and developing this innovative public-private partnership. Banyan Global worked with USAID to design and structure the DCA guarantee with two banks in Ethiopia that could leverage up to $13.5 million in local financing. Shah said, "This agreement is a historic initiative and an outstanding example of U.S. government cooperation that could produce meaningful results in the fight against HIV/AIDS. By validating the strength of borrowers in the health sector, private financial institutions can make smart investments that could ultimately save more lives while sustaining country-led development and innovation." Through the DCA, USAID provides a partial credit guarantee, which shares risk with financial institutions and encourages them to enter new markets. This endeavor will be the first time that the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief funds have supported a DCA guarantee. Banyan Global will continue working in Ethiopia to support the use of the DCA by advising banks in lending to the private health sector and by building the business- and financial-management capacity of private health providers that offer HIV/AIDS and TB services. Banyan Global works in a number of countries to expand access to finance for the private health sector. Click here to read USAID's press release.
The First Global Conference on Social Franchising provided a forum for program managers, researchers, and leaders to share experiences about the franchising of private health care providers around the world. Representing the United States Agency for International Development's Strengthening Health Outcomes through the Private Sector project, Meaghan Smith, president and chief executive officer of Banyan Global, conducted a business training for social franchise managers. This training helped managers understand how limited business capacity and lack of financing impacts the services franchisees deliver, and it taught them strategies to address these constraints through case studies and practical exercises. The training also reviewed lessons learned from a pilot of the business training with BlueStar Social Franchisees in Malawi.
Janice Stallard, Banyan Global's vice president for economic growth, presented the findings from the Economic Strengthening Pathways for the Bottom Billion E-Conference at a Poverty Outreach Working Group training held at the SEEP Network's annual conference. Culminating from the discussion, a general consensus was raised on the need for
SEEP's Poverty Working Group will continue to address these issues in the coming year, with plans to develop an ES4VP wiki and website (as part of SEEP's site), and design training tools that consolidate current learning and best practices.
Representing the United States Agency for International Development's Strengthening Health Outcomes through the Private Sector project, Banyan Global's president and chief executive officer, Meaghan Smith, presented at the Financing Mechanisms for Expanding Healthcare Services workshop at the eighth annual U.S.Africa Business Summit. Panelists represented a variety of perspectives on health financing and discussed challenges and strategies to expand lending, equity, and other forms of capital to Africa's private health care sector. Panelists addressed a range of financing needs, including those of medical technology and equipment exporters and private health-service providers. The International Finance Corporation and Banyan Global highlighted concerns of international and local investors and banks about the health care sector, such as uncertain rates of return and the relatively small size of health-sector deals. They also identified success stories and opportunities for investing in the health sector in Africa.
Saving Lives at Birth: A Grand Challenge for Development, submitted a call to the global community for innovative prevention and treatment approaches that will benefit pregnant women and newborns in rural, low-resource settings around the time of birth. This partnership is supported by the United States Agency for International Development, the government of Norway, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Grand Challenges Canada, and The World Bank. More than 600 proposals were sent from non-governmental organizations, academic and medical research institutions, faith-based organizations, private companies, medical associations, and foundations. Seventy-five finalists were selected and invited to Washington, DC for a development exchange that assembled innovators, funders, and public-health experts to share ideas. Meaghan Smith, the president and chief executive officer of Banyan Global, trained these finalists on business planning to help them take their innovative solutions to saving lives and translate them into actionable plans that can be used to raise financing. The Saving Lives at Birth partnership expects to invest at least $50 million in groundbreaking and sustainable projects.
Banyan Global developed a flexible participatory training to meet the needs of projects, institutions, government agencies, and other learning communities interested in integrating gender considerations into economic-development initiatives. The training covers topics related to the role of gender in program design and implementation and addresses common gender challenges. This training has been rolled out with two United States Agency for International Development-funded African trade hub projects that are seeking to maximize project benefits for women as well as men and improve food security through regional trade.
The SEEP Network's Poverty Outreach Working Group held an e-conference, Economic Strengthening Pathways for the Bottom Billion: Connecting the Dots. This three-day online discussion solicited practitioner and donor insights on approaches to working with the very poor and identifying current innovations. Janice Stallard, Banyan Global's vice president for economic growth, was one of the lead writers for the e-conference final synthesis paper, which highlighted challenges around economic strengthening strategies for the very poor and identified strategies to address those challenges. The dialogue also opened the door for continued discussions on the need for a common economic strengthening for the very poor framework.
The USAID Strengthening Health Outcomes through the Private Sector (SHOPS) project advances private sector engagement in the sustainable provision and use of family planning, reproductive health, HIV/AIDS, and maternal and child health information, products, and services. This e-conference on access to finance is organized in partnership with the World Bank and the International Finance Corporation.
The theme of the SHOPS e-conference is expanding access to financial services for health care providers. Abstracts are being accepted now through January 21. We seek presentations that highlight innovations and best practices in the use of financial services (debt, equity, or leasing) to improve access to high-quality health services, products, and information. Initiatives that improve the ability of health care organizations to access and manage financing are also of interest.
Priority will be given to submissions that demonstrate innovation and viability, and have evaluation results to share. The conference welcomes abstracts that address various areas of health care, including prevention or treatment, and delivery of primary or specialist services and products.
Abstracts are limited to 450 words and should include the proposed session's learning objectives, your organization's description and partners, and key innovations and lessons. For more information please visit http://www.conferences.icohere.com/SHOPSA2F to review detailed guidelines and complete your submission.
Deadline for abstract submissions: January 21, 2011.
Banyan Global co-facilitated a three day USAID Speakers Corner on the topic of designing and implementing evaluations of poverty and conflict/fragility interventions. The Speakers Corner was the culmination of an eighteen month Grant Under Contract (GUC) in which Banyan Global developed and pilot-tested a survey tool designed to assess the impact of enterprise development and employment generation interventions on both poverty and conflict. Discussants included 102 individuals from 55 countries.
Key discussion points were raised each day, including tool design, indicator development and interviewing techniques. Participants shared design strategies to encourage more effective partnerships between academics and practitioners, and on reconciling research agendas with resource constraints and implementation objectives. The second day's discussion on indicators focused on the challenges of identifying and operationalizing indicators in conflict and fragile environments, and how to develop indicators that directly test a theory of change and causal model. The final day's discussion, facilitated by Banyan's Adina Saperstein, focused on designing and adapting evaluation tools in conflict and fragile environments. The three days of discussion was highly participatory and offered many practical solutions, examples, and lessons learned which will be summarized and posted through the USAID microlinks website www.microlinks.org.
Three Banyan Global staff membersMeaghan Smith, president and chief executive officer, Lisa Tarantino, senior associate, and Taara Chandani, associatewill represent Banyan Global at The Corporate Council on Africa's 2010 U.S. Africa Private Sector Health Conference, themed "Integrating Business Solutions for Expanding Access," October 4-6, 2010. The program will focus on critical public health priorities and challenges in Africa, and highlight commercially viable opportunities for the private sector to improve quality, expand access to care, increase systems efficiency, and generate sustainable financing solutions. Lisa Tarantino will moderate the closing plenary session entitled, How to Pay for It All? Addressing Access to Financing Bottlenecks. Meaghan Smith will serve as a panelist for this plenary session and will address the challenges posed to the private health sector's access to financing in Africa and ways to improve the financing of private sector health ventures for a more sustainable African health sector. Taara Chandani will represent Strengthening Health Outcomes through the Private Sector (SHOPS) Project in "The Vault," an interactive two day session to discuss financing opportunities for health business ventures in Africa. For more information on the conference, visit: http://www.cvent.com/EVENTS/Info/Summary.aspx?i=af5ff8f6-8405-49e0-9b6c-31d5e8619bd9
Lisa Tarantino, a senior associate with Banyan Global, will speak on the significance of access to finance for the private health sector and will moderate the USAID-funded Strengthening Health Outcomes through the Private Sector (SHOPS) Project's Network for Africa online conference on increasing access to finance to expand the private sector in Sub-Saharan Africa. The Webinar will update Sub-Saharan African governments, international donors, investors, and private sector stakeholders on the importance of finance for the growth of the private health sector, discuss the current barriers to accessing finance, and present African initiatives that have successfully increased access to finance for the private health sector. The Webinar will be comprised of pre-recorded presentations delivered by a range of private health sector and finance experts from multi-lateral development banks, commercial banks, the donor community, and the private health sector. Meaghan Smith, president and chief executive officer of Banyan Global will discuss the barriers to increasing access to finance and Taara Chandani, associate with Banyan Global, will present on key success factors for expanding lending to the sector as well as the Uganda experience. Presentations will be supplemented by a resource center including technical briefs, videos and presentations, as well as live chats facilitated by presenters, allowing participants to ask the experts questions on their presentations and to share experiences and challenges in accessing finance. All are welcome to participate in the webinar by registering at: http://www.conferences.icohere.com/finance.
In June 2010 Adina Saperstein, an associate with Banyan Global, participated in the revision of the Small Enterprise Education and Promotion Network's Minimum Standards for Economic Recovery after Crisis. The standards focus on strategies and interventions to promote enterprises, employment, cash flow, and asset management in affected businesses and households in emergency, post-crisis, and economic recovery contexts.
Meaghan Smith, president and chief executive officer of Banyan Global contributed a chapter to Igniting the Power of Community: The Role of CBOs and NGOs in Global Public Health published by Springer. This book introduces readers to the pursuit and potential of community-based organizations and nongovernmental organizations (NGO) to transform global public health. At a time of enormous challengeseconomic crises, social inequalities, environmental stressors, and emerging health threatsthese organizations are driving change, often being the first to call attention to an issue and increasingly forging significant and sustainable solutions. Meaghan's chapter, The Importance of Sustainability in International Public Health NGOs, focuses on social entrepreneurship and NGO sustainability. Click here to learn more.
Taara Chandani, an associate at Banyan Global, will share results and lessons from a partnership that was developed in Uganda under the United States Agency for International Development-funded Banking on Health project to increase access to professional medical training for aspiring health workers. Banyan Global facilitated a partnership between Equity Bank and Mayanja Memorial Training Institute to develop an innovative education loan for nursing students to enroll at the institute with the aim to expand the workforce of trained health care professionals in the region.
Kim McKeon, an associate at Banyan Global, will have a poster presentation at the Global Health Conference in Washington DC. She will present findings from a market research study in Zambia on the private health sector and demonstrate how the study was used to expand investment in that sector. The market research study was conducted in June 2007 in five provinces of Zambia and surveyed 432 registered private health practices. Its objectives were to provide financial institutions with market data to expand interest in the health sector and for new loan-product development. It also was designed to provide information for developing business training for providers and to help inform government policies. Zambia has a human-resource problem and growing employment opportunities in the private health sector can give health providers an alternative to leaving the country. Out of 199 providers who participated in the business training, 34 percent applied for financing of which 82 percent were successful in obtaining loans.
Banyan Global conducted two gender mainstreaming workshops for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)-funded Agribusiness and Trade Promotion project and the Expanded Agricultural Trade project (E-ATP) in Accra and Ouagadougou in West Africa. These projects develop regional value chains for staple commodities and facilitate trade from surplus to deficit areas of the region. The Accra training targeted the projects' management and administrative staffs, while the Ouagadougou training focused on the projects' technical teams, including value chain leaders and other technical specialists in finance, transport, and market information. Both trainings were designed to be highly participatory and were based heavily on USAID's approach to gender and value chain development as articulated in the Greater Access to Trade Expansion framework. The trainings introduced USAID's rationale and requirements for gender mainstreaming, familiarized staff with gender mainstreaming terms and concepts, introduced key gender issues in E-ATP value chains, and provided an opportunity for the staffs to apply the gender and value chain development framework to the rice value chain.
Meaghan Smith, president and chief executive officer of Banyan Global, appeared as a guest speaker on January 11, 2010, at a Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health graduate course on the role of non-governmental organizations (NGO) and community-based organizations in improving public health. Presenting a chapter she wrote for a recently published book Igniting the Power of Community, Meaghan spoke about social entrepreneurship and NGO sustainability. Select this link for more information.
Adina Saperstein, an associate with Banyan Global, presented the firm's work linking enterprise development with conflict mitigation and poverty reduction at the SEEP Network's Annual General Meeting. Adina participated on a panel of three grantees under the United States Agency for International Development office of Microenterprise Development's Strengthening Evaluation and Assessment of Poverty and Conflict/Fragility Interventions Grant Under Contract (GUC). The five grants each aim to develop monitoring, evaluation, and assessment tools and methodologies to explore the impact of economic-opportunity programming on poverty and conflict dynamics. Adina presented Banyan Global's approach to developing baseline and final assessment tools aimed at assessing the impact of entrepreneurship support and employment-generation interventions on poverty and conflict dynamics among employees of the supported enterprises, as well as their households and communities. The panel members described current progress, methodological approach, and next steps in the 18-month project.
The United States Agency for International Development-funded Banking on Health project hosted its end-of-project conference on September 10, 2009 at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. Over the past five years Banyan Global was the technical lead of the project. Banking on Health worked in 12 countries to expand access to financing for private health care businesses, improving their capacity to deliver high-quality reproductive health and family planning services. The conference brought together banks, microfinance institutions, and private health care providers from several countries to discuss programming, lessons learned, and key results.
Taara Chandani, an associate at Banyan Global, gave a presentation on an innovative education-loan product for nursing students the firm helped to develop in Uganda. Banyan Global brokered a partnership between Equity Bank and the Mayanja Memorial Nurse Training Institute in Western Uganda to bridge an immediate financial barrier for nursing students to join a diploma course and help them to secure their future livelihoods as health care professionals. The presentation was part of a special event titled Focus on Youth inclusive Financial Services at the Global Youth Enterprise Conference organized by Making Cents International.
Banyan Global is excited to announce the opening of its Washington, DC office. Banyan Global also has an office in New York City, with staff and long-term consultants located in a number of countries, including Afghanistan, Georgia, Zimbabwe, and Zambia.
Banyan Global Washington DC
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Meaghan Smith, Managing Partner of Banyan Global, appeared as a guest speaker on January 12, 2009, at a Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health graduate course on the role of non-governmental organizations and community-based organizations in improving public health. Presenting a chapter she wrote for a forthcoming book, Meaghan spoke about social entrepreneurship and NGO sustainability. The book will be published by Springer in late 2009.
Mayada El-Zoghbi, managing partner at Banyan Global, will lead a live web-based conference on how microfinance has contributed to broader economic recovery issues such as conflict resolution, integrating marginalized groups and achieving short-term impact gains quickly while building longer-term economic development. The event will also feature representatives from several financial providers in Afghanistan, Burundi and Nepal which participated in a series of case studies supported under the Accelerated Microenterprise Advancement Project.
On behalf of the Banking on Health project, Lisa Tarantino, an associate with Banyan Global, will give a presentation titled Public or Private: Options for Improving Sustainability. The presentation will show the results of Banking on Health's activities that support the financial sustainability and improvement of family doctor's practices in Romania. Research results, the factors contributing to the successful contracting of public health and reproductive health services, and applicability to other countries will be discussed.
Mayada El-Zoghbi, managing partner at Banyan Global, presented results of an evaluation of the First Microfinance Bank of Afghanistan (FMFB-A) at the annual International Finance Corporation's (IFC) FinNet meeting. The evaluation included a review of FMFB-A's institutional and financial performance, a global benchmarking study of its performance in relation to other microfinance institutions in conflict-affected countries, a review of the IFC's monitoring and evaluation systems for microfinance investments and advisory services and an impact study of FMFB-A's clients as compared to non-clients. Ms. El-Zoghbi discussed key lessons from this evaluation that are relevant for other IFC advisory services and investments in conflict affected countries.
Taara Chandani, an associate at Banyan Global, presented results of the private health sector trade fairs in Uganda, which are organized as part of the USAID-funded Banking on Health project. The fairs are one-stop marketplaces for health providers (such as midwives, nurses, doctors, and drug-shop owners) to access financing and other business inputs for their health practices. Ms. Chandani discussed strategies for sustaining these forums through commercial sponsorships and ownership by professional provider associations and other local stakeholders.
Banyan Global is one of more than 25 international development agencies contributing to an initiative led by the Small Enterprise Education and Promotion Network to develop standards for economic recovery after crises. The standards focus on strategies and interventions to promote enterprises, employment, cash flow, and asset management among affected businesses and households in countries recovering from natural disasters or conflicts. These standards follow the process and format of the Sphere handbook (The Sphere Project Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Disaster Response) and have been developed with guidance and input from the Sphere Project. The first draft of the standards is available for review and comment at http://communities.seepnetwork.org/econrecovery. For more information, please contact Laura Meissner at Meissner@seepnetwork.org.
A speakers' corner about civil-military cooperation through provincial reconstruction teams was held on April 13, 2008, through the USAID-funded microfinance amid conflict topic of the Accelerated Access to Microfinance Program Financial Services Knowledge Generation task order. Mayada El-Zoghbi, research director for the microfinance amid conflict topic and managing partner at Banyan Global, hosted the discussion. A different technical expert moderated each day of the discussion with Frank Gunter, an associate professor at Lehigh University, moderating day one, Rick Carbone of the Gardez PRT in Afghanistan moderating day two, and Marc Chandler with Brown Brothers Harriman and New York University moderating day three. The lively discussion included practitioners working on economic recovery in conflict countries and military personnel from a variety of locations, including Afghanistan, Nepal, and the United States. DOWNLOAD SUMMARY NOTES
As part of the Banking on Health project, Banyan Global conducted an information session for Uganda Microfinance Limited on medical equipment. The information session was designed to help UML to develop and market a medical leasing product.
In April 2008, as part of the Banking on Health project, Taara Chandani, an associate at Banyan Global, was invited by the Jordan Pharmacists Association to deliver a presentation on access to finance at its annual regional congress.
Working as part of the Banking on Health project, Banyan Global worked with local partners in Zambia to organize a trade fair themed Growing Your Private Practice. The trade fair provided a forum for different cadres of private providers, including midwives, nurses, medical doctors, pharmacists, and drug shops, to interface with a variety of supporting businesses. It showcased financial institutions, equipment and pharmaceutical suppliers, technology specialists, and management experts. It was attended by 232 participants.
Banyan Global was commissioned by USAID and the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP) Working Group on Microinsurance to develop a note consolidating lessons learned and recommendations for donors supporting microinsurance. Banyan Global interviewed stakeholders working in this nascent sector and presented its findings at the Microinsurance Working Group meeting in Mumbai. The CGAP Working Group will disseminate a full report of the findings to help donors channel their assistance in the microinsurance sector.
As part of the Banking on Health project, Banyan Global conducted a session at USAID's Global Health Mini University. This meeting explored business approaches to working with private service providers to promote and expand reproductive health and family planning services. This session highlighted three business approaches, including expanding access to financing; training private providers in business and financial management; and facilitating trade shows that enable private providers to network with pharmaceutical companies, equipment suppliers, financial institutions, and representatives of the ministry of health.
Meaghan Smith, a managing partner at Banyan Global, participated in the Women Advancing Microfinance International forum on gender and microfinance at the 2007 Annual Small Enterprise Education and Promotion SEEP Conference. Ms. Smith's presentation was part of the Limitations of Microfinance-Only Solutions session. She discussed examples of how gender impacts microfinance and health programming.
Meaghan Smith, a managing partner at Banyan Global, working as part of the Banking on Health project, will present an intervention to expand access to financing and improve the business skills of private providers in Zambia. The talk will address factors that limit the growth of the private sector and its ability to partner with the government to address the human-resource crisis in the public sector.
Taara Chandani, a senior program officer at Banyan Global, will organize and present at a panel on access to finance at an annual health-marketing conference hosted by the Uganda Health Marketing Group (UHMG). The panel will provide an overview of the financial services available to the private health sector and draw on perspectives from two private providers on their experience as borrowers. The panel is sponsored by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)-funded Banking on Health project, which works with financial institutions to increase lending to private health providers in Uganda.
Lisa Tarantino, an associate at Banyan Global, and Makaria Reynolds, a program manager at Abt Associates, conducted a presentation for the Europe and Eurasia Bureau of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The presentation included an overview of Banking on Health's activities in Romania, market-research findings, and the project's preliminary results.
Jorge Balan, Banyan Global associate, and Taara Chandani, a senior program officer at Banyan Global, facilitated a seminar on financing for private basic education with Professor James Tooley from the University of Newcastle. Mr. Balan and Ms. Chandani presented the main findings of a report entitled Strengthening the Private Basic Education Sector: A Case for USAID Support and Financing through the Development Credit Authority (DCA). The study was commissioned by the United States Agency for International Development's (USAID) Office of Development Credit (ODC) and provides guidelines to USAID for investing in the private basic education sector. The seminar was an opportunity for partners from development finance and the education sector to discuss linkages in their work.
Meaghan Smith, Managing Partner, Banyan Global, working as part of Banking on Health, led a roundtable discussion highlighting the design and results of a public/private partnership in Nicaragua that brought together Nicaragua's Social Security Institute (INSS), private health providers, and commercial banks. Banking on Health partnered with local financial institutions, used the USAID Development Credit Authority (DCA) guarantee, and delivered financial and business training to strengthen contracting-out in the private sector and help private health providers expand their delivery of reproductive health/family planning services.
Lisa Tarantino, Associate, Banyan Global, working as part of Banking on Health, participated in a roundtable discussion identifying strategies for increasing the financial sustainability of reproductive health/family planning providers in Romania. Under Ms. Tarantino's direction, Banking on Health has developed an accredited course on financial management for private providers and has increased the ability of financial institutions to structure loan products for such providers.
As part of the Banking on Health project, Banyan Global works with local partners in Uganda to organize trade fairs with the theme "growing your private practice." The trade fairs provide a forum for different cadres of private providers (including midwives, nurses, medical doctors, pharmacists, and drug shops) to interact with supporting businesses. The fairs showcase financial institutions, equipment and pharmaceutical suppliers, technology specialists, and management experts. More than 1,272 private health providers have participated in the trade fairs in Uganda so far. Additional trade fairs are scheduled for 2008 and 2009.
For Banking on Health, Lisa Tarantino led a policy meeting to present and discuss the findings of research conducted on the business and financing needs of family doctors contracted by the National Health Insurance House of Romania. The closed meeting involved representatives from the Ministry of Health, National Health Insurance House, Family Doctors Associations, commercial banks, microfinance institutions, the USAID Romanian Family Health Initiative Project, USAID, the World Bank and UNFPA.
Working as part of Banking on Health, Banyan Global led a symposium attended by over 1,000 OB/GYNs from the Andes region at the XVI Congress of the Society of Peruvian OB/GYNs. The symposium focused on how to improve the business and financial management of a private health care practice. Topics included business planning, financial statements, financing investments, and marketing.
Mayada El-Zoghbi, Managing Partner, Banyan Global, led roundtable discussions at a USAID Microfinance After-Hours Seminar that focused on Microfinance Amid Conflict. Ms. El-Zoghbi covered the current situation in the West Bank and Gaza and how MFIs have been affected by the economic and political crises caused by the election of Hamas to the Palestinian Authority. She also discussed the role of the newly created USAID emergency project SMART and its plans to help revive the sector.
Mayada El-Zoghbi, Managing Partner, Banyan Global, spoke on a panel at the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor Forum. Along with other scholars and practitioners, Ms. El-Zoghbi shared the results of a global study conducted by Banyan Global with the International Finance Corporation's Gender Entrepreneurship Markets division. The study was a global inventory of best-practice programs that provide access to finance for women.
Meaghan Smith, Managing Partner, Banyan Global, was a guest speaker for The Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health's graduate course, "The Role of NGOs/CBOs in Improving Global Public Health." She discussed strategies for improving efficiency and sustainability in health sector NGOs/CBOs and presented a case study.
Meaghan Smith, Managing Partner, Banyan Global, conducted a presentation for approximately 50 women doctors in Jordan as part of the USAID-funded Private Sector Project for Women's Health. The presentation provided an overview of health networks, described network models, and explained the benefits and obligations of network membership. After the presentation, Ms. Smith led a discussion on the feasibility of and interest in developing a women's health network in Jordan.
Lisa Tarantino, Associate, Banyan Global, conducted a technical poster presentation at a scientific session of the American Public Health Associations' (APHA) Annual Meeting and Exposition. Ms. Tarantino presented the findings and results of the USAID-sponsored Banking on Health Project activities for private practice midwives in the Philippines. The project tapped commercial sources of financing to help private practice midwives achieve sustainable reproductive and public health benefits.
Meaghan Smith, Managing Partner, Banyan Global, working as part of the USAID Banking on Health Project, participated in a panel discussion that explored strategies to improve the role of private midwives as champions of priority public health services. This session provided an overview of factors that support and constrain midwives' delivery of expanded services. Presenters discussed case studies of successful sustainable practices. The segment included a program to promote business training and access to finance to grow and improve private midwife practices in the Philippines. Panelists also explored the use of private midwives' networks for service expansion, quality improvement, and sustainability in Kenya.
As resident advisor to the USAID Banking on Health Project in the Philippines, Julio Banzon, Business Development Specialist, Banyan Global, organized a series of daylong business fairs for private practice midwives. In addition to midwives, participants included midwife associations, financial institutions, equipment and pharmaceutical suppliers, and providers of business support services in the Philippines. The inaugural fair attracted 650 midwives.
Lisa Tarantino, Associate, Banyan Global, working as part of the Banking on Health Project, participated in a panel discussion that examined strategic alliances between microfinance and health. Ms. Tarantino discussed activities for expanding access to finance for midwives in the Philippines and microinsurance in Nicaragua.
Taara Chandani, Senior Program Officer, Banyan Global, working as part of the PSP-One Project, presented key findings of a study on expanding the delivery of reproductive and family planning services through viable private provider networks.
Meaghan Smith, Managing Partner, Banyan Global, working as part of the Banking on Health Project, discussed the design and findings of an intervention that strengthened contracting-out in the private sector to support reproductive health outcomes in Nicaragua.
Meaghan Smith, Managing Partner, Banyan Global, was a guest speaker for The Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health graduate course, "The Role of NGOs/CBOs in Improving Global Public Health." She discussed strategies for improving efficiency and sustainability in health sector NGOs/CBOs and presented a case study.
Mayada El-Zoghbi, Managing Partner, Banyan Global, presented the key findings of a Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP) mapping study on donor and investor support of the microfinance sector in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.
Banyan Global hosted an open house to inaugurate its name change and brief staff, friends, and colleagues on corporate growth and business practice areas.
Global Microenterprise Initiatives, LLC announced that it changed its name to Banyan Global, Inc. to better reflect the growth and diversity of its four practice areas: Microfinance, the Health Sector, Enterprise Development, and the Financial Sector.
The Banking on Health Project discussed the design and preliminary findings from its first year of work in Nicaragua.