Meet RESULTS, “one of the best-kept secrets in development”

Regular, everyday Americans at the halls of congress

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>>Authored by Sabina Rogers, Communications and Relationships Manager, Microcredit Summit Campaign

In a 2013 article, New York Times opinion writer, David Bornstein, wrote that RESULTS “remains one of the best-kept secrets in development.” RESULTS (and RESULTS Educational Fund, from which the Microcredit Summit came and into which the Microcredit Summit Campaign operations have been merged) is a grassroots advocacy organization founded in 1980. It has international affiliates in the UK, Canada, Australia, France (and Belgium), Japan, Korea, and Mexico; and the RESULTS family coordinates advocacy efforts to remarkable effect.

Never heard of RESULTS? Recall the poverty measurement legislation in the mid-2000s that requires USAID to direct at least 50 percent of their microenterprise funds to those living on less than $1 a day? Legislation that also prompted the creation of USAID’s Poverty Assessment Tool? That was RESULTS and allies.

The U.N. International Year of Microcredit in 2005 and the Nobel Peace Prize for Muhammad Yunus and Grameen Bank? That was RESULTS volunteers and the Microcredit Summit Campaign lobbying year after year for consideration. (FYI: The Year of Microcredit was established by the UN in 1998, the year after the 1997 Microcredit Summit, through the efforts of the Bangladesh Ambassador to the U.N., in recognition of the Summit’s 2005 deadline.)

Maternal and child legislation that would put the U.S. on track to help end preventable maternal and child deaths globally and ensure key reforms so every dollar we invest has greater impact? RESULTS has lobbied for maternal and child health funding year in and year out for 32 years, and child death rates have plummeted from 40,000 a day in 1984 to 16,000 a day today. More recently, RESULTS helped craft the Reach Every Mother and Child Act of 2015.

Pressuring Congress to preserve the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit (CTC), which are our country’s most successful anti-poverty programs for children? That was RESULTS.

Bornstein reported that World Bank President Jim Kim said, “RESULTS has such a lean and efficient model that nobody knows about them. They’re incredibly dedicated and very knowledgeable about the issues. It’s remarkable how much they’ve done and how few people have any idea about it.”

RESULTS (the 501(c)(4), non tax-deductible arm) and RESULTS Educational Fund (the 501(c)(3), tax-deductible arm) work hand-in-hand to produce cutting edge research to back up policy demands, which RESULTS volunteers take to Congress and other countries’ national parliaments, the World Bank, and bilateral donor agencies such as USAID to influence policy.

RESULTS takes on issues that are on the leading edge of policy and advocacy and brings them into the main stream.

Last year, RESULTS volunteers pushed Congress hard during the appropriations process and succeeded in reversing a total of $495 million in proposed cuts to global poverty focused programs and instead increased funding for these programs by $70 million. This in a political climate where partisanship is reaching its zenith and Congress is widely regarded as broken.

Citizens in the U.S. and all over the world have had a hand in making change through the RESULTS model for 35 years. RESULTS will soon be launching a new five-year strategic plan, and it will continue to advance an advocacy agenda in the financial inclusion space, helping to accelerate toward the end of extreme poverty by 2030.

As Larry Reed and Joanne Carter explained in their April 29th letter, “Financial inclusion and pathways out of poverty are a central part of this [strategic] plan and a critical part of reaching the 2030 goal. The powerful holistic financial inclusion model that the Campaign has been developing and driving with partners will become a centerpiece of RESULTS’ advocacy agenda on economic opportunity.”

In his acceptance speech for the Congressional Gold Medal in 2014, Muhammad Yunus credited RESULTS with having been “the most critical partner for microcredit,” as Bornstein put it. And, they were a critical partner because of the power of a 1000 volunteers raising their voice together to advocate for important policy changes. Yunus recounted a story from his early days as a PhD student in the U.S., walking the halls of Congress and recognizing the importance of citizens standing up for what they believe in.

Let’s close with this look back at a keynote address by Muhammad Yunus at the 2010 Regional Microcredit Summit in Nairobi. He tells the assembled delegates “This is the age of making ‘impossibles’ possible. It is us who decide,” he said, and it is us — citizens — who need to contribute to making change possible. Yunus exhorted us “that we can all work together rather than complaining about lousy government, saying they can’t deliver. There’s no way they can deliver — no matter what — unless we as citizens come together and do it as individuals, together.”

This is the credo upon which RESULTS is founded. RESULTS is making a difference in the world by influencing political decisions — both in the halls of your government as well as in implementing organizations — that will bring an end to poverty.

Changes ahead for the Microcredit Summit Campaign

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Dignitaries who attended the 1997 Microcredit Summit.

Dignitaries who attended the 1997 Microcredit Summit.

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>>Authored by Larry Reed, Director, Microcredit Summit Campaign

Twenty years ago Sam Daley-Harris came to our offices at Opportunity International — where I then worked — and told us of his plans to hold a Microcredit Summit. Working with Muhammad Yunus, founder of Grameen Bank and John Hatch, founder of FINCA, he would gather leaders from around the world to inform them of the important role microcredit and other financial services could play in helping people living in poverty. At the time, neither the UN nor the World Bank nor any national governments had any policies related to microfinance. Sam wanted to change that.

We were intrigued by his idea, so we started asking more about his organization. He represented a grassroots lobbying group called RESULTS, which mobilized citizen volunteers to advocate for issues related to poverty and hunger to their representatives in Congress. He told us about how, in 1990, RESULTS volunteers had held 500 candlelight vigils around the country to support the World Summit for Children.

We left the meeting excited by the prospect but not sure whether Sam was going to be able to pull off such a big event. We went back to our own agendas and didn’t give much thought to the Summit until a month or two before the event when we began to notice that all our conversations with colleagues in microfinance included discussions about the upcoming Summit. Everyone we knew was planning to go, and when we looked at the line-up of speakers, we saw why.

Sam and the RESULTS team had somehow convinced five heads of state, even more spouses of heads of state, the President of the World Bank, the Treasury Secretary, and many heads of UN agencies to speak at the first Summit in Washington. We started scrambling to figure out how we could get noticed at what was becoming the largest international event ever organized for microcredit.

The participants in the first Summit endorsed the goal of reaching 100 million of the world’s poorest families with microcredit by 2005. This became the focus of the first phase of the Microcredit Summit Campaign, expanding the use of microcredit as a development tool as widely as possible. When the Campaign first started tracking microfinance outreach in 1997, our industry was reaching 13 million borrowers, of whom 7.6 million lived in extreme poverty.

During the next nine years, according to David Roodman, the Microcredit Summit Campaign served as “a major force behind the global microfinance movement, combining savvy publicity with behind-the-scenes lobbying for funding.” After coordinated lobbying by RESULTS and their allies around the world, the UN declared 2005 to be the “International Year of Microcredit,” and the Norwegian Nobel Committee awarded its 2006 Peace Prize to Muhammad Yunus and the Grameen Bank. By 2007, the Campaign had reached its goal, reporting 155 million total microfinance borrowers, of whom 107 million were among the poorest in their countries.

Anticipating reaching the goal, the Campaign entered its second phase by setting two new goals at its 2006 Global Summit in Halifax:

  1. Reaching 175 million poorest families with microfinance
  2. Helping 100 million families lift themselves out of extreme poverty

With these new goals, the Campaign began focusing not just on the number of clients, but also on how access to microfinance affects the lives of families who borrow. We stressed the importance of measuring poverty levels of clients and recording progress over time, framing micro financial services as tools to help achieve the larger goal of ending extreme poverty.

In many ways, this message has become more widely accepted. The World Bank has made ending extreme poverty by 2030 and promoting shared prosperity its two guiding goals. As a key step to achieving these goals, the Bank has also adopted a target of reaching universal financial access by 2020. The UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), ratified by 193 nations this past January, have adopted the target of eradicating poverty, in all its forms, everywhere. Making a broad range of financial services available to all is one of the key targets for achieving the SDGs.

On the other hand, we have not had as much success in getting financial providers to expand service to the world’s poorest. As microfinance has grown more commercial, it has served proportionally fewer clients in extreme poverty. In fact, our numbers show that the number of borrowers living in extreme poverty has declined for each of the last three years. These trends, combined with a funding environment that has much less appetite for organizations providing public goods for microfinance, has caused us to rethink our role and structure.

In our last State of the Campaign Report, we identified Six Pathways for microfinance to reach those in extreme poverty and support their movement out of poverty. These Pathways all involve integrating financial services with other important development services, and many of them have significant connections with the work of governments.

At our most recent Summit in Abu Dhabi, our Leadership Council identified four priorities to help drive the future of our work on financial and social inclusion. These include transformative social protection and graduation programs, risk management by the poor, community-led finance, and rural development strategies. What they all share in common is the aim to help people move out and stay out of extreme poverty, addressing their unique vulnerabilities and combining public and private action to make essential services available to and affordable for those living in poverty.

We saw that our future work as the Microcredit Summit Campaign would have significant overlap with the work of our parent organization, RESULTS Educational Fund. As we called for governments and multilateral organizations to tear down the silos in their organizations to combine financial services with other developmental services like social protection, health, housing, and education, we saw that we needed to do the same thing in our own organization. Therefore, in order to strengthen our message and reduce annual recurring costs, we have decided to merge our work with that of RESULTS.

In this new structure, the Microcredit Summit Campaign will no longer operate as a standalone organization. Much of our team will be moving into positions with RESULTS, and we will continue to highlight the work carried out by innovators and leaders who design financial services that reach those in extreme poverty and that can show progress in helping families move out of poverty.

We will continue to advance the priorities of our Leadership Council, integrating them into the work RESULTS does to advocate for policies and resources to eliminate poverty through its three pillars of health, education, and economic opportunity.

Through RESULTS, we will continue to play our unique convening role. We will bring together the ever expanding community of institutions, companies, government agencies, and individuals that can provide the financial and other goods and services that address the unique needs of those living in poverty.

We now embark on the third phase of the Campaign. It will involve an advocacy agenda to link financial services to other key development services so that those living in poverty will have the resources and cash flows needed to provide for themselves, sustain the health of their families, and educate their children. We do so with the same audaciousness that Sam had when he started both RESULTS and the Microcredit Summit Campaign. We do so knowing that we will not succeed until extreme poverty no longer exists on our planet.

Read the official announcement: An Update from Joanne Carter, executive director of RESULTS and RESULTS Educational Fund, and Larry Reed, director of the Microcredit Summit Campaign

See answers to common questions (French and Spanish) that we anticipate you may have. If you have other question we didn’t think of, send an email to info@microcreditsummit.org.

Webinar recap: Is it too late for microfinance to be pro poor?

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On April 21st, the Microcredit Summit Campaign co-hosted with Uplift a webinar discussion focusing on the promise that graduation holds for sustainably reaching the ultra-poor. Our featured speakers were Debasish Ray Chaudhuri, CEO of Bandhan Konnagar in India, Rachel Proefke, a research associate with BRAC Uganda, Mark Daniels, the Philippines director for Opportunity International, and Allison Duncan, CEO of Amplifier Strategies and founder of Uplift. Anne Hastings, a global advocate with Uplift, moderated the webinar.

The conversation looked closely at the experiences that each of the three practitioners on the panel have had in implementing the program as well as the global advocacy message supporting the graduation approach being delivered by Uplift and its allies.

We hope you will get engaged with this promising avenue for reaching those living in ultra-poverty and be inspired by the potential it holds for helping microfinance institutions to reconnect to their original purpose. Some final thoughts from speakers on the webinar follow.

Anne Hastings noted,

We weren’t really able to address in depth how a pro-poor MFI, struggling for sustainability in a competitive, regulated environment can attain sustainability while operating the graduation program. In the models we saw, the institution was either an NGO or a regulated MFI that had formed a non-profit foundation for the graduation program and perhaps the delivery of other non-financial services. We shouldn’t be surprised or embarrassed that donor funding may still be needed, but partnerships with government safety net programs and other NGOs can also be very helpful in paying for the program. As the 6 RCTs funded by the Ford Foundation concluded, “Although more can be learned about how to optimize the design and implementation of the program, we establish that a multifaceted approach to increasing income and well-being for the ultra-poor is sustainable and cost-effective.” (Science Magazine, 15 May 2015, Vol 348 Issue 6236, p. 772.)

Rachel Profke added,

I think the point that I would stress, which we begun to address in the discussion, is the importance of finding the right partner for the implementation of components that an MFI does not have the core capacity to implement. While BRAC is able to leverage both microfinance and additional programming in the areas that we operate all programs, this is not always the case for us or other MFIs that will be interested in implementing graduation programming. Often, MFIs can provide the scale in identifying communities and in providing financial services, but linkages with implementing partners providing similar programming is fundamental to ensuring best practices in programming — as Mark highlighted. However, aside from NGO implementers, governments are often running existing programming that can be leveraged not only in identifying beneficiaries through such channels as social protection programming but also in providing some components through existing service provision, in terms of health or extension services. We find it helpful to look at what is already at place — and at scale — through government programs is useful, as we have done in Tanzania. This is also useful as we think about scaling because, apart from donor buy-in, governments offer larger potential through larger budgets and capacity.

Thank you to all panelists for contributing to this important conversation about the importance of the graduation approach. We also wish to thank all participants who submitted thought-provoking questions and comments to help make the session a very lively and interactive discussion!

Couldn’t join us? Watch the session recording!

Request for aid to help Ecuador recover from the earthquake

RFR

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Please find below a special message from our friends at Red Financiera Rural (RFR) in Ecuador. They are requesting our aid in dealing with the destruction of the April 16th earthquake. While immediate needs are being met, RFR is looking to the future and how their member microfinance institutions can help their clients and communities come back stronger than ever. They are asking for your help in one of three ways:

  1. Donate to RFR’s efforts to help microentrepreneurs most affected by the earthquake or provide funds to help RFR establish a credit fund to help small businesses recover.
  2. Contribute second-tier, long-term credit with preferential interest rates.
  3. Offer your advice and experiences in dealing with disaster recovery.

Address your comments, questions, and offers of support to helpecuador@rfr.org.ec.


Dear Friends:

Cordial greetings from Rural Financial Network (RFR), an organization of 50 microfinance institutions with credit serving about 1,250,000 microentrepreneurs and small producers throughout Ecuador.

As you may know, an earthquake of 7.8 degrees on the Richter scale occurred on 16 April in Ecuador, with serious consequences on the west coast. The time has mobilized the whole country to assist with aid to cities and towns affected and have received specialized brigades and support of more than 10 countries to rescue survivors, assist the wounded, provide basic goods to the population and find the bodies.

At the time of writing this letter, more than 500 people are dead, about 3,000 injured and about 1,000 missing. Today, we can say there are enough resources to attend the current needs. We expect that all the solidarity received contribute to what is necessary now. Update of the disaster can be found on the website of Ecuador’s Risk Management Secretariat.

As a National Network that brings together microfinance institutions, we are concern about what is coming in the future. The affected areas have a high percentage of the population marginalized, most of the microentrepreneurs were developing activities related to tourism, trade, services and agriculture, so a drama will take time to recover. We can cite some facts about that:

a) The buildings and road system have been damaged between 70 to 90% in cities and villages near the epicenter, and between 40-60% in other populations. There are two provinces severely affected and other two with partial destruction. An estimated 20,000 destroyed buildings at the time.

b) Thousands of microentrepreneur beneficiaries of microcredit have suffered loss of their homes (many of them part of their economic activity), losing goods, machinery, supplies and inventories. Similarly, some markets, popular shopping centers and traders areas are destroyed or they have been looted, so microentrepreneurs merchandise are lost and possibility to continue their economic activities are not possible in the short term.

c) The affected areas have an adequate number of institutions that have been serving microentrepreneurs with credit and other complementary services. We can summarize that microfinance institutions RFR members have the following information:

RFR MEMBERS – IMPACT IN THE PROVINCES OF EARTHQUAKE
MICROFINANCE INSTITUITIONS # #
Microenterpreneurs
USD. Credit
portfolio
PROVINCE: MANABÍ
Local MFI 3 19,435 42,683,826
National MFI with branches 12 77,740 170,735,302
PROVINCE: ESMERALDAS
Local MFI 0 0
National MFI with branches 4 19,082 34,463,108
PROVINCE: GUAYAS
Local MFI 2 29,111 61,370,685
National MFI with branches 10 145,556 306,853,423
PROVINCE: SANTA ELENA
Local MFI 1 2,195 5,095,943
National MFI with branches 8 17,562 40,767,544
#
Microenterpreneurs
USD. Credit
portfolio
TOTAL SERIOUSLY AFFECTED AREAS 116,257 247,882,236
TOTAL LESS AFFECTED AREAS 194,424 170,735,302

d) Microfinance institutions, because of their high social commitment, are making the necessary efforts to help the affected population, responsible for coordinating aid and donations, assembling makeshift shelters, and collaborating in all that is required. However, the big question is how to recover the economy of the small business, refinance their loans, provide additional funds for recovery, more human and psychological assistance needed by the population to resume their activities. We are expecting that local financial institutions suffer withdrawal of their deposits because people need their money now, however there are local mechanism to give assistance of funds and provide temporary liquidity.

e) In addition, MFI are asking to second-tier financiers, national and international, which in turn can refinance loans granted to the institutions of the affected area.

f) The Government is managing aid funds to multilateral agencies and cooperation to gradually restore basic services, road system and begin a rebuilding process that will take several months.

g) Despite the previous point, we know from previous local experiences in smaller scale, and from International experiences shared by friends and networks from other countries that the microenterpreneur need an additional reactivation fund to resume their economic activities. This is the only way to support a true recover plan in order to let them be self-sustainable. Additionally, we should help to seek solutions to existing microcredits. Conditions in the area are not the best for this process, however there are opportunities that can be taken with proper collaboration, because reconstruction activities could be offer possibility for microentrepreneurs if they would have some resources.

h) Finally, the aid will be concentrated in urban areas and in several cases, it will not be directed equally to marginal and rural areas of high levels of poverty. These areas have collateral effects (they can not take its production by isolation, low demand for its products by the companies or businesses affected, are not part of the housing reconstruction programs, their children are relocated to more distant schools, etc.)

For all these reasons, we went to the RFR network of friends and microfinance worldwide to request your kind cooperation in any of the following areas:

1. Financial contributions as a donation to:

  1. Contribute to help microentrepreneurs most affected by the earthquake (total loss of housing, commercial premises, inventories, machinery, isolation, low demand for their products or services, poverty, disabilities, the elderly, single mothers with young children).
  2. Establishment of a credit fund for micro business recovery (provision of raw materials, provision of equipment, repair of damaged infrastructure, change in economic activity)For these donations, which will be channeled RFR members present in the area and other specialized institutions, we provide the bank account of RFR may receive donations of any amount both individuals or organizations:
Bank Name: BANCO PICHINCHA
Bank Address: AV. AMAZONAS 4560 Y PEREIRA
Bank Phone: (+593) 2 2980 980
City: QUITO
Country: ECUADOR
SWIFT Code: PICHECEQ
Beneficiary Name: RED FINANCIERA RURAL
Beneficiary Account number: 3084625404

2. Contributions second-tier credits with preferential interest rates and long-term:

  1. Compensate for the temporary withdrawal of deposits;
  2. Promote credit lines reactivating production medium and long term;These credits can be awarded directly to the microfinance institutions or by second tier through specialized entities (public or private), for which RFR can serve as a contact and reference.

3. Information and experiences:

  1. Able to make contingency plans for microfinance institutions to enable them to define actions and strategies to overcome this moment;
  2. Organizations that provide support in these processes, resources or property donations, volunteers, donors, consulting, information dissemination, campaign design collection of funds or donations, etc.

RFR is open to sign agreements or commitments resource management and coordinate the actions required to receive the aid and to issue performance reports, accountability and audits to be the case. All the help received will be managed as an international cooperation project, with whom we have a vast experience and excellent references. Finally, a report of the entire implementation of the aid received will be issued, even with the list of microentrepreneurs and beneficiaries, as well as testimonies. RFR’s commitment will also systematize the experience so that it can serve as a reference for similar cases.

Should concerns arise or comments regarding about this information, please send it an e-mail to helpecuador@rfr.org.ec

We thank them in advance for your willingness to help or to spread this letter to persons or institutions that can help.

Best regards,

Javier Vaca Fausto Jordán
Director Ejecutivo Presidente

More ways you can help with donations.

The Ecuadorian Government invites you to donate directly:

Ecuador earthquake

Find them on Facebook

And, from CNN:

The Ecuador Red Cross has teams on the ground providing first aid and searching for survivors.

UNICEF has delivered 20,000 water purification tables to the area worst affected by the quake. UNICEF is also assessing the needs of children in the earthquake zone.

World Vision has deployed an emergency response staff to assist with aid distributions and is setting up shelters.

Samaritan’s Purse personnel are on the ground to help coordinate with churches and community officials. The groups says field hospital and medical staff will be arriving later this week.

World Food Program is providing food assistance to more than 5,000 families affected by the earthquake.

Oxfam America is focusing on providing clean water, sanitation, and hygenic products.

Save the Children is delivering emergency shelter, food, generators, and hygiene kits. It’s also providing kits for children to return to school as soon as possible.

International Medical Corps is working with local medical professionals to deploy mobile medical teams and assist damaged hospitals.

Handicap International and their emergency specialists are on the ground in Ecuador trying to get to the affected areas. They are there to provide rehabilitation services and counseling for the injured and their families.

Solicitud ayuda por terremoto en Ecuador

RFR

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Abajo encontrará un mensaje especial de nuestros amigos de la Red Financiera Rural (RFR) en Ecuador. Están solicitando nuestra ayuda para los damnificados de la destrucción del terremoto del 16 de abril. Mientras que las necesidades inmediatas se están satisfaciendo, RFR está viendo hacia el futuro y cómo sus instituciones microfinancieras integrantes pueden ayudar a que sus clientes y las comunidades regresen más fuertes que nunca. Están pidiendo su ayuda en una de tres formas:

  1. Donar a los esfuerzos de la RFR para ayudar a los microempresarios más afectadas por el terremoto o proporcionar fondos para ayudar a la RFR a establecer un fondo de crédito para ayudar a las pequeñas empresas a recuperarse.
  2. Contribuir crédito de segundo piso con tasas de interés preferenciales y de largo plazo.
  3. Ofrecer su asesoramiento y experiencia con casos de recuperación de desastres.

Dirija sus comentarios, preguntas y ofrecimientos de apoyo a helpecuador@rfr.org.ec.


Estimados amigos:

Reciban un cordial saludo de Red Financiera Rural (RFR), organización que agrupa a 50 instituciones de microfinanzas que atienden con crédito a cerca de 1,250,000 microempresarios y pequeños productores en todo el Ecuador.

Como es de su conocimiento un terremoto de 7.8 grados en la escala de Richter ha ocurrido el 16 de abril pasado en Ecuador, con graves consecuencias en la costa oeste del país. Al momento se ha movilizado el país entero para asistir con ayuda a las ciudades y poblados afectados, así como se han recibido brigadas especializadas y ayuda de más de 10 países hermanos para rescatar a sobrevivientes, asistir a los heridos, dotar de bienes básicos a la población y encontrar los cadáveres.

Al momento de escribir este oficio se totalizan más de 500 muertos, cerca de 3,000 personas heridas y alrededor de 1,000 desaparecidos. Se puede decir que al momento existe organización suficiente para asistir las necesidades actuales y que la solidaridad recibida contribuye a lo que se necesita por el momento. Información actualizada del desastre la puede encontrar en la página de la Secretaría de Gestión de Riesgos www.gestionderiesgos.gob.ec/

La preocupación como Red que agrupa a instituciones de microfinanzas surge de cara al futuro, ya que las zonas afectadas tienen un alto porcentaje de población marginada, la mayoría microempresarios que vivía de actividades de turismo, comercio, servicios y agricultura, por lo que al momento se vive un drama que tomará tiempo en poder recuperarse, entre lo que podemos citar:

a). Las edificaciones y sistema vial han sufrido daños entre el 70 al 90% en los poblados cercanos al epicentro, y entre el 40-60% en poblaciones aledañas a este, siendo 2 provincias afectadas gravemente y otras 2 con destrucción parcial. Se estima al momento 20,000 edificaciones destruidas.

b). Miles de microempresarios beneficiarios de microcréditos han sufrido pérdida de sus viviendas, muchas de ellas parte de su actividad económica, perdiendo mercadería, maquinaría, insumos e inventarios. De igual forma algunos mercados, centros comerciales populares, o zonas de comerciantes están destruidas o han sido saqueadas por lo que microempresarios han perdido mercadería y su sustento diario.

c). Las zonas afectadas cuentan con un número adecuado de instituciones que han venido atendiendo a los microempresarios con crédito y otros servicios complementarios, pudiendo resumir que las instituciones de microfinanzas miembros de RFR tienen la siguiente información:

ESTADÍSTICAS MIEMBROS RFR – EN PROVINCIAS DE IMPACTO DEL TERREMOTO
INSTITUCIONES DE MICROFINANZAS No. No. Microempresarios USD. Cartera de crédito
PROVINCIA DE MANABÍ
IMF locales 3 19,435 42,683,826
IMF nacional con oficinas 12 77,740 170,735,302
PROVINCIA DE ESMERALDAS
IMF locales 0 0
IMF nacional con oficinas 4 19,082 34,463,108
PROVINCIA DE GUAYAS
IMF locales 2 29,111 61,370,685
IMF nacional con oficinas 10 145,556 306,853,423
PROVINCIA DE SANTA ELENA
IMF locales 1 2,195 5,095,943
IMF nacional con oficinas 8 17,562 40,767,544
No. Microempresarios USD. CArtera de crédito
TOTAL ZONAS MÁS AFECTADAS 116,257 247,882,236
TOTAL ZONAS MENOS AFECTADAS 194,424 170,735,302

d) Las instituciones de microfinanzas, por su alto compromiso social, están realizando los esfuerzos necesarios para ayudar a la población afectada, encargándose de coordinar ayuda y donaciones, montando albergues provisionales, y colaborando en todo lo que se requiera. Sin embargo, la gran pregunta es cómo poder reactivar la economía del microempresario, refinanciar sus créditos, proporcionar fondos adicionales para su recuperación, a más de la asistencia humana y psicológica que necesita la población para retomar sus actividades. Se prevé adicionalmente, que las instituciones financieras locales sufran retiro de sus depósitos ya que las personas necesitan su dinero en estos momentos, y se ha previsto ayuda de fondos locales que provean liquidez temporal.

e) Se está solicitando a los financistas de segundo piso, nacionales e internacionales, que puedan refinanciar a su vez los créditos otorgados a las instituciones de la zona afectada.

f) El Gobierno está gestionando fondos de ayuda ante organismos multilaterales y cooperación para poder de a poco reestablecer los servicios básicos, sistema vial e iniciar un proceso de reconstrucción que tomará varios meses.

g) A pesar del punto anterior conocemos por experiencias locales anteriores de menor escala, y por experiencias internacionales que nos han compartido instituciones y redes amigas de otros países, que el microempresario al depender exclusivamente de su negocio para la subsistencia diaria, necesita un fondo de reactivación para poder retomar sus actividades económicas que son su único ingreso para sostén de su familia. Adicionalmente se debe buscar la solución a los créditos existentes. Si bien las condiciones de la zona no son de lo mejor para este proceso, hay oportunidades que pueden tomar con la debida colaboración, ya que las propias actividades de reconstrucción ofrecen posibilidad al microempresario.

h) Finalmente, la ayuda se concentra en zonas urbanas y en varios casos se ha visto que no llegará en la misma magnitud a zonas marginales y rurales de altos niveles de pobreza que sufren efectos colaterales (no pueden sacar su producción por aislamiento, baja la demanda de sus productos por parte de las empresas o comerciantes afectados, no son parte de los programas de reconstrucción de viviendas, sus hijos son reubicados en escuelas más lejanas, etc.)

Por estas razones acudimos la red de amigos de RFR y las microfinanzas a nivel mundial para solicitar su gentil colaboración en alguno de los siguientes ámbitos:

1. Aportes financieros como donación para:

  1. Contribuir a ayudar a los microempresarios más afectados por el terremoto (pérdida total de vivienda, local comercial, inventarios, maquinaria, aislamiento, baja de la demanda de sus productos o servicios, condiciones de pobreza, discapacidades, ancianos, madres solteras con hijos pequeños).
  2. Constitución de un fondo de crédito para reactivación de negocio de microempresa (dotación de materia prima, dotación de maquinaria, reparación de daños en infraestructura, cambio de actividad económica).Para estas donaciones, que serán canalizadas a los miembros de RFR presentes en la zona y otras instituciones especializadas, ponemos a disposición la cuenta bancaria de RFR pudiendo recibir donaciones de cualquier monto tanto de personas naturales o de organizaciones:
Nombre del Banco: BANCO PICHINCHA
Dirección del Banco AV. AMAZONAS 4560 Y PEREIRA
Teléfono del Banco: (+593) 2 2980 980
Ciudad: QUITO
País: ECUADOR
Código SWIFT: PICHECEQ
Nombre del beneficiario: RED FINANCIERA RURAL
Número de cuenta del beneficiario 3084625404

2. Aportes con créditos de segundo piso con tasas de interés preferenciales y de largo plazo para:

  1. Compensar el retiro temporal de depósitos;
  2. Promover líneas de crédito de reactivación productiva de mediano y largo plazo;Estos créditos se canalizarán directamente a las instituciones de microfinanzas, o por medio de alguna entidad local, pública o privada, especializada en el tema, para lo cual RFR puede servir de contacto y referencia.

3. Información y experiencias para:

  1. Poder realizar planes de contingencia para las instituciones de microfinanzas que les permitan definir acciones y estrategias para superar este momento;
  2. De organizaciones que brinden apoyo en estos procesos, con donaciones de recursos o bienes, voluntarios, cooperantes, asesoría, difusión de información, diseño de campañas de colección de fondos o donaciones, etc.

RFR se compromete a suscribir convenios o compromisos de manejo de los recursos o a coordinar las acciones que se requieran para recibir la ayuda, así como a emitir los informes de ejecución, rendición de cuentas o auditorías de ser el caso, tal como si fuera un proyecto con la cooperación internacional, con los cuales tenemos una vasta experiencia y excelentes referencias. Finalmente se emitirá un informe de toda la ejecución de la ayuda recibida, incluso con el listado de los microempresarios y personas beneficiarias, así como de testimonios. El compromiso de RFR será también sistematizar la experiencia para que pueda servir de referencia para casos similares.

En caso de que se presenten inquietudes o comentarios respecto a esta información, favor remitirla a la dirección electrónica helpecuador@rfr.org.ec

Agradeciéndoles de antemano por su predisposición a ayudar o a difundir el presente oficio a personas o instituciones que puedan ayudar, nos despedimos.

Saludos cordiales,

Javier Vaca Fausto Jordán
Director Ejecutivo Presidente

Creating entrepreneurs of democracy

Photos courtesy of RESULTS and RESULTS Educational Fund

Photos courtesy of RESULTS and RESULTS Educational Fund

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>>Authored by Ken Patterson, Director of Global Grassroots Advocacy, RESULTS U.S.

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Ken Patterson

The solutions to some of our biggest problems are often right in front of us, yet out of sight. Take microfinance. Early pioneers recognized that we had a financial system that was serving less than half the population. It wasn’t that the under served weren’t economic beings — it was that financial systems just weren’t fully constructed to serve them. Early on, RESULTS, a U.S.-based global grassroots advocacy NGO, backed these pioneers who were determined to build the other half of the financial service spectrum. The results have been dramatic.

A similar phenomenon exists in most democracies: we have this great idea — that the people will guide elected officials who work for them in government to create policies and spending priorities “by and for the people.” But, we Americans treat democracy as something people should naturally know how to do — like eating or walking. We don’t educate people about how democracy works, show them how to interact with it, or create an environment that encourages engagement. It doesn’t show up in grade school, high school, or college. We treat democracy like it is a moment in time or something we’ve completed: “Oh yeah, democracy, we already have that.”

If one is lucky enough to have an activist parent, he/she might have some idea of what it means to be a contributing member of a democracy. But this isn’t the case for most of us, and engaging in our democracy is as foreign to us as speaking a different language or playing the didgeridoo. This is why Sam Daley-Harris founded RESULTS, to bring people in touch with their democracies and “get them off the bench and into the game.”

This lack of understanding and engagement isn’t true just for Americans. Democracy is a pretty new thing for many developing nations, and most people aren’t trained in what it is or what it means to be a citizen in a democracy. They don’t know the rights and responsibilities that come with it, nor do they have the skills to engage with it to benefit their communities. So, RESULTS has recently embarked on an effort to change that, and none too soon. Sharing the RESULTS deep citizen advocacy model with our global health and microfinance partners is pressing because as the economies of developing nations improve, donors will pull back, leaving governments to deal with poverty on their own. But most governments are not likely to prioritize the needs of the most marginalized without pressure from their own people, and if we want to truly make of go of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), citizen engagement will be a critical strategy for all nations wanting to address poverty, including the U.S.

We started this work of sharing the RESULTS deep citizen advocacy model with our partners in Kenya and Zambia, KANCO and CITAM+ respectively. Both organizations were doing effective advocacy at the staff level, but after seeing what RESULTS has been able to accomplish through deep citizen advocacy, they knew they could do more. So, they asked RESULTS to help them incorporate deep citizen advocacy into their model. The results have been impressive. Since 2013, KANCO has helped increase domestic health funding in Kenya, including 202 million Kenyan shillings (Ksh) for immunizations, and Ksh 286 million for tuberculosis (TB). They also helped resolve a national TB drug shortage. CITAM+ is working to reprioritize the site selection criteria for 650 new healthcare clinics in Zambia, making sure that the communities most in need get clinics first. With little variation, the RESULTS model is being successfully transferred, and it’s working.

So, if citizen advocacy is working with health-related, non-governmental organizations, why wouldn’t it work with microfinance institutions (MFIs)? The goal of most MFIs is to help their clients see themselves in a new light as economic actors. Why not offer the same for their lives as civic actors?

This is what we embarked upon at the 18th Microcredit Summit in Abu Dhabi this March. Forward thinking staff at the Microcredit Summit Campaign invited Sam Daley-Harris and me to lead a 6-hour workshop on integrating civic engagement into microfinance institutions. Fifteen people attended the workshop, including practitioners and microfinance support organizations. At first, the idea of integrating citizen engagement raised a lot of questions — and some doubt. This is the same reaction most people have when you ask them to develop a relationship with their government officials. However, as participants started learning the skills, they also started seeing the possibilities. A gentleman from Jordan said, “We can do this. I have microfinance agents I can train to take this to 56 centers. They are already meeting regularly.” There were many other revelations, and most of the participants signed on to learn more.

Though this was just the starting point in working with MFIs, it makes sense to seriously explore integrating civic engagement into the curriculum of MFI clients. Because if elected officials are not in direct relationship with their constituents, then there is no way government policies and priorities will reflect the needs of the people. And, who better to carry this forward than microentrepreneurs? In addition to being business entrepreneurs, they are in a great position to take on the role of entrepreneurs of democracy.

If you would like to learn more about RESULTS US and how you can integrate civic engagement into the curriculum of your clients, contact Ken Patterson at kpatterson[at]results.org.

#tbt: A look back at the 2006 Global Microcredit Summit

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In an interview, Microcredit Summit Campaign co-founder, Sam Daley-Harris describes what turned him into an advocate for microcredit. In the late 1970s, Sam attended a presentation on world hunger, and he realized that “there was no scarcity of solutions. There was no mystery to growing food or [providing] clean water [and] basic health. What I was hopeless about was not the lack of solutions. I was hopeless about human nature.” He realized, however, that he had control over his own actions, so he started a citizen lobby group called RESULTS (our parent organization), to create the political will to end hunger.

In 1985, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), which was then a new United Nations fund, was under attack from the U.S. Government (in a dispute with OPEC), and Sam marshaled his citizen lobbyists in support of IFAD. RESULTS volunteers told their Congressional representatives of the important investments IFAD was doing, including one small women’s bank in Bangladesh called Grameen Bank.

Also in the playlist are a speech from Prof Yunus talking about why injustice — including economic injustice — creates tension (start at min 1:07 and continue to this video). The final video in the playlist is an address to the Halifax delegates by former President Bill Clinton about the power of microfinance to help the extreme poor and to celebrate the Muhammad Yunus and Grameen Bank’s being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006. (Start at min 1:15.)

Global Money Week at the 18th Microcredit Summit with Luis Fernando Sanabria

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18th Microcredit Summit & 2016 Global MOney Week Interview Series

Luis Fernando Sanabria, COO of Fundación Paraguaya, interviewed by Jared Penner, director of thought leadership and consultancy at Child & Youth Finance International in the Netherlands.


Luis Fernando Sanabria, COO of Fundación Paraguaya, tells about his organization’s commitment to serving the youth of Paraguay. He highlights the importance of the youth in Paraguay, noting that half the country’s population is under 30 years old. “They are not only the future, but also the present — especially of our economy,” he points out.

Fundación Paraguaya focuses on developing a self-sufficient school model so that the youth will be prepared to have a successful in life. The organization encourages youth to engage in micro-enterprises and works with other organizations to develop a supportive ecosystem.

“Everything we learn in microfinance and in financial literacy,” said Sanabria, “we put it in our self-sufficient school model. Those are self-sufficient schools for very poor people. We run microenterprises on the campuses of those schools, and the microenterprises are run by teachers and students. They serve 2 purposes: first one is to generate income to sustain the school but second, and perhaps the more important objective, is to better train students to be successful in life…They learn not only about production but about marketing, accounting, packaging — everything they need to run a real enterprise when they graduate.”

Fundación Paraguaya commits to next five years is to creating partnerships with other organizations and help 30,000 families in Paraguay to leave extreme poverty.

Video Corner | Shamsul Haque on reducing poverty through an integrated approach

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18th Microcredit Summit Video Corner Interview Series

Shamsul Haque, executive director and CEO of Society for Development Initiatives in Bangladesh, interviewed by Miranda Beshara, editor of the Arabic Microfinance Gateway.


Shamsul Haque of Society for Development Initiatives (Bangladesh) discusses his organization, the role of microfinance to help end poverty, and the lessons learned at the 18th Microcredit Summit with Miranda Beshara, editor of the Arabic Microfinance Gateway. Haque explains that SDI’s objective is to reduce poverty in Bangladesh through an integrated approach involving components such as microcredit, education, and the environment.

Haque is attending the Summit to gain experience from people in other countries on how they providing non-financial services like health, education, and the environment. “Microfinance plus at least education and health,” Haque said. “If we combine education, health and microcredit ….they [clients] will graduate [out of poverty]. They will be a respectable people in society. That is also our objective.”

Oradian’s innovative cloud system in West Africa empowers the microfinance community

Oradian customers

Oradian customers

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>>Authored by Vedrana Legovic, marketing and communications officer of Oradian

Vedrana Legovic_contributor

Vedrana Legovic

Last month, we travelled to Abu Dhabi for the 18th Microcredit Summit, which hosted a number of microfinance and financial inclusion experts from around the world. The summit explored new and effective ways in advancing financial inclusion and featured successes in Africa and the Middle East. One of those success stories is certainly that of Oradian, and we are honoured that the Microcredit Summit Campaign recognised the impact of our work in West Africa. By using our latest cloud-based technology, services, and domain expertise in that region, we increase efficiency and effectiveness of microfinance institutions (MFIs).

We had the opportunity to attend inspiring plenary and breakout sessions and be a part of the arena where so many great ideas were shared. Oradian’s co-founder and managing director, Antonio Separovic, spoke at the “Innovative Products and Services for Financial Inclusion” panel. Oradian creates technology (SaaS software) for MFIs. With our technology, we remove complexity, empower our users, and enable their growth because most of them still use pen and paper.

Antonio discussed Oradian’s experience in enabling ‪‎ MFIs to advance financial inclusion by using our innovative technology. More specifically, he shared our story about empowering microfinance communities in some of the most remote rural areas in Nigeria, our core market, where we have had impressive results with local MFIs in applying our multi-award winning software, Instafin, to their operations.‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

Oradian’s Core Microfinance System Instafin awarded to one lucky MFI

Antonio handing the Oradian winner certificate to the representative of Vicoba Village Community Bank from Tanzania

Antonio Separaovic, managing director of Oradian, hands the Oradian winner certificate to the representative of Vicoba Village Community Bank from Tanzania

We had the privilege of partnering with the 18th Microcredit Summit. On the second day of the summit, we held a raffle in which one lucky MFI, Vicoba Village Community Bank from Tanzania, won a 9-month pilot to use our Core Microfinance System – Instafin along with all the training and support.

As Instafin is very easy to implement, we are happy to be able to offer such pilots and we look forward to awarding a similar prize next year. Commenting on the Summit, Antonio Separovic, managing director at Oradian said:

Attending the 18th Microcredit Summit was truly a rewarding experience. We received excellent feedback from attendees and were delighted to join other participants and delegates in so many motivating discussions that highlighted the importance of innovation in financial inclusion. We’re grateful for many opportunities that arose from an inspiring networking environment. I would say the Oradian team is now even more excited to continue working on our mission — to empower the delivery of financial services to the underserved and unbanked. Needless to say, we are already looking forward to the next year’s event.

How we empower MFIs with Instafin

Microfinance institutions in Africa offer both loans and savings, but they operate in outdated technical environments. This creates a struggle with day-to-day operations and, more often than not, causes confusion and uncertainty.

This is where Oradian steps in. Our SaaS Instafin is changing the way MFIs in developing markets operate, enabling them to serve the most rural clients affordably and efficiently. Specifically designed for financial institutions servicing the base of the socio-economic pyramid, Instafin is the world’s first true core microfinance platform, designed by experienced practitioners.

Oradian’s role in women’s empowerment

This year’s summit discussions highlighted once again that microfinance incentives provide much needed access to financial resources that are crucial to the people at the bottom of the socio-economic pyramid, among whom women comprise the majority. Women have earned the reputation of being more financially responsible regarding investment, savings, and paying back loans in time. This makes them key drivers for sustainable development and a prime focus of microfinance institutions.

Our customer using Instafin

An Oradian customer using Instafin

By using our technology, the process of delivering microfinance services is more affordable and efficient for MFIs. Instafin is easy to implement and use, which results in savings in costs and time. Having in mind that over 90 percent of Oradian’s end clients are women, it is necessary to recognise the role we play in enabling women to access financial services.

Where is Oradian in advancing financial inclusion in West Africa

We are honoured to have had the opportunity to attend so many inspiring speeches at the Summit and engage in thoughtful discussions, with focus on financial inclusion strategies.

While it is a far stretch to claim that financial inclusion guarantees to bring people out of poverty, having access to financial services is the first step and microfinance institutions are at the forefront of providing these services. Without a doubt financial services help individuals to reach their economic potential, invest in opportunities, and start small businesses or expand them.

In order to advance the financial inclusion efforts, we need to develop an open ecosystem for financial inclusion. Our philosophy is that technology should support a platform that nurtures both our customers as well as a vibrant third party marketplace of solution providers. The Oradian Ecosystem is how we grow and drive change for our customers — now and into the future.

We are committed to increasing financial inclusion in West Africa, given the global demand and scalability of Oradian’s products and services, we are also developing regional partnerships and planning roll-out across the rest of Africa. Our goal is to enable MFIs to extend financial services to 100,000,000 underserved families, touching the lives of half a billion people globally.

About Vedrana Legovic

Trained Internet Marketing Specialist, with MA in Marketing Management and background in journalism, Vedrana has been working in the digital media industry for 8 years. She focuses on social media and content marketing. You can connect with her on LinkedIn.

#tbt: Digital services to reach the unreachable at the 2013 Summit

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Speakers in the “Reaching Deeper and Lowering Costs: The Path ahead for Digital Services” plenary session at the 2013 Partnerships against Poverty Summit in Manila, Philippines. We learned how mobile devices can help provide better options to those who are reliant upon riskier, costlier options.

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Highlighting technology innovations in the microfinance sector, the plenary session “Reaching Deeper and Lowering Costs: The Path ahead for Digital Services” at the 2013 Partnerships against Poverty Summit was moderated by our very own Sabina Rogers, filling in for Karen Dávila, noted Philippine broadcast journalist.

It was a fun session, using visual aids to represent certain aspects of a value chain for delivering mobile and financial services. A house represented the client and the start of the digital transaction value chain; then images showed the mobile interface for conducting transactions; a sari-sari represented an agent kiosk; a net represented both communications networks as well as financial networks; and a bank stood in for a variety of types of financial institutions.

Speakers were asked to make use of the array to help them illustrate where the companies and organizations the represented fit into the value chain.

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Gordon Cooper, Head of Emerging Market Solutions, APCEMEA, VISA, and Raj Singh-Khaira, Vice President, RM & Consumer Services, FINO PayTech

Nadeem Hussein of Tameer Microfinance Bank (Pakistan) led off the discussion demonstrating how Tameer had a role in supporting a number of points along the value chain overall from understanding the consumer landscape to developing mobile transaction interfaces including working with agents, and all as a financial institution.

Raj Singh-Khaira of FINO PayTech (India) and focused on the need for institutions like his to diversify their involvement in a number of ways along the value chain because “the market is not mature enough for us to be just this one component…the agent kiosk in this example.” He pointed to the wide array of services FINO provides to achieve this diversity including a number of types of savings products, insurance, and some loans.

FINO serves over 67 million clients and employs more than 50,000 agents. Technology is important to help reach this kind of scale as opposed to manual transactions. He also mentioned the ability to better track and secure transactions through the use of digital means of transacting.

The role of VISA was presented by Gordon Cooper. “Visa is a Network, a network service provider. It’s all about interoperability,” cited Cooper; continuing, he described a project VISA launched several years ago which focused on finding one key way VISA could contribute to increasing access to formal financial services for low income individuals.

The result: launching mVISA in Rwanda, a mobile transactions platform (see this video). He focused on the necessity of interoperability, which refers to the ability of one financial service provider’s platform to link up with others’ platforms in order to enable customers on different networks or in different financial systems to transact. Increasing interoperability as a means to support wider access will be one major focus for VISA in the digital area.

Napoleon Nazareno of Smart Communications, one of the largest mobile network operators working in the Philippines, echoed Khaira. Smart is not isolated to only providing mobile phone connectivity, but also goes beyond to touch on all aspects of the value chain. Beginning more than a decade ago, Smart launched a small mobile banking service platform. By partnering with financial service providers over the years, this has now grown into a full-fledged mobile microfinance service platform.

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Ian Radcliffe, Director, WSBI-ESBG

Ian Radcliffe of WSBI illustrated their role in supporting the actors involved in the value chain as direct service providers. Their core activity is advocacy, but apart from that, they also deliver training and consultancy services to providers.

He highlighted an initiative begun about four years ago, to understand what it would it take to double the number of savings accounts among poor people. This launched the WSBI savings account program, which is now working with banks in 10 countries to develop and improve agent banking models and mobile banking models now, too.

Nazareno summarized the session nicely at one point during the presentations, pointing to the power of digital channels for reaching the financially exclude citing recent national survey in the Philippines.

He said, “80% of the households in the Philippines don’t have a bank account. On the other hand, 90% of Filipinos have a cell phone,” which highlights the viability of using mobile devices to provide financial services to those who would otherwise remain excluded. Mobile devices can help provide better options to those who are reliant upon riskier, costlier options, and, ultimately, ones that would stand in the way of their journey out of poverty.

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A participant at the 2013 Summit was having a great time.

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Watch the full video of this plenary

Video Corner | Shazia Abbas on microfinance creating entrepreneurs

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18th Microcredit Summit Video Corner Interview Series

Shazia Abbas, CEO of Micro Options in Pakistan, interviewed by Miranda Beshara, editor of the Arabic Microfinance Gateway.


Shazia Abbas of Micro Options (Pakistan) discusses her organization, the role of microfinance to help end poverty, and the lessons learned at the 18th Microcredit Summit with Miranda Beshara, editor of the Arabic Microfinance Gateway. Micro Options provides microcredit services for agriculture, livestock, and alternative energy (i.e., solar and bio-gas), combining access to capital with skills training with a focus on women and youth.

Abbas says that the Summit is a great forum and the biggest networking event for the region and globally. On her experience in Abu Dhabi, she appreciates “learning how other people are doing this work differently, and especially the opportunities we can leverage. That was wonderful. Every session is very important, and I was confused which to pick and not to pick,” Abbas adds with a chuckle. “I will definitely take some learning that I can cooperate at my organization so that we can deliver even better.”

Abbas echoes Professor Muhammad Yunus on the role of microfinance, stressing that access to capital and finance should be a fundamental human right. “If you are educated but you don’t have access to employment,” says Abbas, “you can become an entrepreneur. We provide social and economic development opportunity especially to rural areas and women.”

She continues, “We believe microcredit is directly linked and can directly impact on poverty, but implementation needs to be strategized properly. Ultimately, provision of capital and using this capital in a way that you make people entrepreneurs and make people stand on their own feet.” She concludes that this is how microfinance can “accelerate” people out of poverty.

Video Corner | Tarik Sayed Harun on reducing poverty in Bangladesh

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18th Microcredit Summit Video Corner Interview Series

Tarik Sayed Harun, assistant director of the core program for COAST Trust (Coastal Association for Social Transformation) in Bangladesh, interviewed by Miranda Beshara, editor of the Arabic Microfinance Gateway.


Tarik Sayed Harun of COAST Trust (Bangladesh) discusses the role of microfinance to help end poverty and the lessons learned at the 18th Microcredit Summit with Miranda Beshara, editor of the Arabic Microfinance Gateway. Harun explains that the poverty rate in Bangladesh has been reduced by 10 percent over the past five years. He suggests that recent research showing that microfinance in Bangladesh contributes approximately 10 percent to the nation’s GDP supports his contention that microfinance has a strong role to contribute to ending poverty.

“[The 18th Microcredit Summit] is very good opportunity to learn from each other and about very good practices from around the world,” said Harun. “We are trying to learn from the good practices and to implement them in our country, my organization. Overall our one commitment is to reduce poverty, so this is a very good opportunity to learn from each other.”

Video Corner | Lev Plaves of Kiva on measuring impact

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18th Microcredit Summit Video Corner Interview Series

Lev Plaves, portfolio manager at KIVA in the USA, interviewed by Miranda Beshara, editor of the Arabic Microfinance Gateway.


Lev Plaves of KIVA talks with Miranda Beshara, editor of the Arabic Microfinance Gateway, about what he was most excited to learn about at the 18th Microcredit Summit. “What we are most excited about is how much discussion there was at the Summit about how different stakeholders — whether investors or practitioners — are really working to improve how we’re measuring impact,” Plaves says. “That was really great to see, and I am excited to see moving forward how that plays out in terms of people working to really increase how we are quantifying the outcomes we are having as an industry.”

Plaves explains that KIVA’s mission is to connect people through lending to alleviate poverty, mobilizing people on a global level to lend as little as US$ 25 on their crowd-funding platform. KIVA has expanded its reach beyond traditional microfinance institutions, which now account for only half of their partners and thus extending their portfolio outside the microfinance sector.

Answering the question about the role of microfinance to help end poverty, Plaves explains that this has allowed KIVA to “expand the breadth our reach in terms of the number of people and the types of services we’re providing and also the depth and the impact we’re having.”

April 21st Webinar: Is it too late for microfinance to be pro poor?

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You’re invited to an exciting webinar organized by Uplift on April 21st (10 AM EDT / GMT-4): “Is it too late for microfinance to be pro poor? The case for linking microfinance with graduation.”

The Graduation Approach was first developed by BRAC to help address the needs of those who were too poor for microfinance services.

In recent years, shifts in the regulatory environment and disruptive digital inclusion technologies have put pressure on microfinance institutions to go up market and move away from their original pro-poor mission.

Please register by April 19th. The password to register is “MCSEWORKSHOP”.

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