World Bank report documents progress on poverty reduction and path ahead for Ethiopia

Beehives

Beehives

Lea en español *** Lisez en français


>>Authored by Jesse Marsden, Research and Operations Manager

The World Bank released a report in January about the progress made on poverty reduction in Ethiopia between 2000 and 2011, and it described what will be needed to end extreme poverty by 2030. Given our program with MasterCard Foundation in 2014 (see this post summarizing the “Innovations in Social Protection” program) this was of particular interest to us.

The Campaign is also increasingly focused on understanding how 6 key financial inclusion pathways are showing great promise in contributing to the end of extreme poverty.

The report suggests that Ethiopia’s concerted, collaborative, and well-supported poverty reduction effort has been a success story with remarkable results. In 2000, 56 percent of the population lived below the World Bank extreme poverty line of $1.25 a day PPP. By 2011, that rate had fallen a dramatic 25 points to 31 percent of the population. It is good to see too that the Bank report also covers non-income indicators, noting that as compared to 2000, by 2011 most Ethiopians had better health, education, and living standards as well as improved life expectancy. Access to basic services improved by double (meaning electricity and water in the home).

The report notes that this rate of progress is uncommon on the continent and is second only to the rate of poverty reduction seen in Uganda over the same period. It also seems that the right places received the attention needed. That is to say that regions with higher rates of poverty saw some of the most dramatic declines, particularly citing Tigray where the Campaign visited during our field visit in 2014.

In places where dramatic growth like this takes place, one of the oft noted concerns is that the gains from improvements are being felt by a limited segment of the population (usually those who were better off already). One of the most impressive statitstics concerning the poverty reduction seen in Ethiopia is that during this period the already low inequality level was maintained.

Success factors

So what has been at the heart of this progress? The report cites a wide range of factors, accurately reflecting the multi-faceted nature of poverty reduction efforts. It is worth noting however that the report does accredit the greatest share of poverty reduction having resulted mainly from a single sector, namely the rural, self-employed, agriculture sector. While factors such as consistently good rainfall and high food prices have played a positive role, the report notes the importance of some more intentional efforts.

The Productive Safety Net Program (PSNP) launched in 2005 (and a key part of our visit in 2014) has played an important role in poverty reduction by both directly reducing poverty rates by 2 percent as well as contributing indirectly through increasing agriculture input use and thereby increasing productivity. In addition, public investment has been “central” to the government development strategy and “redistribution has been an important contributor to poverty reduction.”

Ethiopia bases public spending decisions on a central and publicly accessible Growth and Transformation Plan. This strategy places primary importance on sectors crucial to poverty reduction including food security, education, health, roads, and access to water. With this plan in place since 2005 (concurrent with the launch of PSNP) public investments in social protection, agriculture and food security, and access to basic services have been key drivers of poverty reduction in Ethiopia.

Getting to zero extreme poverty

Where do we go from here? 31 percent of the population living below the extreme poverty line is still a huge extreme poverty rate. Based on our visits with policymakers and program implementers on the ground in Ethiopia last year, it is apparent that a continued focus on maintaining and expanding the gains seen from 2000 to 2011 in poverty reduction remain a central focus of key actors in Ethiopia now 3-4 years later.

The report says the future of poverty reduction will rest on as many different areas of work as it took to achieve the progress so far. The strategy presented seems to come down to a dual focus on increasing employment and economic opportunity in urban areas, and increasing agricultural production in rural regions. This is a very simplified presentation of a nuanced and complex set of approaches laid out in the report.

We are also encouraged by how well many of the recommendations echo what we saw on the ground in 2014 as well as what we seem to be seeing emerging as some of the key interventions for financial inclusion that will help end extreme poverty. One recommendation of particular note was for programs to move from a geographical approach for interventions (say, targeting a state or region) to one targeting a condition. The PSNP already works in this fashion as the program targets those meeting the definition of “food insecure” rather than organizing its deployment based on location.

Public works under the PSNP

Public works under the PSNP

One of the six pathways the Campaign is focused on is agricultural finance and value chain improvements. The Bank report points to the need for Ethiopia to continue strong support of agricultural production as a key driver of future poverty reductions. The PSNP program which included a public works component to increase access to irrigation and reduce arable land erosion. Additionally, the R4 program addresses weather related shocks and other agricultural risks, mentioned specifically in the report, through both avenues of response to events after they occur as well as preventative measures to mitigate the negative effects of future events.

We think it would be important for operators such as REST, one of the NGO implementers of the PSNP, to increase their activities around building the capacity of female farms managers to generate higher returns from their activities. In addition, the government should investigate how, though national-level programming, it can also support increased attention and support for female farm managers. Citing potential causes such as poor access to land or agricultural inputs, the report points out that female-managed farms produce 23 percent less than male managed farms. Ending extreme poverty will require addressing this gender discrepancy through policies that foster changes in institutional behavior and gender norms. This can be led perhaps by investigating how an add-on benefit to PSNP could be an agent for this change.

The report also supports the continuance and even growth of the use of social safety nets (such as cash transfers). It looks closely at the difference between indirect transfers via subsidies to producers of certain basic needs and direct transfers to the actual individuals. It ultimately recommends that spending on subsidies would have a great impact on poverty reduction if they were converted to direct transfers. The Campaign has pointed to greater use of technology to increase access to financial tools such as savings accounts, and groups like the Better Than Cash Alliance are also showing the power of using digital payments by governments.

Given Ethiopia’s still-limited mobile network infrastructure, making use of a digital payments platform to more accurately and cost-effectively deliver direct transfers may still be years away. However, we feel that building this infrastructure as a means to utilizing technology in its poverty reduction strategies will be important and should have received some attention in the report. Such a platform would support the report’s dual urban-rural approach since transfer programs exist both in urban and rural areas. Farmers can also receive information on market prices through mobile devices, thus enabling them to sell their products at the optimal profit. This can positively impact areas the report considers important, namely agricultural production, payment for inputs, and access to employment opportunities. We think this is an area missed by the report.

The report also places a great deal of emphasis on fostering employment in urban areas, noting that urban poverty in Addis Ababa tracks employment rates. While the report notes that employment won’t fully address urban poverty on its own, increasing such opportunities for the urban poor and self-employed is important. The report recommends decreasing the costs and barriers to migrating from rural to urban centers and supporting the entry and growth of firms who have the capacity to hire many employees.

Where the report suggests increased support will contribute to poverty reduction is in supporting self-employment in non-agricultural work. BRAC’s graduation model, one of the six pathways we recommend as a financial inclusion intervention key to ending extreme, can help. We spoke with graduates of REST’s graduation program in 2014, and it was clear to us that the program has had positive impacts. Now those anecdotes are backed up by evidence of the effectiveness of the graduation approach, not least of which are the recent set of studies published in Science a few weeks ago. They demonstrate the positive outcomes from the graduation approach, highlighting its importance as a financial inclusion pathway that is working well.

REST supports positive outcomes for its graduation participants by providing access to market research. Participants thus understand what kinds of income-generating activities have a better likelihood to succeed in their given location. Moreover, the graduation model concludes with a direct transfer that does not require a participant to choose self-employment over employment, allowing for perhaps the kind of flexibility the report might recommend — particularly in an urban setting.

The fifth financial inclusion intervention that the Campaign sees as key to ending extreme poverty is savings (and savings groups in particular as they are often able to reach persons banks can’t or won’t.) However, savings is markedly absent from the report. There is some discussion of addressing the ability for individuals to more easily liquidate assets such as land in order to facilitate urban migration, but little is mentioned concerning savings as a means to build an asset base and whether this can be a driver of poverty reduction in the future for Ethiopia.

We know from our visit that REST graduation participants are connected to formal savings accounts as well as financial capacity building resources to support them in making the most of those accounts. So we were surprised to see a discussion of asset building — savings in particular — so absent from the report. We think this should be an additional area of focus for poverty reduction strategies going forward.

Savings as a strategic element could be important to pursue in tandem with supporting the growth of the mobile network infrastructure since there are cost savings to be realized with providing mobile-based savings platforms. Savings incentives and programs could also be tied to the cash transfers of PSNP or the other safety net initiatives in Ethiopia. Savings accounts could become the landing point for those transfers on a future digital cash transfer platform.

Our recommendations

As a whole, we find the report extremely thorough concerning the approaches it covered and very much tied to the experience seen on the ground — as least in so far as our limited view into programs in Ethiopia from our Innovations in Social Protection program affords us. Of the six financial inclusion areas the Campaign sees as key to ending extreme poverty, three (agricultural finance and value chains, conditional and cash transfers, and the graduation approach) are mentioned in detail in the reports assessment of what will be needed to end extreme poverty in Ethiopia. We think that graduation programs can be a key response to the report’s recommendation to build opportunities for self-employment in non-agricultural activities.

Further consideration, however, should be given to the potential for digital technology platforms to play a powerful role in facilitating and improving the cash transfer programs. Though, Ethiopia will need to improve its telecommunications infrastructure to make this a possibility. Savings also has a role to play in supporting individuals’ ability to build an asset base which will help them seize opportunities and resist vulnerabilities. By linking cash transfers on digital platforms to savings accounts, this also can be an important part of Ethiopia’s financial inclusion strategies in the future.

E-Workshop Recap: Helping Clients to Prepare for their Old Age

Lea en español *** Lisez en français


On June 9th, the Microcredit Summit Campaign co-hosted with the Center for Financial Inclusion (CFI) an E-Workshop focusing on financial inclusion for the elderly. This is part of their 2014 Campaign Commitment to bring greater attention to the issue of aging and financial services and to further support the inclusion of those with disabilities. HelpAge International and Micro Pension Foundation helped make it a great discussion about opportunities for organizations (specifically microfinance institutions) to help clients prepare for their old age. The conversation looked both at the supply and demand sides of financial inclusion to better understand what is happening in clients’ lives and how best to approach these issues.

Watch the session recording:

Review the panelists’ slides:

Recap of the E-Workshop

Sonja Kelly from CFI introduced the focus of the session:

“Financial services needs change throughout the lifecycle, and if a client of microfinance services reaches their old age without having developed a plan to meeting their expense needs, it will be too late. Almost all participants in our webinar reported that they knew someone who had inadequately prepared for their older age. This common issue is one that microfinance can help to address by developing longer term savings products and pensions either in-house or through partnerships.”

Eppu Mikkonen-Jeanneret, head of policy at HelpAge International, began the discussion introducing the shift in populations and subsequently labor markets, noting that there are currently about 800 million people who are over 60 around the world. In 15 years, there will be over 1.3 billion people over the age of 60, of which 60 percent will live in low- and middle-income countries.

The common perception is that the 60 percent in low- and middle-income countries either will not save for their old age or lack the capacity to do so. However, the Global Findex report, which looks at the demand side data of financial inclusion, shows otherwise. According to the report, almost 25 percent of all adults say they have saved for old age in the past year — though it is predominately happening in high-income OECD countries and in East Asia and the Pacific. “Around 40 percent of adults in these two regions reported saving for old age, a far greater share than the roughly 10 percent who reported doing so in all other regions” (The Global Findex Database 2014, page 47).

Eppu explained that 18 percent of the pyramid base reported having saved for old age and 60 percent of the top. Sonja Kelly (CFI) noted that the question now is whether they are doing so in safe and secure mechanisms.

Eppu  expanded on this issue following the session, saying,
url

“The world is in the middle of demographic sea change; the global population is growing older. This is a result of hugely successful development. We are healthier and better educated, we have less children and we live longer. As a result, in just 15 years the population of 60 years and over will increase from 800m to 1.3b. Far from being a developed country trend, aging is actually fastest in the low and middle income countries. Where it took the European countries over 100 years to transit to an aging population, countries like Bangladesh will do this in just a few decades. In fact, 60 percent of the 1.3 billion people will live in the developing countries.

“We know that people in developing countries continue to work into old age even though the type of work may change. Many work in the informal sector and women especially carry on providing unpaid labour at home. Yet our thinking is locked in outdated associations with people in the 60s onwards as somehow inherently, homogeneously vulnerable. It’s time we embrace the change and take action. Financial inclusion of people across the life course, facilitating social pensions, linking pensions with other financial instruments, and working closely with older women and men will help us all to adjust to the new world.”

Parul Khanna, associate director of projects for Micro Pension Foundation, continued the conversation. She noted this:

“Globally, rapid advancements in technology, telecommunications, and banking outreach have had a powerful impact on the ability of governments to deliver targeted fiscal transfers to the poor, including pension benefits to the elderly. Simultaneously, technology and telecom are reshaping financial services access and delivery, especially among low income excluded households. Most developing countries have a large young workforce, a predominantly informal labour market with modest incomes and savings capacities, a huge pension coverage gap, low banking and formal finance penetration, and limited capacity for large scale fiscal transfers.”

Parul presented their Gift-a-Pension project, which provides micropensions to low-income domestic workers, and she called on participants and readers to take action:
logo-Gap

“Can we do something for informal workers around us…[those] who touch our lives every day? Our maids, drivers, security guards or our washerwomen? Or the guy who we buy our bread from every day? Or our barbers? That seems feasible, right?

“For example, it is possible for you to imagine going home today, and spending just a few minutes with your maid or driver to tell them about the importance of saving for old age. And then spending just 10 minutes on the internet to open their own pension account for them? If your answer is yes, then you have within you the power to gift 20 years of a dignified old age to your maid or driver. And if all did this, we could collectively, as a civil society, change the lives of 40 million domestic help forever. Which, incidentally, is more than the total population of Canada.

It took India 6 years to get 3 million low-income people to start a pension account. If each of us go home today and gift a pension to just 1 excluded person in our lives, we could reach from 3 million to 43 million by this weekend!  After all, just 10 minutes of your time can change 20 years of someone else’s life. You can be the change! Try now with Gift-a-Pension.


Thank you to all panelists for contributing to this important conversation about the importance of saving for old age and how organizations can simplify the process for their clients. We also wish to thank all participants who submitted thought-provoking questions and comments to help make the session interactive!

Related resources:

Film on the micro pension model

About Gift-A-Pension


CFI launched a Campaign Commitment in 2014! We invite you also to…

Get Inspired. Set a Goal. Make a Commitment.

Join the movement to help 100 million families lift themselves out of extreme poverty.

MicroLoan Foundation commits to reach the poorest women

Photo courtesy of MicroLoan Foundation

Lea en español *** Lisez en français


The Microcredit Summit Campaign welcomes MicroLoan Foundation as the newest Campaign Commitment maker, joining a global coalition of 51 other commitment makers working to help 100 million families lift themselves out of extreme poverty. The Microcredit Summit Campaign’s 100 Million Project is building a movement among financial service stakeholders committed to helping to end extreme poverty through: public statements of commitment to action, expanding practices to reliably measure movement out of extreme poverty, and promoting innovations and best practices to accelerate movement out of poverty.

“At the MicroLoan Foundation,” said Peter Ryan, founder and CEO, “we’re committed to ongoing innovation and learning in our mission to reach the poorest women and enable them to move out of poverty. This project is all about responding to client needs with products and services that enable them to overcome difficulties and improve their standard of living.”

MicroLoan Foundation’s mission is to work with the poorest women and enable them and their families to move out of poverty. MicroLoan Foundation commits by the end of 2016, to successfully complete a pilot program in two Malawi branches and one Zambia branch involving 2,700 clients enabling improved client outcomes due to the following:

  • Streamlined products which meet the needs of the poorest clients (living under $1.25/day) as well as more experienced business women who wish to grow their business
  • Improved access to savings for emergencies and planned costs
  • Improved support to vulnerable clients including formal rescheduling of loans
  • Standardization of pre-disbursement and follow up training using adult learning methodologies

Daniella Hawkins, social performance manager, explains their intent:

“MicroLoan Foundation’s mission is to work with the poorest women and enable them and their families to move out of poverty. As early as 2010 when we started using the Progress out of Poverty Index (PPI) in Malawi, we realised that we could be reaching poorer clients, those living under $1.25/day. We therefore designed a pro-poor loan product which improved our poverty outreach dramatically: data from 2011 showed that 74.6% of clients accessing this pro-poor loan product were under the $1.25/day poverty line, compared to 51.7% of our clients on average. This learning has informed our current pilot, which integrates the pro-poor loan product into a suite of our other products, streamlining our services and allowing clients on different loans in the same group. This will ensure that poorer clients with less business experience learn from our more experienced clients.

Clients who are not able to save ahead of receiving their first loan will qualify for this pro-poor loan. The importance of saving is highlighted to all our clients, and all will be encouraged to save if they want to receive a larger loan, but clients on the pro-poor product will not need to save as much in order to access a loan size increase. Increases are strictly limited to ensure that clients are not over-indebted, and at any sign that any clients are experiencing problems making repayments or savings, a one-on-one meeting with their loan officer will take place so that s/he understands the problem and can facilitate the appropriate supportive response. Clients who have had problems making repayments and/or savings are identified as vulnerable and will not be eligible for a loan size increase.”

Here are the different products offered by MicroLoan Foundation:

  1. Level 1, which is aimed at clients living on less than $1.25/day and/or clients who have never done business: the pro-poor loan product with fewer savings requirements; small loan sizes (maximum first loan is $25).
  2. Level 2, which is aimed at slightly better off clients and/or clients who have done business before: slightly larger starting loan sizes (maximum first loan is $90) and higher savings requirements for clients who want to increase their loan sizes in the next loan cycle.
  3. Level 3, which is aimed at clients with slightly larger, more established businesses: larger loan sizes than Level 2 (initial loan upon graduation to this level is $180) and the option for clients to repay on a monthly basis; the same savings requirements as Level 2 for clients who wish to increase their loan sizes next loan cycle.

The Campaign looks forward to welcoming this new partner in the global coalition and sharing their progress towards the Commitment achievement at the 18th Microcredit Summit in 2015.

####

MicroLoan Foundation

MicroLoan Foundation (MLF) helps some of the poorest women in the world feed their families, send their children to school, and pay for life saving medicines. By providing small loans (on average £60) and ongoing business training and support, MLF empowers women in rural Malawi and Zambia to set up self-sustainable businesses. The profits from these businesses enable the women to work themselves and their families out of poverty.


We invite you to join MicroLoan Foundation and…

Get Inspired. Set a Goal. Make a Commitment.

Join the movement to help 100 million families lift themselves out of extreme poverty:

E-Workshop: How to Build Savings Groups and Other Breakthroughs in Financial Inclusion

Lea en español (traducido por Google) *** Lisez en français (traduit par Google)


Photo courtesy of Jeffrey Ashe

Please note the date for this E-Workshop has changed to
Thursday, December 11th at 10:00 AM (GMT-4). 

Join us for an E-Workshop titled How to Build Savings Groups and Other Breakthroughs in Financial Inclusion

The Carsey School of Public Policy and Fundación Capital are co-hosting with the Microcredit Summit Campaign the next E-Workshop which will share insights on starting and scaling up savings groups. Both Carsey and Fundación Capital announced Campaign Commitments in 2014, and this latest E-Workshop will help microfinance and financial inclusion stakeholders to improve outreach and service with savings groups.
Register 2

What time in your country?

Join us for a discussion with Jong-Hyon Shin (Fundación Capital) and Jeffrey Ashe, which is moderated by William Maddocks (Carsey School of Public Policy). We will be discussing effective ways of forming savings groups and describe 2-hour trainings that Jong-Hyon led in the Dominican Republic.

The speakers will also share insights on linking savings groups and conditional cash transfer programs (see the recording of the Workshop titled Going to Scale: Savings Groups, Conditional Cash Transfers, and Financial Inclusion at the 17th Microcredit Summit), with the example of collaboration with ADOPEM and Fundación Capital in the Dominican Republic.

Through these valuable insights, you will gain a better understanding of the essential steps to start and scale up savings groups, and see how savings groups can contribute to financial inclusion and the end of extreme poverty.

Organization
Name
Carsey School of Public Policy
William Maddocks
Program Director, Microenterprise and Development
Moderator
Fundacion Capital
Jong-Hyon Shin
Country Project Coordinator
Carsey School of Public Policy
Jeffrey Ashe
Fellow
Co-Author of
In Their Own Hands: How Savings Groups Are Revolutionizing Development
Photo courtesy of Fundación Capital "What’s most significant about savings groups is that they are designed to be wholly managed by villagers themselves; by and large, they function as they are intended to function; and they reach impoverished people in remote rural areas who would otherwise go without any financial services, even microfinance."

Photo courtesy of Fundación Capital
“What’s most significant about savings groups is that they are designed to be wholly managed by villagers themselves; by and large, they function as they are intended to function; and they reach impoverished people in remote rural areas who would otherwise go without any financial services, even microfinance.” —David Bornstein, New York Times 


Join us for this exciting discussion to gain a deeper understanding of savings groups and hear from practitioners and researchers about their challenges, gains, and the practical applications! 


Follow this e-workshop and the Campaign’s 100 Million Project:

Learn about the 100 Million Project Project and Campaign Commitments.

The 100 Million Project: Commitment to Action at the Summit

Lea en español (traducido por Google) *** Lisez en français (traduit par Google)


Participant writing on the Wall

A  Summit participant writes on the Commitments Wall

Where to find Commitments at the Summit?

The 17th Microcredit Summit in Mérida was a huge success, bringing together some 1000 people from 75 countries and featuring 162 speakers and presenters in 7 plenary sessions and 35 workshops. Throughout sessions delegates had the opportunity to hear about the Campaign Commitments their colleagues from other organizations weremaking ahead of the Summit. Launched in 2013 with 18 original Commitments, we celebrated together the 36 new organizations joining them now 2014. Many present were inspired to become leaders in the movement as well and joined (or reaffirmed their role in the Campaign) by stating their own at the Commitment Café. Join them by making your own Campaign Commitment to action! Write to mycommitment@microcreditsummit.org or visit our Online Commitment Form.

Full Commitment wall

51 organizations, including Plan International, the Rotary and the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection from Ghana, wrote on the Commitment Wall.

Throughout the Summit, around 200 attendees visited the Commitment Café every day and 51 new Commitments were written on the Commitment Wall. The Café and the Wall were the gathering area for Summit delegates to join the Campaign, by stating their Commitment to actions that contribute to the global movement to end extreme poverty. There, they had the opportunity to meet with Commitment coaches who helped them form their Commitments. Commitment Makers then posted their actions on the Commitment Wall – creating a dramatic and inspiring range of actors and actions that will help move the industry toward ending extreme poverty.

Commitment Coach

A Commitment Coach is helping a Summit Participant to state her Commitment at the Cafe.

At the Closing Plenary, Summit delegates together with Mohammad Yunus, Larry Reed, John Hatch and Carmen Velasco celebrated the efforts of all Committed Organizations. We particularly acknowledged the 12 organizations who met their 2013 Commitment. The 36 Commitments announced in 2014 were also applauded and represent a great step towards galvanizing the movement to help 100 million families lift themselves out of poverty.

What Commitment Makers say about Campaign Commitments

During the Summit, we conducted interviews with representatives from Commitment Makers to learn more about their Commitment. They shared with us their own Commitments, their current progress on those actions and also told us why it is important for their organization to join the movement to end extreme poverty.

Yves Moury,  Founder and CEO, Fundación Capital (see his short Interview at the Video Corner here)

“We need massive alliances among all sectors of civil society. We invite governments, banks, private companies, civil society institutions to join us for the magnificent objective of ending extreme poverty by 2030.”

Anne Hastings, Microfinance CEO Working Group (see her short interview at the Video Corner here)

“I am here at the Summit because the 8 CEOs I represent have made Commitments. We are here to learn what we can about partnerships that we need to be building and how to collaborate better with the rest of the sector. The challenge for the microfinance sector today is to demonstrate results and especially results in reaching and assisting the extremely poor to get out of poverty.”

William Maddocks,  Program Director, Sustainable Microenterprise and Development , Carsey School of Public Policy

“We want to be part of this Campaign. Making this commitment is an opportunity for us to tell more people about what we do and to support the work of the Campaign. We want our voice to be a part of this Campaign.”

Closing Ceremony: we celebrated 2013 and 2014 Commitments.

Closing Ceremony: we celebrated 2013 and 2014 Commitments. Click here to see all Committed organizations.

Jared Penner,  Head of the Education Division Child and Youth Finance International: “Commitments are made within a community of believers that think this is something incredibly important to advance the industry and these targets give us something to really aspire towards. They are not legally-binding commitments, but there is something that allows us to keep each other accountable and see how things are advancing within our own operations.”


What you can do today

How Savings and Retail Banks Can Bring an End to Extreme Poverty

Lea en español *** Lisez en français


Register for the 17th Microcredit Summit today!

Join us in Mexico for the 17th Microcredit Summit this September 3-5 where savings will take an important place in the agenda.

The World Savings and Retail Banking Institute (WSBI) declared its support for the goal of helping 100 million families lift themselves out of extreme poverty by announcing a Campaign Commitment at the 2013 Partnerships against Poverty Summit held last October 2013 in Manila, Philippines. The Microcredit Summit Campaign recently caught up with the WSBI to learn about the progress they’ve made on their Commitment and the ways they are working towards the end of extreme poverty.


logo_wsbi_new_quadri-300x150The World Savings and Retail Banking Institute (WSBI) represents the interests of approximately 7,000 savings and retail banking institutions in 90 countries. It focuses on issues of global importance and supports the aims of the G20 in achieving sustainable, inclusive and balanced growth and job creation worldwide. WSBI favours an inclusive form of globalisation that is just and fair, supporting international efforts to advance financial access and financial usage for everyone. It supports a diversified range of financial services that responsibly meet customers’ transaction, saving and borrowing needs.

WSBI has long been committed to alleviating poverty via financial inclusion. In fact, WSBI member institutions rank financial inclusion as the most important international policy topic. At last November’s Microcredit Summit, WSBI made two Commitments for 2014:

  • To study youth markets to better identify successful strategies for inclusive financial products and services, focusing on four key areas – usability, affordability, accessibility and sustainability – and seek to publish a summary of preliminary outcomes by the end of 2014.
  • To hold with partners and member banks at least three events to share knowledge about appropriate pricing research in Burkina Faso, El Salvador, Indonesia, Kenya, Lesotho, Morocco, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda and Vietnam, and its implications for offering savings products for the poor.

WSBI is indeed on track to fulfill these Commitments. Regarding the first Commitment, we have begun a study into the youth markets of Morocco’s Al Barid Bank and Kenya Post Office Savings Bank, in order to better understand the financial habits of people aged 15 to 24.

Regarding the second Commitment, since last November WSBI has delivered workshops at the European Investment Bank and the WSBI African Regional Group Meeting, a “mobile banking as good as mobile money” workshop for the Association of Savings Banks of East Africa (ASBEA) and the WSBI Asia Regional Group Meeting, and a webinar for the Swiss government’s State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO). We will hold another event at WSBI’s General Assembly in San Salvador on July 3rd and 4th.

WSBI 1

Poorest Four Countries (78 Million Adults)

But these two commitments are really just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to WSBI’s overall dedication to financial inclusion. For example, over the past five years, WSBI has worked on a major financial inclusion programme with member banks in the ten countries mentioned in the second commitment above. Apart from project implementation, the core goals of the program were to articulate and disseminate lessons learned to a variety of stakeholders.

One of our first tasks was to scope and scale the target markets, from which we learned that the unbanked poor were the big open market space. The challenge was to understand exactly who the unbanked are, what they need, and how much they can afford to pay to meet their needs. As we broke down the target markets by type of unbanked adult, we learned quickly that demographics matter hugely, and that the young “third adult” in households (aged between 15-24) made up a very significant proportion of unbanked households.

WSBI 2

Three Best-off Countries (220 Million Adults)

While we had a good idea about the financial habits of young people in the poorest countries that we work in–in one form or other they seek to contribute to the family budget–in the better off countries, we could find no research about the financial habits of the 42% of the unbanked population that are young.

Therefore, our Microcredit Summit Campaign Commitments not only contribute directly to the goals of our financial inclusion program but also help to fulfill our high level mission of increasing financial access and financial usage for everyone.

What’s more, empirical evidence at micro-economic, local economic, and macro-economic levels supports the conviction that financial inclusion helps poor households improve their lives and spur economic activity. WSBI’s Marrakech Declaration goal of “an account for everyone” is also fully consistent with the Microcredit Summit Campaign’s goals.

We are actively seeking funding to extend our financial inclusion program to other countries, to work with local social structures–such as village savings and loan associations–and to take  advantage of technology (mobile banking) and innovative techniques (data analytics) that help member banks to develop more customer-centric approaches.


Join WSBI in stating YOUR Campaign Commitment

Yunus Centre fulfills Campaign Commitment by cultivating ‘job-givers’

Lea en español (traducido por Google) *** Lisez en français (traduit par Google)


The Yunus Centre has worked tirelessly to promote the philosophy of Professor Mohammad Yunus and to alleviate poverty through social entrepreneurship and turning ‘job-seekers’ into ‘job-givers’. The Yunus Centre declared its support for the goal of helping 100 million families lift themselves out of extreme poverty by announcing a Campaign Commitment at the 2013 Partnerships against Poverty Summit held last October 2013 in Manila, Philippines. The Microcredit Summit Campaign recently caught up with the Yunus Centre to learn about the progress they’ve made on their Commitment and the ways they are working towards the end of extreme poverty.


“The poor themselves can create a poverty-free world all we have to do is to free them from the chains that we have put around them.” – Professor Mohammad Yunus

Yunus

Professor Mohammad Yunus, winner of Nobel Peace Prize for his work with microfinance and founding of the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh. Image courtesy of Yunus Centre.

Founded in 2006, the Yunus Centre actively promotes and disseminates the philosophy of world-renowned microfinance leader Professor Mohammad Yunus. Professor Yunus believes we can achieve the end of poverty through microfinance and social entrepreneurship.

In October of 2013, the Yunus Centre made the Commitment to support the 100 Million Project through the following actions:

By the end of 2018:

  • Create a global social business sector serving at least 100 million poor, and providing jobs and for at least 10 million households.

In just over one year, by the end of 2014:

  • Help create, finance and expand more than 50 social businesses in at least 20 countries world-wide.
  • Create Social Business Incubator Funds, and other structures, in at least 8 countries: Albania, Bangladesh, Brazil, Colombia, Haiti, India, Tunisia and Uganda
  • Social businesses in Bangladesh will serve at least 2 million households, and employ at least 20,000 households.
  • Collect and publish relevant social-impact data for all social businesses.

Yunus Centre Campaign Commitment Outlook: Achieving the 2014 Benchmarks   

The Yunus Centre has achieved outstanding progress since announcing its Campaign Commitment in 2013.

The Yunus Centre has met its 2013 benchmark of creating, financing and expanding more than 50 social businesses.

As of May 2014, the Yunus Centre has helped launch more than 100 new social businesses in Bangladesh. Recently the Yunus Centre introduced a new initiative called nobin udyoktas(‘new entrepreneurs’ in Bangladeshi) which is aimed primarily at the children of Grameen Bank borrowers and intends to turn them from ‘job seekers’ into ‘job creators’. Every month the Yunus Centre hosts a social business design lab which is a platform for entrepreneurs to present their social business designs in front of experienced business executives and social activists. Initial successes have helped the Yunus Centre to gain momentum in encouraging youth to make their own destiny through social business ventures. The Centre projects that it will reach 200 new social businesses by the end of 2014.

However work remains to be done. The Yunus Centre committed to create, finance, and expand more than 50 social businesses in 20 countries worldwide. They have achieved remarkable success in Bangladesh, but what about the rest of the world? So far Yunus Social Business (YSB) has launched social businesses in Colombia, Costa Rica, Tunisia, Haiti and Albania.As an example, in Colombia, the Yunus Centre partnered with McCain Foods to launch Campo Vivo, a social business that will benefit farmers living in poverty by aiding them in the production and commercialization of potatoes, carrots and peas. The Yunus Centre has made great progress towards achieving the first goal of its Commitment; nonetheless, expanding social businesses into other countries will remain a priority as they seek to reach their target of 20.

Yunus Centre has achieved its goal of creating Social Business Incubator Funds in eight countries.

Yunus Centre launched Social Business Incubator Funds in Bangladesh, Brazil, Colombia, Haiti, Albania, Tunisia, Uganda and India since 2013. The goal of these incubator funds is to provide start-up investment for social businesses when traditional banks may not be willing to invest. The funds are designed to be financially sustainable at $13.5 to $20.5 million and can be expected to invest in approximately 6 new social businesses each year. Some of the incubator funds are already providing services to entrepreneurs.

Although the Yunus Centre has made considerable progress towards achieving its Commitment, it has not yet been able to quantify its impact.

In October of 2013, the Yunus Centre boldly committed to helping social businesses serve 2 million households and employ 20,000 households. Because most of the social businesses are start-up enterprises, they are in the process of developing their market and scaling up their operations. Therefore, it is difficult to estimate exactly how many households the social businesses are currently serving. The number is undoubtedly increasing as new social businesses are generated across Bangladesh. Once the Yunus Centre better determines how many households are being served and employed by social businesses in Bangladesh, it will publish the information on socialbusinesspedia.com. After a social business has been operational for a few years and it becomes feasible to measure its impact, the Yunus Centre publishes all relevant social impact data on Social Business Pedia.

Grameen Veolia

Grameen-Veolia Water Ltd. Image courtesy of Yunus Centre.


Join us in Mexico for the 17th Microcredit Summit this September 3-5. Professor Yunus will be a keynote speaker in addition to moderating workshops on social business and youth employment. http://17microcreditsummit.org/


Turning Social Businesses into a Poverty Elimination Tool 

One example of a social business pioneered by the Yunus Foundation is Grameen-Veolia Water Ltd. Although water supply is abundant in Bangladesh, much of the groundwater is contaminated with arsenic for geological reasons. Grameen Healthcare Services partnered with Veolia Water to provide clean water and distribute it to a vast network of rural villages. The joint venture has been established according to the social business principals advocated by the Yunus Centre.

One example of a social business pioneered by the Yunus Foundation is Grameen-Veolia Water Ltd. Although water supply is abundant in Bangladesh, much of the groundwater is contaminated with arsenic for geological reasons. Grameen Healthcare Services partnered with Veolia Water to provide clean water and distribute it to a vast network of rural villages. The joint venture has been established according to the social business principals advocated by the Yunus Centre.

The Yunus Centre views its Campaign Commitment as an integral part of the achieving its mission and helping lift 100 million families out of extreme poverty. The Commitment contributes in two ways to the goal: 1) new services are being introduced to the next generation of microfinance stakeholders, and 2) the ‘nobin udyokta’ initiative is providing equity financing for social businesses to create a generation of ‘job givers’ instead of ‘job seekers’. Professor Yunus shared his enthusiasm for the progress the Yunus Centre has made towards achieving its Commitment stating, “We are excited about new possible openings, especially social business gaining momentum in many countries. It’s a starting point for a global movement.”

Through these efforts the Yunus Centre is making large contributions to the 100 Million Goal. Standing alongside the Campaign’s coalition of actors who have stated their Campaign Commitment, the Yunus Centre is helping make the end of extreme poverty possible and achievable.


Join Yunus Centre and State your Campaign Commitment

Join Yunus Centre in the global coalition help 100 million families lift themselves out of poverty – state your Campaign Commitment at mycommitment@microcreditsummit.org

Need additional guidance in formulating your own Campaign Commitment? Refer to our Commitment Development Toolkit.

Be social with us on Facebook and Twitter (@MicroCredSummit) using the hashtags #Commit100M and #100MGoal

Learn more about the Microcredit Summit Campaign: http://www.microcreditsummit.org/

Providing a Safety Net to Ten Million People

LEA EN ESPAÑOL *** LISEZ EN FRANÇAIS


Richard Leftley, CEO of MicroEnsure, writes about the experiences that helped lead to the development of a safety net for the most vulnerable and how far they have come in fulfilling their Commitment to the Campaign.


- Image courtesy of MicroEnsure

Image courtesy of MicroEnsure

Join us in Mexico for the 17th Microcredit Summit in Mexico this September 3-5.

Richard Leftley will be joined from leaders in the microinsurance sub-sector for a workshop on microinsurance.

http://17microcreditsummit.org/


Over the years many of the microfinance leaders that I have met have told me of that one chance interaction that changed the course of their lives and resulted in them embarking on a journey to help millions of people be transformed and lifted out of poverty.

My moment was in the summer of 2001 in a village in Northern Zambia; one of the ladies I was talking to had become frustrated by my ignorance as to why she had experienced such a seeming boom and bust in her fortunes. From among her few possessions she produced a child’s Chutes & Ladders board and she explained that she was just trying to work her way out of poverty. She had succeeded earlier in her life having lived in an apartment in the capital and driven a car, but here she was back in the village with seemingly nothing to her name.

She explained that the microfinance loans she received helped accelerate her out of poverty like the ladders in the game, but then she looked at me and explained that no one was there when disaster struck causing her to slide back into poverty just as the chutes in the game return you to your starting place. What is today MicroEnsure was founded a few months later in partnership with the team at Opportunity International.

Twelve years later it is a real pleasure to make a Campaign Commitment to join with other microfinance leaders to help lift 100 million people out of extreme poverty; our contribution will be to provide a safety net to 10 million people in 15 countries so that they do not slip back following the death of a breadwinner, sickness of a child or following a natural disaster.

At the beginning of 2014 when we made this Commitment MicroEnsure was serving just 4 million people, but I am pleased to report that by the end of May we had enrolled 8.2 million customers (a growth of over 200%) and we are well on our way to matching or even exceeding our commitment by the end of the first quarter 2015. This rapid growth has come not only from our MFI partners but most significantly from the mobile network operators that we have partnered with in Africa and Asia some of which are signing up in excess of 250,000 new clients each and every week.

The breakthrough in working with telco’s (telecommunications providers) came when we stopped trying to sell insurance through them but instead realised that we could dramatically affect customer loyalty to the telco; let me explain. You see, none of us wake up wanting to buy insurance and if you are poor the idea of a product that you may need at some time months or years from now really makes no sense in the present.

However we know that our clients do wake up worried about what would happen if their husband died, their kids got sick, or a disaster struck. We also knew that telco’s are suffering from low customer loyalty with most subscribers using multiple SIM cards to make prepaid calls. We simply combined answering clients’ fear with the need of the telco’s for increased loyalty and in doing so we convinced the telco to give their loyal subscribers free insurance in return for spending more airtime on their network. The subscribers were happy to do so because their fears were being addressed for free in return for simply making more of their calls on one network. Everyone wins.

Interestingly we have also used this same idea to significantly drive the mobilisation of deposits in MFIs across Africa. Most deposit accounts have tiny balances that are loss-making for the MFI yet we know that the poor save money in a myriad of ways. It just seemed obvious to us that offering interest to depositors was simply not attractive enough to give customers a reason to choose the bank over  informal savings mechanisms. So we tried giving away free insurance if you saved.  As you saved more – $50, $60, $70 – you earned more free insurance coverage. We were delighted to see 200% increases in deposit rates clustered around these targets.

Achieving our goals will not be simple. We continue to rely upon partnership in order to provide our services and we are always on the lookout for MFIs, telco’s and others that provide services to the mass market. We would love to hear from anyone who wants to join with us on this mission. This kind of rapid growth also requires capital and we were delighted to announce last month that AXA and Sanlam Insurance Companies joined Opportunity, IFC, Omidyar Network and Telenor as investors in MicroEnsure bringing together key strategic partnerships with the funds required to continue scaling.

I often dream of returning to that village to find the Chutes & Ladders lady. I have no idea what I would say to her, but I would love the chance to simply say thanks for starting us out on this journey. I wonder if she knows she was the spark that has helped 10 million people like her find a safety net against the chutes they find along their own journeys out of poverty?


MicroEnsure announced their Campaign Commitment as:

  • MicroEnsure commits to reach 10 million clients with insurance services by the end of the first quarter of 2015.
  • MicroEnsure commits to expand its current reach into 15 countries by launching work in 5 new countries by the end of the first quarter of 2015

Join MicroEnsure and State your Campaign Commitment

Join MicroEnsure in the global coalition to help 100 million families lift themselves out of poverty – state your Campaign Commitment at mycommitment@microcreditsummit.org

Need additional guidance in formulating your own Campaign Commitment? Refer to our Commitment Development Toolkit.

Be social with us on Facebook and Twitter (@MicroCredSummit) using the hashtags #Commit100M and #100MGoal

Fostering Access to Agricultural Financial Products: FAO’s Commitment

Lea en español *** Lisez en français


We are pleased to present this guest post from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization covering much of the outstanding work they are engaged in, in pursuit of their recent Campaign Commitment.

For the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) the topic of financial inclusion is of the utmost relevance. Enabling the rural population to access a wide set of financial services that meet their needs and help them accomplish their aspirations is one of the several important conditions required to attain sustainable agricultural development and food security. This is why as part of FAO’s Agribusiness and Finance Group, we are thrilled to have made a Microcredit Summit Campaign Commitment to join forces with a vast network of organizations working to expand the delivery of financial services to those underserved population segments in the developing world.

We are happy to bring our focus on smallholder households and the rural small and medium enterprises they participate in. This target group represents a financially under served clientele of about 475 million households. Various estimates 1made derive from the World Census of Agriculture, which FAO has been helping Governments around the world to implement since 1950. For an interesting reference on this subject, click here.

Both the development and business case of enabling sustainable financial services to smallholder households has never been stronger. On the one hand, mounting evidence shows how growth in agriculture, enabled through greater finance and investment in the sector, reduces extreme poverty significantly more than growth in the non-agricultural sector in the context of least developed countries. On the other hand, world agricultural markets have been booming, mainly because of the rise of a middle class in developing countries that demand various agricultural products. This has created new agribusiness opportunities that hold the potential to greatly benefit the rural poor. But this opportunity will not become a reality unless we figure out how to solve those challenges limiting the delivery of rural financial services, which should include credit, insurance and savings.

Given the prominent role of agriculture in rural areas and its development and business potential, we at FAO have been focusing on fostering broad access to agricultural financial products, as part of the mixed bundle of financial services required by the rural poor. For this we are leveraging on the presence in over 143 countries of the CABFIN partners, which includes FAO, IFAD, GIZ, UNCDF and the World Bank. Our current work plan includes the screening of innovations led by pioneer organizations around the world that have been able to design and sustainably deliver different agricultural financial products for smallholder households, enabling them to exploit rising opportunities in the agricultural sector and improve their incomes, food security and nutrition. We are in the process of analyzing these innovations to draw evidence-based training toolkits on how financial institutions, Governments and agricultural value chain actors can join forces to effectively scale them up and make them more inclusive of the rural poor. This means solving challenges in the supply and demand side of rural finance. You can see some of the training material we have developed over the years here. These new findings will be disseminated through the Rural Finance Learning Centre, the largest on-line multi-language gateway specialized in the topic of rural and agricultural finance, hosting policy guidance, training guides, news and events produced by development finance practitioners from all over the world.

FAO and the CABFIN partners look forward to sharing these new insights as part of the campaign commitments made. We hope to provide intervention alternatives that recognize the leading role of agricultural value chain actors with important advantages related to client information; promote efficient ways for financial institutions to partner with them and develop more flexible and feasible financial products; make use of modern MIS and telecommunication technologies to enable product delivery, and put in place more effective policies that encourage wider and deeper exposure of the financial systems in rural areas.

BRAC declares Campaign Commitment to graduate 250,000 households from ultra-poverty

Lea en español (traducido por Google) *** Lisez en français (traduit par Google)


Summary: The Microcredit Summit Campaign welcomes BRAC as the newest Campaign Commitment member, joining a global coalition to help 100 million families lift themselves out of extreme poverty. Read the full Press Release.
BRAC group meeting

Image courtesy of BRAC

BRAC is a development organization founded in Bangladesh in 1972 and has since become one of the largest NGOs in the world in terms of employees and number of clients served, spreading successful poverty alleviating solutions born in the developing world to other countries. In 2002, BRAC launched the Ultra-Poor Graduation Program, which aimed at lifting the ultra poor out of their situation of poverty so that they can access mainstream development services such as microfinance. The program targets extremely deprived women and their households, and maintains BRAC’s holistic approach to development by providing targeted asset grants, skill training and healthcare support. Since 2002, 1.4 million households have already graduated from BRAC’s Ultra-Poor Graduation Program. With this tremendous success, BRAC plans to continue the spread of this model to reach even more households around the globe.

When asked about the origins of BRAC’s Ultra-Poor Graduation Program, Program Manager Sadna Samaranayake responded,“The extreme poor, living on less than $1.25 a day, are far from homogenous. Among them are households trapped in the direst forms of destitution, who are chronically hungry, lack assets, income, or support from their communities. It was to address the needs of these populations, the ultra-poor at the margins and beyond the reach of microfinance and other development programs, that BRAC pioneered what is now known as the Graduation approach. Even the poorest can “graduate” from ultra-poverty with a set of carefully tailored interventions designed to help achieve increased incomes, food security and better resilience overall. A complement to MFI, NGO and government strategies to reach the ultra-poor, BRAC is committed to advancing knowledge and implementation of the Graduation approach.”

Some key excerpts of BRAC’s Campaign Commitment:

  • In Bangladesh alone, BRAC commits to graduating 250,000 households out of ultra-poverty by the end of 2016.
  • BRAC commits to publishing an in-depth implementation guide in September 2014 to help governments, microfinance institutions and NGOs execute their own ultra-poor graduation programs. Additionally, BRAC commits to providing technical assistance and consultation where requested to governments, NGOs and MFIs looking to implement the graduation approach.
  • BRAC commits to hosting a national conference on the graduation approach in a country where BRAC operates in 2014.
  • BRAC commits to hosting annual Immersion and Training Visits in Bangladesh for interested parties including policy makers, microfinance institutions, multilateral funders, and donors to witness the graduation program in action. During these visits, participants will get an in-depth look at the program, from field staff training ultra-poor women on how to realize a return on their new assets, to the healthcare, savings and social integration elements of the approach.

The next round of these Immersion Training Visits are on the weeks of August 18th and August 25th. Contact Sadna Samaranayake at sadna@bracusa.org to register.

Read the BRAC Commitment Letter.


Join BRAC and State your Campaign Commitment

Join us in the global coalition to help 100 million families lift themselves out of poverty – state your Campaign Commitment at mycommitment@microcreditsummit.org

Need additional guidance in formulating your own Campaign Commitment? Refer to our Commitment Development Toolkit.

Be social with us on Facebook and Twitter (@MicroCredSummit) using the hashtags #Commit100M and #100MGoal

Getting Started on Gender Performance: The Select Five

Lea en español (traducido por Google) *** Lisez en français (traduit par Google)


Jaclyn Berfond, Senior Associate of Strategy at Women’s World Banking writes about the Select Five Gender Performance Indicators – which reflect the key indicators that the industry should use to ensure they are serving women well. 


WWB_Horizontal_RGB

Women’s World Banking knows it is important to measure how well financial institutions are serving women clients and staff, and to continue to build the business case for women.

Last year, we introduced the gender performance manual, Gender Performance Indicators: How well are we serving women? Just a month ago, we made a Campaign Commitment with the Microcredit Summit Campaign to ensure our entire network of women-focused financial institutions report on these indicators by 2015. And today, we are thrilled to announce The Select Five, the key indicators that all industry stakeholders should use to track and improve gender performance.

What is Gender Performance?

If a financial institution is targeting low-income women, it should be able to measure how well it serves this market. If an institution serves a majority of women, it should evaluate how these clients contribute to its sustainability. And if an institution wants to be the best place for women customers, it needs to understand if it is the best place for women employees and leaders. This is gender performance. And data-backed gender performance reflects an institution’s commitment to serving women more than any mission statement ever could.

Why the Select Five?

Because looking at a financial institution’s performance from a gender lens may be new for many stakeholders, we conducted research with the MIX to identify the ‘gateway’ indicators an institution should start tracking to jump-start their journey toward gender performance excellence. Given the many financial and social performance standards financial institutions serving the low-income population are held to, it was important to us that the Select Five didn’t add to this reporting burden but instead could be incorporated into existing initiatives, while still yielding meaningful insights on gender performance.

A rigorous analysis* yielded the Select Five.

  1. Percent new women borrowers
  2. Average loan size per woman borrower
  3. Women borrower retention rate
  4. Women’s portfolio at risk of greater than 30 days
  5. Women staff retention rates

Download the Select Five

GPI-Select-Five-800x1233

As part of our Commitment with the Microcredit Summit Campaign, we have rolled out the Select Five indicators to our network institutions and have begun collecting data in order to look at our network’s performance as a whole.

From Insight to Action

Based on preliminary data gathered from our network, we have uncovered some valuable insight into our network. For example, we found that while there had been a slight decline in the percent women clients for our network overall, percent of new women clients remained high (73%), demonstrating a continued commitment to reaching women. When looking at borrower retention, we saw that female borrower retention matched overall retention at 82%. We also found that portfolio at risk >30 days for the women’s portfolio is significantly lower than the overall PAR30 for the network (2.79% vs. 4.70%). While these findings are incredibly useful at the aggregate level, we also think that the true value of the gender performance indicators is for our network members to analyze these indicators for their own institutions, and use findings to improve service to women.

NetworkPar30graphic

In the next year, we will be holding regional launches to enable our network – and other practitioners – to implement the full set of Gender Performance indicators and gain a deeper understanding of how women contribute to their overall performance and how well they are serving their women clients. If your institution has started to use these indicators, or is interested in doing so, let us know by leaving a comment on this post or emailing us! You can download a print-ready version of the Select Five here or if you are ready to start tracking all the indicators, you can download the full manual here.

As with many things – the first step can be the hardest. We hope you will join us on the path to measuring gender performance. If we as an industry are to help low-income women worldwide toward prosperity through financial inclusion, we need the data to serve them better.

*a review of the analysis, co-authored with the MIX, will be released shortly.


Women’s World Banking announced their Campaign Commitment as:

  • Women’s World Banking is committed to integrating the Gender Performance Indicators into its annual networking reporting, achieving 100% of network members by reporting on the GPI framework by the end of 2015
  • Women’s World Banking commits together with the Microcredit Summit Campaign to hold a series of 2 learning events during 2014 to share with practitioners and other industry stakeholders the value of using the GPI, especially the 5 Select Indicators, to help strengthen financial inclusion of low-income women and ensure we are serving these women well.

Join Women’s World Banking and State your Campaign Commitment

Join Women’s World Banking in the global coalition to help 100 million families lift themselves out of poverty – state your Campaign Commitment at mycommitment@microcreditsummit.org

Need additional guidance in formulating your own Campaign Commitment? Refer to our Commitment Development Toolkit.

Be social with us on Facebook and Twitter (@MicroCredSummit) using the hashtags #Commit100M and #100MGoal

 

Red Financiera Rural (RFR) in Ecuador makes a Campaign Commitment

Lea en español (traducido por Google) *** Lisez en français (traduit par Google)


Summary: The Microcredit Summit Campaign welcomes Red Financiera Rural (Rural Finance Network) as the newest Campaign Commitment member, joining a global coalition to help 100 million families lift themselves out of extreme poverty. Read the full Press Release

RFR - Commitment Letter

Javier Vaca, Excutive Director of RFR, displays the signed Campaign Commitment letter.

Red Financiera Rural (RFR) is the leading microfinance network in Ecuador. RFR supports microfinance institutions that serve the most vulnerable members of society. Currently RFR works with 46 member organizations across Ecuador to design innovative products and solutions for clients of their member microfinance institutions. RFR promotes best practices in financial transparency and reporting social outcomes in the sector. RFR’s innovative program to set up Social Responsibility Systems among its member institutions earned it the distinction of being a finalist for the European Microfinance Award in 2008. It is this innovative and social drive that makes RFR a well-respected microfinance organization today.

“At RFR we have supported the Microcredit Summit Campaign since we were founded in 2000. We are very pleased that our member institutions contribute to the goal of reaching people living in poverty with financial services, especially the most vulnerable including women and farmers. And we are convinced that with the dedication of our 46 members, through continuous learning, development of new methodologies and efficient management at a social and financial level, we contribute every day to a greater number of Ecuadorians being able to move out of poverty on their own accord, being agents of their own development.Javier Vaca, Executive Director, Red Financiera Rural


Some key excerpts of Red Financiera Rural’s Campaign Commitment:

  • We will expand to include 3 more member institutions by the end of 2014.
  • In 2014, we will develop innovative microfinance products based on the results of the institution survey that addresses the needs of the clients and institutions. These needs include rural credit, credit with value chains, rural savings, microinsurance, and microfranchises.
  • By the end of 2014, we will increase the coverage of institutions participating in Finance Education Programs from 8 members serving 2,700 clients, to 12 members.
  • By the end of 2014, we will implement Social Performance Management tools in 20 institutions. Among these, we will implement 4 SPI, 2 Smart evaluations, and 2 with the Truelift tool.
  • By the end of 2014, we will implement these products in at least 8 institutions.

Read the RFR Commitment Letter (in Spanish – for English read here)


Join Red Financiera Rural and State your Campaign Commitment

Join us in the global coalition to help 100 million families lift themselves out of poverty – state your Campaign Commitment at mycommitment@microcreditsummit.org

Need additional guidance in formulating your own Campaign Commitment? Refer to our Commitment Development Toolkit.

Be social with us on Facebook and Twitter (@MicroCredSummit) using the hashtags #Commit100M and #100MGoal

 

MicroEnsure to Expand Services to New Clients and Countries – Latest Campaign Commitment

Gallery

This gallery contains 2 photos.

MicroEnsure releases a Campaign Commitment! Español Français Continue reading