Banyan Global- Innovative market approaches to development

Innovative market approaches to development

Banyan Global

Finance and Investment

Research on Social Norms, Gender, and Financial Inclusion

Global, 2016

Banyan Global is conducting CGAP-funded research on social norms, gender, and women’s financial inclusion. This qualitative, literature-based study will seek to identify existing literature and programming that explores the social norms that exclude women’s accessing formal financial services. It will summarize this literature and best practices, identifying areas for further research. The study will seek to understand how social norms have been addressed in other development sectors – particularly in health and education – and how this learning can be brought to financial sector development. Specifically, it will seek to identify innovative approaches to social norm change that can facilitate women’s broader access to financial services in developing countries.

Water and Development Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity (WADI) contract

Global, 2015-2020

The Water and Development Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity (WADI) contract is a five-year program with a $1 billion ceiling to provide services and technical support in assisting USAID’s Missions, Bureaus, and Offices worldwide in the implementation of USAID’s Water and Development Strategy. WADI encompasses several cross-cutting services that can be applied to a combination of technical interventions related to water and sanitation under the following broad categories: water resources management; water and sanitation and hygiene (WASH); agriculture and food security; coastal management; environment; economic growth and energy; democracy and governance; innovation, research and monitoring and evaluation (M&E); knowledge management (KM), cooperation and coordination; and engineering services and commodity / equipment procurement and installation. As a subcontractor to Engility, Banyan Global is responsible for leading water finance and gender work.

Growth, Enterprise, Employment and Livelihoods (GEEL) Contract

Somalia, 2015 – 2020

GEEL is a sole-award, five-year Indefinite Delivery, Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract with a goal of promoting inclusive economic growth in Somalia and with an overall ceiling price of $74 million. The contract addresses multiple constraints to economic growth in Somalia, including lack of financial institutions, issues with business climate and commercial law, lack of demanded work skills, and constraints unique to women and youth. As a sub-contractor to Engility, Banyan Global is leading the design and development of Gender and Youth Empowerment Action Plans (GYEAP) and implementation of gender and youth integration activities. Banyan Global’s full-time international gender and youth expert will oversee a national team integrating youth and gender considerations into all project activities, and together they will develop Youth Engagement and Protection Policies which establish protocols and procedures to ensure safety and prevent exploitation and abuse of youth who participate in project activities. Throughout the duration of the contract, Banyan Global will deliver trainings tailored to Somali gender and cultural norms to all project staff on gender and youth integration tools and techniques, gender- and youth-sensitive facilitation, and integrating gender and youth in M&E processes.

Engility and Banyan Global will be implementing the first task order on increasing competitiveness of agricultural value chains under this IDIQ mechanism. Banyan Global is currently undertaking a participatory project gender analysis in South Central, Somaliland, and Puntland regions of Somalia, examining gender dynamics across four value chains. Banyan Global also implemented a Women In Agribusiness Forum that brought together women business leaders, organizations, business associations, agricultural/farmer groups from across South-Central, Somalia to identify the specific needs of women in business and opportunities and potential solutions to address these needs.

Financing Growth Project

Global, September 2014–September 2019

Banyan Global is a subcontractor to Deloitte on the USAID-funded Financing Growth project, which supports USAID’s Microenterprise and Private Enterprise Promotion (MPEP) office in providing support to missions and bureaus to improve their strategies and programs for facilitating the availability of financing for investment, especially by micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs). The project’s overarching objective is to increase access to both debt and equity for MSME borrowers, thus contributing to sustainable and inclusive economic growth and corollary employment generation. The project addresses both the supply and demand side challenges that restrict access to finance.

Banyan Global is responsible for providing technical assistance in 1) enhancing MSMEs bankability, including working with women and youth-owned businesses and first time borrowers, 2) improving financial intermediation, including building the capacity within financial intermediaries to lend to MSMEs, and 3) improving access to finance for the health care sector.  Banyan Global’s first assignment under Financing Growth was field-testing a healthcare lending toolkit in Senegal. This work included doing a market assessment and financial modeling of healthcare financing and identification of financial institutions to work with to expand financing for the private health sector.

West Africa Trade Hub Project

Burkina Faso, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Senegal 2014 - 2018

The focus of the USAID-funded Trade and Investment Hub Project is to improve the capacity of West Africa’s private sector and business enabling environment by building capacity and addressing constraints. Specifically, the project uses a multi-tiered approach to better value chain performance in regional staple foods – such as livestock and grains – and global exports, including cashew, shea, mango, and apparel.

Banyan Global is leading the finance and investment component of the project, facilitating over $62 million in financing to exporters, traders, and agricultural processors. Our work builds the capacity of firms and financial intermediaries to access critical debt and equity for agribusinesses – as well as cross-cutting supporting industries, such as transport firms, warehouses, and packaging manufacturers. In particular, Banyan Global is building the capacity of over 30 West African financial intermediaries (financial advisors) on how to develop credible business concepts to successfully access commercial financing. We are also partnering with regional financial institutions across West Africa, providing technical assistance and training on expanding their lending to agribusinesses.  All of our work is done with and through African partner organizations to build skills, capacity, and institutional sustainability.

Monitoring and Evaluation System for Middle East North Africa Investment Initiative

Middle East, 2015

USAID launched the Middle East North Africa Investment Initiative (MENA II) as an approach to improve investor and business access to equity capital, contribute to the development of the investment ecosystem, advance development of the financial system, and encourage increased equity investment in early stage businesses in participating countries. USAID has made selections and awards to partners to implement MENA II in Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, and West Bank. USAID is interested in measuring the impact of this initiative within and across these countries. The purpose of this project has been to conduct the following to assist in the development of an impact evaluation program and plan:

  • Develop MENA II regionwide impact indicators. Indicators across all countries are being developed as a way to measure impact and compare effectiveness.
  • Develop initial country-specific impact evaluation approaches. Because of the uniqueness of each country, the impact indicators may need to be measured using different data collection or evaluation methodologies that recognize local contextual nuances, country-specific MENA II approaches, and resource or evaluation constraints. Through this activity, Banyan Global will help USAID review options for evaluating MENA II’s impact and then select the most appropriate evaluation methodologies.

The identified indicators and evaluation approaches will serve as a precursor to collecting baseline data and then impact data periodically throughout the life of MENA II. Ultimately, these efforts will support an analysis of this innovative initiative’s development impact and help compare MENA II’s performance across the aforementioned countries.

Strengthening Health Outcomes through the Private Sector (SHOPS)

Global, October 2009–January 2016

SHOPS is the United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) flagship project to increase the private sector’s provision of high-quality reproductive health, family planning, HIV and AIDS, and other health services and products in developing countries. To achieve these goals SHOPS provides technical leadership in optimal private-sector strategies; explores innovative approaches to expanding and improving the private sector’s provision of priority services; synthesizes and disseminates proven strategies, research findings, and tools; and provides country-level support in developing and scaling up successful private-sector approaches. As a subcontractor to Abt Associates on SHOPS, Banyan Global led the access to the access to finance component of the project.  Banyan Global provided technical assistance to financial institutions to lend to the health sector; supported the structuring and utilization of USAID’s Development Credit Authority (DCA) guarantee to share risk with local banks; developed business training and consulting services for private health providers to improve business and financial management capacity; and improved market linkages through private sector trade fairs and association capacity building. Banyan Global also worked to support human resources for health by strengthening private medical training institutions and exploring options to expand medical student financing. Banyan Global worked in Zambia, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Ghana, Malawi, Tanzania, Rwanda, Senegal, Benin, Uganda, Kenya, and Bangladesh through the SHOPS project.

Expanded Agricultural Trade Project (E-ATP)

West Africa, October 2009–September 2012

Banyan Global was a subcontractor to Abt Associates on E-ATP in West Africa. The project facilitated expanded intraregional trade of staple commodities from surplus to deficit areas of West Africa by strengthening selected value chains. The project worked in Ghana, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Mali, Nigeria and Senegal. Banyan Global was responsible for the gender mainstreaming component of E-ATP. We supported the project to integrate gender equity considerations into value chain analysis and value chain development interventions, advance policy reform initiatives, facilitate market information and financial services, and integrate gender mainstreaming into the capacity building of institutional partners.

Mi-Bospo–Institution Building and Risk Management

Bosnia and Herzegovina, 2009–2010

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.

Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP)

Global, 2008–2009

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.

Supporting Microfinance Merger in Afghanistan

Afghanistan, November–December 2008

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 ARMPactivities 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.

CGAP Research on Governments as Funders

Global, 2007–2008

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

Financial and Private Sector Development Project, Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC)

Global, 2007–2008

Banyan Global was a subcontractor to The Services Group on the MCC Financial and Private Sector Development Project. The project facilitated the due diligence process for MCC financial and private-sector–related programs, projects, and activities proposed by eligible countries. It also provided technical assistance to MCC and country staff with regard to project design. In addition this project assisted with early stage project implementation following compact signing. Banyan Global’s role was to provide financial-sector, enterprise-development, and gender expertise to support the project.

Microfinance Amid Conflict, Accelerated Microenterprise Advancement Project, Knowledge Generation Project

Global, September 2006–September 2008

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.

Evaluation of the First Microfinance Bank of Afghanistan

May–September 2008

Banyan Global was awarded a contract with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) to conduct an evaluation of the First Microfinance Bank of Afghanistan (FMFB-A). The evaluation contains four components: a review of IFC’s advisory services, a review of FMFB-A’s institutional capacity and performance, a client impact study utilizing a control group for comparison, and an international benchmarking study comparing FMFB-A to other post-conflict investments in start-up banks.