Microfinance is a proven vehicle for building the productive capacity of the entrepreneurial poor and the self-reliance of communities. We invite you to explore Banyan Global's microfinance projects.
Banyan Global was awarded a contract with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development to provide technical support in institution building and risk management to Mi-Bospo, a financial institution operating in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). Banyan Global is helping Mi-Bospo transition to an operational and lending model that will enable it to keep pace with BiH’s dynamic financial sector while continuing to serve its core client base of micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs). Banyan Global is assisting Mi-Bospo to strengthen its risk management functions, focusing primarily on financial risk. Specific tasks include helping Mi-Bospo to identify areas of weakness and implementing new policies and procedures to build a solid risk management system, including performing a risk management diagnostic, assessment, and strategic planning exercise to design and implement specific interventions required for improved risk management.
Banyan Global was awarded a contract with the CGAP to serve as a technical service provider working on issues such as aid effectiveness and developing briefs and training. Banyan Global helped CGAP to finalize the 2009 round of SmartAid, which measures and rates how well development organizations are set up to provide funding and advisory services in microfinance, and promotes the transparent external assessment of funders’ management systems. Banyan Global also developed the Appraisal Brief that introduces the CGAP Appraisal Tool used to assess investments in microfinance institutions (MFIs) and the Operational Tool for Donors and Investors on Performance Based Agreements that articulates the role of performance-based agreements in supporting effective funding to MFIs. Banyan Global also reviewed several other tools including the Human Capital Brief and the Country Level Effectiveness and Accountability Review Tool, which combines aid effectiveness analysis with financial systems analysis. In addition, Banyan Global took the lead in the review and updating of the CGAP Funder Course, a one-week hands-on course on how funders can make a difference in building financial systems for people living in poverty.
The First Microfinance Bank of Afghanistan (FMFB-A), a commercial bank serving primarily urban clients, contracted Banyan Global to assist in its merger with the Afghanistan Rural Microcredit Program (ARMP), established by the Aga Khan Development Network in 2003 to serve rural clients. Banyan Global supported the development of two operational plans that addressed the staffing, organizational structure, products, and other issues related to the cessation of ARMP activities as a project and the transfer of its portfolio and staff to FMFB-A. Banyan Global held focus groups and individual meetings with all stakeholders (including shareholders, management, and staff) and developed the FMFB-A Expansion Plan and the ARMP Phase Out plan, which articulated the timeline and step-by-step process involved in the de facto merger. Banyan Global also served as a mediator, helping to document the voices of all staff involved in the process while supporting the overall aim of the shareholders and management.
Banyan Global was awarded a contract with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) to evaluate the First Microfinance Bank of Afghanistan (FMFB-A). The evaluation consisted of a review of IFC’s advisory services, a review of FMFB-A’s institutional capacity and performance, a client impact study using a control group for comparison, and an international benchmarking study comparing FMFB-A to other post-conflict investments in start-up banks.
Banyan Global was a subcontractor to Chemonics on the Accelerated Microenterprise Advancement Project indefinite-quantity contract’s Knowledge Generation Project for its microfinance amid conflict research theme. As the technical lead, Banyan Global worked with the United States Agency for International Development to conduct global research and disseminate findings about economic recovery after conflicts and disasters. The project held a series of forums to share lessons learned and best practices for economic growth in post-conflict environments and to identify areas where additional research and tools were needed. As part of this contract Banyan Global also developed case studies highlighting lessons learned on programs for post-conflict economic recovery in Afghanistan, Burundi, Kosovo, and Nepal. The project held a speaker’s corner on civil military cooperation and released a synthesis report on research undertaken during the project. The project also hosted an internet-based seminar that disseminated many of the lessons learned.
Through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)-funded Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) Support through Financial Sector Development (SME-FSD) project, the QED Group contracted Banyan Global to conduct a three-day training in Azerbaijan called Tools and Techniques for Effective Financial Risk Management. The training was provided to members of the Azerbaijan Microfinance Association (AFMA) and covered interest rate risk management requirements, managing deposits, liquidity risk management requirements, internal-audit requirements, and human-resource requirements for risk management. At the end of the course participants were able to measure, manage, and monitor the foreign exchange; liquidity; and interest-rate risks of a microfinance institution to make informed decisions for continued sustainability and profitability and to meet the requirements of investors, commercial funders, and regulators. The course contributed to SME-FSD’s strengthening of AFMA’s ability to be a training, service, and advocacy institution that encourages the development of non-bank financial institutions that serve MSME clients.
Banyan Global was awarded a contract with the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor to conduct a desktop research study that explored the role of governments in funding retail microfinance. The research entailed phone interviews with regional microfinance experts covering all regions of the world and Internet research on government-supported programs. The main findings were released as a highlight on the Microfinance Gateway which can be found at http://www.microfinancegateway.org/content/article/detail/50629.
Oikocredit contracted Banyan Global to moderate a three-day workshop for Maanaveeya, a subsidiary of the Oikocredit social investment fund that operates in India. The purpose of the workshop was to share updates about Maanaveeya's technical assistance efforts, understand partners' needs, and help them to develop a strategy for addressing their institutional gaps. Thirty partner microfinance organizations from across India attended the workshop.
Banyan Global developed a primer on microinsurance business models for the Financial Markets for Safety Net Unit program at the International Finance Corporation, World Bank Group. The primer reviews the models for offering insurance services to the poor and discusses their organizational characteristics and coverage by region and type of insurance product, as well as their comparative advantages and limitations. The document is part of an insurance primer series to build knowledge of insurance principles among industry operatives and policy makers in developing countries.
USAID and the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP) Working Group on Microinsurance commissioned Banyan Global to consolidate lessons learned in delivering insurance services to the poor and offer recommendations to enhance the effectiveness of donor support. Banyan Global conducted literature reviews, interviewed major stakeholders, and presented preliminary findings to the working group in November 2007. This work was completed as part of a subcontract to Development Alternatives, Inc. on the Accelerated Microenterprise Advancement Project.
Banyan Global developed a brief MicroNOTE for USAID on insurance products available for communities affected by HIV/AIDS. This note is part of a series on microfinance and HIV/AIDS that addresses the type of insurance products available in HIV/AIDS-prevalent communities, the institutional models used to underwrite risk and deliver these products, and future considerations for donors and implementers. This work was completed as part of a subcontract to Development Alternatives, Inc. on the Accelerated Microenterprise Advancement Project.
The Agha Khan Development Network contracted Banyan Global to develop case studies in the Agha Khan Trust for Culture's (AKTC) areas of operation in Kabul and identify options whereby microfinance might be made available to home-owners (considering the operating extent and modalities of the First Microfinance Bank of Afghanistan (FMFB)). Based on survey findings, Banyan Global developed a housing-loan product and made recommendations about the steps FMFB and AKTC should take to initiate a pilot housing-finance initiative that would be affordable to targeted homeowners.
As USAID/Romania prepared to close in 2008, Banyan Global assessed the impact of the United States' assistance to support the development of Romania's private sector by improving its access to finance. The assessment analyzed impacts at the firm, sector, financial-sector, and business-environment levels. Entities studied included microfinance institutions, investment funds, a mortgage-finance company, and a rural-development project. The report details the states of the private and financial sectors before the U.S. government's involvement, the types of interventions, and the changes the impacted companies and sub-sectors and the overall financial sector experienced. Report findings include lessons learned for USAID, the government of Romania, and other donors.
Banyan Global completed a diagnostic of the Access to Credit Program (ACP), a microfinance program of CHF International's. ACP was a home-improvement loan program in the West Bank and Gaza, but has expanded to include business loans and loans made with 100-percent ACP participation. Banyan Global's diagnostic provided CHF with an in-depth understanding of ACP's operations and identified areas for strengthening as ACP transforms into a local and independent organization. The review covered all aspects of ACP's operations including organizational structure, policies and procedures, reporting, loan process, staffing, communications, and management oversight. Recommendations were made to help strengthen the organization.
AED contracted Banyan Global through the USAID-funded Small and Microfinance Assistance for Recovery and Transition (SMART) program to conduct a three-day training on crises risk management for MFIs in the West Bank and Gaza. Risk management allows MFIs to minimize the adverse consequences associated with internal and external risks. This course has been tailored for the West Bank and Gaza and focuses on external risks and their internal impact, associated with the political environment. As such, it centers on helping MFIs to manage and limit losses from delinquency, as well as plan for and manage their liquidity to withstand recurring external stresses to their balance sheet because of the conflict and economic climate.
The United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) contracted Banyan Global to review the market for safe savings in the Palestinian territories and propose a range of deposit products and mechanisms that UNRWA could incorporate into its microfinance operations through its microfinance and microenterprise department. Banyan Global's review includes a market survey and feasibility study to identify the scope for introducing savings services within UNRWA's microfinance operations, an analysis of the legal and regulatory environment for such services, and a look at UNRWA's operational procedures to determine what institutional, organizational, human-resource, technical, and IT conditions need to be developed to introduce safe-savings services.
Banyan Global was contracted to deliver the CGAP donor training in collaboration with the Microfinance Management Institute. The training covered basic microfinance best practices, institutional appraisals, donor roles and responsibilities, and legal and regulatory frameworks for microfinance. Participants included government officials as well as traditional donors and investors, including the Central Bank of Sudan, the Ministry of Planning in Jordan, the Ministry of Labor in Palestine, DFID, the European Union, CRS-Egypt, Sofifund Foundation, the Agriculture Bank of Sudan, among others.
Under a contract with the Academy for Educational Development (AED), Banyan Global provided technical assistance under the USAID-funded Small and Microfinance Assistance for Recovery and Transition (SMART) Program in the West Bank and Gaza. Banyan Global conducted a diagnostic assessment and made recommendations for assistance for Microfinance Providers (MFPs) that applied to the SMART Project for technical assistance and funding. The diagnostics completed during this early stage of the project focused on the MFPs' current situation and their capacity to respond to the economic crises in the West Bank and Gaza and on their potential for growth and their future funding needs. A generalized industry technical assistance plan was also developed for broad support to the sector. In addition, Banyan Global developed an annual work plan for the program based on pending technical assistance packages, industry-wide technical assistance, and continuing projects.
Banyan Global worked with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development to support the transformation of the International Micro-Loan Fund (IMON) in Tajikistan into a registered, deposit-taking financial institution. Our team provided technical assistance to IMON to build its capacity in financial management and reporting. These efforts focused on training and technical assistance in regulatory requirements and risk management. Accepting deposits gives IMON the opportunity to expand its loan portfolio and diversify its client base. With Banyan Global's guidance, IMON can demonstrate to depositors, regulators, and potential investors that these funds are well managed and that it is taking the necessary precautions to ensure liquidity. These actions are critical for the successful performance of a microfinance bank.
Under a contract with the Microfinance Investment and Support Facility for Afghanistan (MISFA), Banyan Global examined MISFA's performance in helping to build a strong microfinance sector in Afghanistan. We analyzed MISFA's ability to expand and sustain its operations efficiently through its choice of quality partners and the types of services offered to build the capacity of these partners. In addition, Banyan Global measured the outreach, sustainability, and impact of MISFA's partner organizations. Our team also reviewed the linkages and collaborations fostered with various stakeholders to strengthen the microfinance sector.
In collaboration with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), Banyan Global conducted a global inventory of access-to-finance initiatives. Our team identified financial products, services, and initiatives throughout the developing world to increase women business owners' access to finance.
As part of a Citigroup-funded consortium led by the Foundation for Development Cooperation, Banyan Global developed curriculum and training modules to support microfinance institutions (MFIs) affected by the December 2004 tsunami. We delivered a series of training-of-trainer workshops, convened stakeholder meetings, and conducted action research to assist MFIs in developing systems and policies that can both anticipate and respond to disasters.
The Pakistan Microfinance Network (PMN) contracted with Banyan Global to deliver a five-day course on microfinance and disasters. Participants included NGOs, banks, donor representatives, and government agencies. The training focused on best practices of offering microfinance as an effective tool for economic reconstruction after a disaster.
Working with MADERA, a French NGO, Banyan Global transformed MADERA's credit project into a rural-based microfinance institution (MFI) targeting the poor, eastern provinces of Afghanistan. We refined the lending methodology, provided both onsite and offsite staff training support, advised on financial systems and technology selection, conducted market research and analysis, and developed appropriate financial products. Our team also responded to additional technical needs of the emerging MFI.
Banyan Global delivered the International Labour Organization (ILO)United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees' (UNHCR) "Microfinance in Conflict-Affected Communities" training to UNHCR staff, its implementing partners, and other donors working in conflict- and disaster-affected communities in Latin America.
Funded by the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP), Banyan Global conducted a donor mapping survey of the microfinance sector in the MENA region. We identified the major public and private donors and investors, as well as key trends in funding levels and patterns.
At the request of the International Finance Corporation (IFC), Banyan Global conducted a review of Indonesia's microfinance sector. Our team explored market opportunities for IFC's Access to Finance program, including forming an apex facility, establishing a rating company, developing a learning center, and creating an investment company. Additionally, Banyan Global investigated financial linkages with IFC's business development service programs, focusing on agribusiness and handicrafts.
We delivered a four-day training program to the Pakistan Microfinance Network (PMN), an umbrella organization for local microfinance institutions (MFIs). The training provided MFIs with a framework and a set of tools for managing institutional risk. It focused primarily on helping participants identify and quantify an MFI's exposure to interest rate, liquidity, foreign exchange, and operational risk.
Our experts conducted an institutional appraisal of the Micro Development Fund (MDF), a local microfinance institution in Serbia and the International Committee of the Red Cross's (ICRC) local partner. Banyan Global advised ICRC on the relevance of its investment in MDF, in relation to its project objectives and goals. We also recommended the conditions for the hand over of funds, as well as the parameters that should govern any future partnership between ICRC and MDF.
Banyan Global adapted the International Labour Organization (ILO)United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees' (UNHCR) "Microfinance in Conflict-Affected Communities" program to respond to the training needs of NGOs, local Islamic cooperatives, and regional banks active in the reconstruction of the tsunami disaster-affected areas of Banda Aceh.
Banyan Global conducted a mid-term evaluation of the United Nations Capital Development Fund's (UNCDF) MicroStart program in Yemen. The evaluation appraised the institutional capacities of UNCDF's three implementing partners and reviewed the performance of the international technical service provider. In addition, our experts assessed the impact of this support on the local technical service providers, as well as on the performance of the microfinance institution's partners. Banyan Global provided recommendations to inform future UNCDF interventions in Yemen's microfinance sector.
The International Labour Organization (ILO)United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) contracted with Banyan Global to evaluate its support to microfinance institutions (MFIs) in Eritrea. We also provided technical assistance to the Savings and Micro Credit Program, UNHCR's implementing partner, on the design of its village banking program, staff training, and project scale up.
Our team provided risk-management training and technical assistance to XacBank senior management, branch managers, and staff. Adapting our microfinance institution (MFI) risk-management framework to the bank's needs, Banyan Global gave XacBank the tools, including benchmarks and ratios, to better assess and manage various risks.
We conducted an institutional evaluation of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees' (UNHCR) local implementing partners. These institutions provide financial services to refugees, returnees, and internally displaced peoples. Banyan Global's evaluation recommended choosing institutional partners with experience in providing financial services; exploring alternative financial mechanisms for partner selection; and identifying strategies for UNHCR's future involvement in microfinance in Benin, Togo, and other West African countries.
Under the Microfinance Investment and Support Facility for Afghanistan (MISFA), a multi-donor apex facility in Kabul, Banyan Global helped microfinance institutions (MFIs) and other non-bank financial service providers expand their products and services to rural areas. As onsite technical service provider, we assisted with structuring linkages between business development service providers and MFIs, supporting and training MFIs on market research and new product development, and establishing management information systems for tracking rural credit. Banyan Global partnered with the Aga Khan Development Network, BRAC, the Cooperative Housing Foundation, MADERA, and several other NGOs engaged in rural finance in Afghanistan.
As a subcontractor to AViD Consulting Corporation, Banyan Global carried out an institutional evaluation of five local USAID partners in Egypt. We also conducted an overview of the microfinance sector, including such support facilities as a credit guarantee company and a technical services provider. Banque du Caire, the largest provider of microfinance in Egypt, with more than 60,000 clients, as well as the Alexandria, Dakheleya, and Assiut business associations, each with more than 40,000 clients, were among the institutions examined. In addition, our team facilitated individual interviews and focus groups with select program clients to assess the program's demand, impact, and relevance. The evaluation and sector study were the first in USAID's 15 years of support to Egypt's microfinance sector. The results will guide future program interventions.
As a subcontractor to Development Alternatives, Inc. (DAI) on the USAID-funded Agriculture Rural Development in Iraq (ARDI) program, Banyan Global designed a rural financial strategy and program utilizing bank and non-bank financial service providers in Iraq. We identified potential vehicles and interventions that could enhance access to finance for poor farmers and other rural residents. Our team also conducted a market research study to assess the financial service needs of rural clients and used the results to inform ARDI's national rural development strategy.
Banyan Global conducted an institutional evaluation of Micro Development Fund and Microfins, two Serbian partners of the International Labour Organization (ILO)United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) that provide financial services. We examined such issues as governance, management, human resource development, clients and markets, operational systems and procedures, financial management, and institutional alliances. Banyan Global also helped guide UNHCR's decision-making process in handing over funds previously allocated to these partners.
As a contributor to How Should Microfinance Institutions Fund Themselves? (an Inter-American Development Bank, IDB, publication), Banyan Global produced an annex outlining the analysis and procedures involved in issuing debt and equity for microfinance institutions (MFIs). The annex described the most commonly used methods to raise capital in the major microfinance markets and analyzed the evolution of funding sources, from concessionary and quasi-commercial lending provided by donors and local banks to commercial debt and equity issued by capital markets. The guide also provided a forward-looking assessment of funding options for MFIs.
Partners for Development (PFD) contracted Banyan Global to evaluate the rural credit program for the Independent Farmers' Association of the Upper Vrbas Region (IFA). The IFA was organized by PFD through an agricultural development project funded by the US Department of Agriculture in 1999 with the aim of increasing the IFA's access to markets through the provision of market linkages, technical assistance and credit.
Banyan Global provided a one-week training course for financial service providers targeting low-income clients. The course was delivered on behalf of the International Labour Organization in Kosovo. The training covered financial statement analysis, portfolio quality indicators, efficiency indicators, profitability indicators, basic accounting transactions, accounting adjustments, financial trend analysis, and industry benchmarks.
Banyan Global was contracted by the World Bank to undertake a field assessment of existing providers of financial services in Sierra Leone. The study resulted in specific policy and operational recommendations to the government and donors on their potential involvement in the delivery of financial services to low income people. In addition, the study also examined the legal framework in place and made recommendations about needed policy clarifications and reforms. The overall sector study and policy paper Banyan Global conducted was formally presented to the financial intermediaries and government officials at a workshop co-sponsored by the World Bank and the Government of Sierra Leone and co-hosted by Banyan Global. Through this workshop and subsequent negotiation processes, the relevant government agencies and financial service institutions were able to formulate a separate government strategy to support the delivery of financial services to low-income people in Sierra Leone.