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 on 31 October 2011. 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.
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As USAID prepared to close in 2008, this assessment was conducted to evaluate the growth of the financial sector in Romania, identify USAID's role in this process, and document lessons that can provide a model for donor and government programming. The assessment evaluates the financial mechanisms USAID supported in Romania since 1996, including micro-lending, rural credit, mortgage finance, and equity investment. Impacts were assessed at the firm, financial-sector, institution, and enabling-environment levels.
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As part of a series of case studies under the Accelerated Microenterprise Advancement Project Knowledge Generation microfinance amid conflict theme, this case study on Kosovo highlights two initiatives that link microfinance with livelihood programs. The first initiative highlighted is with the International Centre for Community and Enterprise Development (ICCED) and multiple microfinance institutions in Kosovo. ICCED, a training and consultancy firm, developed a course that brings minorities into the economic mainstream. It created opportunities for linkages across ethnic and programming lines, linking a subsidized training program with for-profit financial services. The second case highlighted focuses on the Danish Refugee Council (DRC) and the Kosovo Enterprise Program (KEP). The case details how DRC's income-generation program was transformed and merged into KEP's normal financial operations.
As the second case in a series for the Accelerated Microenterprise Advancement Project Knowledge Generation microfinance amid conflict research theme, this case study on Afghanistan highlights the work of Child Fund Afghanistan (CFA) and the Afghan Rural Finance Corporation (ARFC). These projects illustrate the effects of working at different levels of enterprise financing in post-conflict settings. CFA is an example of an MFI that was built on a community-based model but which transitioned into a sustainable financial institution, with strong community ties and a sustained vision to serve marginalized groups. ARFC takes a different approach to economic recovery, focusing on high growth SMEs that can create sustainable jobs. ARFC works with and uses linkages with a variety of non-financial programs to strengthen the SMEs with which it works and to increase the financial and social impact of the broader aid agenda.
As the third case in a series for the Accelerated Microenterprise Advancement Project Knowledge Generation microfinance amid conflict research theme, this case study on Burundi highlights the work of Turame, a microfinance institution (MFI) created by World Relief. The Burundi case study highlights an MFI that integrates conflict-resolution training within its institutional-development (including loan officer training) and its community bank lending methodology. This approach addresses the community-level drivers of conflict while building systems and an institution that improves ethnic relations.
As the fourth case in a series for the Accelerated Microenterprise Advancement Project Knowledge Generation microfinance amid conflict research theme, this case study on Nepal highlights the work of the Nirdhan Utthan Bank Limited (NUBL). NUBL offers important pointers for risk mitigation in a conflict-affected environment and lessons learned on how adaptation of strategies, delivery mechanisms, and product characteristics can help microfinance providers ride the waves of societal conflict.
This Gateway Highlight includes some of the main findings of a research study completed for the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor on government funding of retail microfinance. This study focused on government-sponsored initiatives destined for retail microfinance funded through national budget resources, rather than development aid from donor countries. The study found a large number of public announcements but little evidence about the quality or activities of government-sponsored initiatives.
This MicroNOTE explores how microinsurance can be an effective risk-management strategy to protect poor households from the devastating losses related to HIV/AIDS, how insurers have responded to the pandemic with appropriate and affordable coverage, and the challenges and risks in serving communities with a high prevalence of HIV/AIDS.
This Note from the Field explores the role of Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRTs) in Afghanistan and how they support enterprise-development work. The note discusses the collaborative potential of PRTs working with other economic-development actors as well as the growing contention created by blurred lines between the military and humanitarian or development groups.
The CGAP Working Group on Microinsurance and USAID commissioned Banyan Global to develop a Note consolidating lessons and recommendations for donors supporting microinsurance. Banyan Global interviewed stakeholders working in this sector, presented findings at the Microinsurance Working Group meeting in 2007 and disseminated the report for review by industry experts. The Note provides an overview of current donor approaches for supporting microinsurance, synthesizes key lessons, and offers guidance for donors when channeling their assistance to the sector. download pdf
This research study commissioned by USAID's Office of Development Credit develops a case for private sector involvement in the provision of basic education and explores the financing needs of schools and related service providers. It offers USAID guidelines for investing in the private basic education sector by using the Development Credit Authority (DCA), a financial guarantee mechanism through the Office of Development Credit (ODC). download pdf
The Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP) commissioned Banyan Global to conduct a survey of donor and investor microfinance activities in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. This survey is the first of its kind and highlights trends in funding by country, donor type, activity, and funding instrument. The final report was presented at the 2005 Regional Sanabel Conference in Marrakech, Morocco. Contact Tiphaine Crenn (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Xavier Reille (email@example.com) for a copy of the report.
The International Finance Corporation (IFC) commissioned Banyan Global to conduct a sector study on microfinance, as well as validate the proposed interventions of PENSA, IFC's partner in Indonesia. In addition, we explored the financial linkages between PENSA's handicrafts program in Sulawesi and its agribusiness in Bali. These linkages are covered in separate reports and complement the microfinance sector. The Executive Summary outlines key findings and recommendations for programming. download pdf
Microfinance institutions (MFIs) are shifting from their traditional reliance on donor financing to using commercial funding sources, such as client deposits and loans from commercial banks and private investors. Such funding entails more-stringent repayment schedules and higher cost of funds, exposing MFIs to additional liquidity, interest rate, and exchange rate risks. Given the limited information available, Banyan Global researched six MFIs in Asia, Africa, Eastern Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East to examine their risk-management policies and procedures. This paper presents the findings and discusses the financial risks that MFIs face. download pdf
Microfinance institutions (MFIs) have an array of options when deciding how to fund themselves: issue stock or bonds, obtain commercial or concessionary loans, or mobilize savings. This paper explores the trends in usage, costs, and merits of each method of finance; how best to combine them; and the best practices associated with using them. Banyan Global contributed "Annex A" of the document, which outlines the analysis and procedures used in issuing debt and equity for an MFI. The annex discusses available and commonly used methods for raising capital in major microfinance markets. It also maps the evolution of funding sources, from concessionary and quasi-commercial lending provided by donors and local banks to commercial debt and equity issued through capital markets. download pdf
As the sector matures, microfinance institutions (MFIs) require capital from a variety of sources. There has been extensive growth in international lending to MFIs and, consequently, greater exposure to foreign exchange risk. As managers seek to finance their business plans, this Progress Note offers five suggestions to best minimize or manage this risk. Banyan Global's Shifting Technical Assistance Needs for Commercial MFIs: A Focus on Risk-Management Tools provides more overall information about risk management for MFIs. download pdf
This report was presented at a conference in Poland to illustrate the ways in which microfinance can expand and improve the private health sector, including the distribution of health products, the introduction of microinsurance, and access to capital for health providers. The author dispels the myth that private health providers are unbankable and discusses innovative linkages between the health and microfinance sectors. download pdf
This report was the result of a five-week assessment of USAID/Egypt's Small and Emerging Business (SEB) project. The assessment comprised two components: an evaluation of the SEB project (including implementing partners, approaches, objectives, and outcomes) and an appraisal of the microfinance industry in Egypt. Banyan Global presented recommendations for future USAID/Egypt program support to the microfinance sector. download pdf
This case study highlights DEMOS's approach to institutionalize knowledge of its clients, enabling the provision of more-appropriate products and services. DEMOS shows how such methods can succeed, even in small institutions with limited resources. This paper supports DEMOS's commitment to routine client assessment and describes the process, including system development and component design. It also analyzes the cost-effectiveness of this system and summarizes lessons learned. download pdf
The authors summarize findings from an Imp-Act project study on the role of microenterprise lending in the household-reconstruction process in Bosnia and Herzegovina from 1996 to 2002. This research is one of the first to examine the impact of microenterprise credit on reconstruction and was carried out to stimulate debate on the relationship between microfinance and post-conflict reconstruction. It presents propositions to be tested in other post-conflict settings to widen the pool of microfinance recipients and, consequently, the impact of microfinance on household reconstruction. download pdf
This one-page brief explains the benefits of stress testing as part of treasury risk management, which is crucial to the growth and sustainability of mature microfinance institutions (MFIs). download pdf
This presentation given in Spanish outlines the fundamentals of establishing a risk-management system for microfinance institutions (MFIs). Key elements include identifying, measuring, limiting, and monitoring risk. download pdf
This publication provides an overview and field guidance for the planning, design, and implementation of microfinance programs in conflict-affected countries. Because microfinance programs aim for both short- and long-term impact, cooperation between humanitarian and development organizations is important. The author describes how to coordinate such activities as assessing environmental conditions, identifying clients and influencers, and selecting implementing agencies. This manual can be purchased at http://www.ilo.org/public/english/support/publ/xtextmicr.htm#b6425
In 2002, microfinance was a small sector in Sierra Leone, with a number of providers experimenting with various models and approaches. Prepared for the World Bank, under the direction of Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP), this report reviewed microfinance performance in the country, while placing this experience in a comparative international context. It was used to initiate dialogue among government bodies in formulating a new policy framework.