Text Box: Microfinance Services Pty Ltd     
           Expanding Financial Services for the Poor
 
 
 

 

 

 

 

Microfinance Services Pty Ltd

PO Box 10781

Southport BC, Qld, 4215

AUSTRALIA

Summary of Microfinance Services Experience

Our Mission

<small><small>Microfinance Services aims to assist international development agencies to improve access of poor and very poor households, in developing countries, to financial services which are flexible, useful and which are financially and institutionally sustainable.</small></small><!--mstheme-->

 

Existing Client Base

Microfinance Services provides consultancy services in the broad fields of microfinance and microenterprise to multilateral development banks, such as the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank; Bilateral Development Agencies and United Nations Development Agencies as well as International and National NGOs.

 

<!--mstheme-->Geographical Experience<!--mstheme-->

Australia, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, China, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Malawi, Mozambique, Myanmar, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, South Africa, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Thailand, Uganda, Vietnam, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

MFS Head Office management and administrative personnel work exclusively to support overseas development assistance projects.

 

<!--mstheme-->Project Experience<!--mstheme-->

Microfinance Services has managed the following projects:

1 Rural Finance Reforms and Development of Microfinance Institutions - ADB

2 Evaluation of the Upstream Microfinance Capacity Building Project - UNDP

3 Training in Market Research for Product Development - CitiGroup

4 MFI Capacity Building Component of the Design of the Financial Services for the Poor Programme Ė DFID

5 Extreme Poverty Programme Evaluation -BURO Tangail

6 Training in Microfinance for Womenís Groups - AusAID

7 Chongqing Comprehensive Poverty Alleviation Project - AusAID

8 The Microfinance Capacity Building Programme in Africa - World Bank / DFID

9 Bangladesh Research and Development Project - ADB

10 Qinghai Community Development Project - AusAID

11 Mid-Term Evaluation of UNDP Microfinance Projects in Myanmar - UNDP

12 Microfinance Study Tour for Agricultural Bank of China - AusAID

13 Lao Forest Management and Conservation Project Ė World Bank / Finnida

14 Inner Mongolia Grasslands Conservation Project - AusAID

15 Pakistan Livestock Sector Development Project - ADB

16 Framework for Country Surveys for Microfinance - AfDB

17 Institutional Review of Credit Management Services - USAID

18 Role and Impact of NGOs in Bangladesh - ADB

19 Feasibility Study for Oxfam Development Finance Institution - Oxfam

20 Afghanistan Rural Development Project - DFID

 

<!--mstheme-->Project Administration<!--mstheme-->

A MFS Project Director is nominated to every project, and is responsible for regular liaison with the client and the on-site Project Team Leader. He/she has the responsibility for contract negotiations, consultant management and the monitoring of project progress against contract targets. MFSís Project Directors have extensive transition economy country experience - on both a long and short-term project basis - and thus have a very practical approach to project planning and management. The designated Project Administrators have the necessary administrative expertise to support project implementation, including mobilization and demobilization, travel and documentation requirements, and assisting with report preparation.

 

All project staff are fully briefed by the Project Director as well as management and administrative personnel on project goals and objectives and MFSís Quality Assurance procedures. As part of this quality assurance process each field consultant, regardless of seniority, is assigned a senior mentor who is available to provide technical backstopping or support via e-mail or telephone.

 

MFSís Accounting Department is managed by a certified accountant and is staffed by trained finance personnel experienced in major financing agenciesí invoicing requirements. Together with the Project Director and the Project Team Leader, an Accounts Officer is designated to ensure that the accounts system is suited to the specific needs of the Project. The Accounts Officer is delegated responsibility for the processing and monitoring of all financial aspects of the project. All accounting and financial control documentation is retained, ranging from leave records of all project staff, to asset registers and monthly cash books.

 

Over the years, MFS has developed proven, effective financial management and control systems for projects, which meet all financial management requirements. The modern, computerized system in place caters for the rapid start-up of new projects, as well as modifications and extensions to on-going projects. The Companyís long standing relationship with commercial banks contributes to the efficient and prompt settlement of accounts and fees.

 

Services and Expertise

MFS designs and manages development projects that have poverty reduction as their primary purpose. It provides technical support in the areas of:

 

          microfinance institution (MFI) capacity building and training

          market research for microfinance product development

          MFI appraisals (institutional and performance analysis)

          agriculture and rural development

          policy analysis and formulation

 

Some Specific Technical Expertise

MFS has been active in the development and delivery of many of the CGAP MFI institutional development tools and training programs as well as Microsave's market research, product development, and marketing methodologies for MFIs. These tools and training programs are briefly described below.

 

CGAP Institutional Development Tools

 

MFI Appraisal Format

This tool provides a comprehensive structure for analyzing management and financial performance of MFIs. It is used for retrospective assessment of MFI performance.

 

Business Planning for MFIs using MICROFIN

The MICROFIN business planning process is a carefully structured strategic planning tool that is designed to be used in highly participatory manner with MFI staff. It leads the MFI from the initial steps of identifying or clarifying goals and objectives, analysis of the market for microfinance and other environmental factors, through to the development of detailed financial products, and operational management and financial management systems. Importantly MICROFIN helps bring together a financing strategy for the MFIs proposed development plan.

 

Accounting for MFIs and Delinquency and Interest Rate Setting

These two training programs are designed to increase the professionalism of MFI accounting and financial management procedures. This is often the technical weakness found in start-up MFIs or MFIs that have evolved from broad-based development programs.

 

Financial Analysis for MFIs

This CGAP training course teaches MFI staff the principles of operational and financial analysis. Particular attention is paid to the analysis of loan portfolios and operational and administrative costs, and bearing this has upon overall institutional profitability.

 

Fraud Diagnosis and Internal Controls for MFIs

This tool involves a three-day workshop followed by individual diagnostic consultancies. The workshop is designed to provide an awareness of the types of fraud that commonly occur in MFIs and suggests operational safeguards that can be put in place to reduce this risk. The diagnostic consultancy that follows assists MFIs to identify specific risks and weaknesses in the internal control procedures.

 

Training of Microfinance Consultants

This is a five-day course which takes participants through a process of responding to Requests for Proposals, negotiating terms of reference, fact-finding and data collection, interview techniques, analysis and concept development, relationships management, and oral and written presentation.The course is based upon the role playing of an MFI institutional analysis consultancy and also teaches key techniques in financial analysis.

 

 

Microsave Tools

 

Market Research for Microfinance

The microfinance sector is still relatively young. Geographical expansion of microfinance services has been characterized by the replication of established products (such as the Grameen Bank or Village Banking methodologies). These products, while appearing to be "great ideas", very often turn out to be highly inconvenient to clients or result in the exclusion of important market segments (e.g. extremely poor clients). The market research approach has led to a breakthrough in traditional supply-driven thinking among MFIs and allows the development of highly appropriate, market-focused products and services. MFIs undertaking this analysis for the first time are almost invariably astonished by the degree of mismatch in their existing product structures with the needs and capacities of their target market.

 

The market research for microfinance approach is based on participatory rural appraisal methodologies in which the researchers (working with MFI staff) develop an understanding of the needs and capacities of potential microfinance clients through simple information sharing exercises and non-structured interviews.

 

New Product Development

This technique draws upon the findings of the market research and systematically develops and tests new or modified financial products. These products are not only tested for their appropriateness to particular market niches but are analyzed with respect to their contribution to overall program profitability.

 

Microfinance Product Marketing

The Microsave marketing methodology covers both product promotion and client service. Product promotion is designed to ensure that product attributes and benefits are understood amongst the target market. The development of improved client services focuses on service delivery rather than product structure. Key concerns are the improvement of products in terms of their ease-of-use and accessibility.

 

Permanent Professional Staff by Expertise

The Company employs full-time professional consultants in fields relating to microfinance/rural finance and microenterprise including agriculture and livestock production, institutional development, financial economics and sociology. It has a permanent management, consultant and administrative staff of seven.

 

Microfinance / Microenterprise

3

Finance/Financial Analysis

1

Economics

1

Total full-time Professional Staff

5

 

Firmís Past Experience in the Field of Microfinance

1 Rural Finance Reforms and Development of Microfinance Institutions - ADB


Project Name

Rural Finance Reforms and Development of Microfinance Institutions

Country

Peoples Republic of China

Project Location Within Country

Guizhou

Professional Staff Provided No. of staff:

6

Name of Client

ADB

No. of person months

7

Start Date (Month/Year)

Completion Date

Approximate Value of Project

4/05

12/05

$US 450,000

Name Of Associated Firm, If Any

N/A

No. of Man-Months of Professional

Staff Provided by Associated Firm:

0

Senior Staff Involved and Functions Performed

Dr Robert Hickson: Microfinance Specialist

Professor He Guangwen: Financial Demand Specialist

Professor Du Xiaoshan: Applied Research Specialist

Dr Sun Rou Mei: Microfinance Training Specialist

Professor Liu Wenpu - Microfinance Training Specialist

Lucy Gray: Microfinance Specialist

 

Detailed Narrative Description of Project

The objectives of this technical assistance project is to develop undertake a feasibility study and develop tender documents for the licensing of the first private retail financial institution in China.

The project will (i) build capacity for RCC staff in Guizhou to provide more effective loan operations in the post-restructuring period; (ii) develop Guizhou provincial and related county governments' understanding of and capacity for support to microfinance policy, regulatory, and institutional development; and (iii) develop and implement a competitive bidding process to establish a licensed model MFI in Jiangkou county and potentially adjacent counties.

Detailed Description of Actual Services Provided

Microfinance Services Pty Ltd is responsible for implementation and administration of this entire project. This includes the briefing and mobilisation of all consultants, project supervision via an assigned project director, project monitoring and preparation of timely project progress reports and financial statements to the client and other project administration.

Firmís name: MICROFINANCE SERVICES PTY. LTD.

 

2 Evaluation of the Upstream Microfinance Capacity Building Project - UNDP


Project Name

Evaluation of the Upstream Microfinance Capacity Building Project

Country

Mozambique

Project Location Within Country

Throughout

Professional Staff Provided No. of staff:

2

Name of Client

UNDP

No. of person months

0.5

Start Date (Month/Year)

Completion Date

Approximate Value of Project

05/2005

05/2005

$US 14,000

Name Of Associated Firm, If Any

N/A

No. of Man-Months of Professional

Staff Provided by Associated Firm:

††††††††††† 0

Senior Staff Involved and Functions Performed

Robert Hickson: Microfinance Specialist

Lucy Gray: Microfinance Specialist

 

Detailed Narrative Description of Project

The Upstream Microfinance project was designed to provide capacity building to decision makers and political analysts, opinion leaders and the population in general regarding microfinance related activities in the country. The main national partners that are involved in the implementation of the Project are the Bank of Mozambique, Ministry of Planning and Finance and Eduardo Mondlane University (Faculty of Economy as well as Faculty of Agronomy and Forest Engineering). The overall objective of the project was to ensure that the decisions that they make (or opinions put forward) are aimed at the development of a solid and vigorous microfinance industry in Mozambique.

The capacity building project was implemented by the National Directorate of Rural Development (DNDR) from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MADER) and is part of the contribution from the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) to the Sector by providing all administrative and bureaucratic support as well as financial assistance in partnership with AUSAID and BAD/AMINA.

An evaluation of the project was requested in order to assess the level of implementation of the Project in accordance with the expected outputs and performance indicators; to analyse the quality, relevance, impact and potential of sustainability of activities carried out in the framework of expected objectives;to identify positive and/or negative aspects that occurred during the implementation of the Project and; to take summarise lessons learned.

Detailed Description Of Actual Services Provided

Microfinance Services Pty Ltd was responsible for the evaluation of the Upstream Microfinance Capacity Building project. The Consultant organised and conducted interviews with a variety of microfinance stakeholders, gaining feedback from sources involved directly with the project and also from other microfinance parties operating in Mozambique. Microfinance Services completed an appraisal of the capacity building project in ine with the terms of reference set forth by UNDP: assessed the level of implementation in accordance with expected outpurs and performance indicators; evaluated the quality, relevance, impact and sustainability of the projectís activities; reviewed the lessons learned from the projectís implementation. In addition to these outputs, Microfinance Services also made recommendations to the UNDP regarding the need for future microfinance inputs in Mozambique.††

Firmís name: MICROFINANCE SERVICES PTY. LTD.

 

3 Training in Market Research for Product Development - CitiGroup


Project Name

Training in Market Research for Product Development

Country

China

Project Location Within Country

Beijing

Professional Staff Provided No. of staff:

2

Name of Client

CitiGroup

No. of person months

0.5

Start Date (Month/Year)

Completion Date

Approximate Value of Project

03/2005

03/2005

$US 10,000

Name Of Associated Firm, If Any

N/A

No. of Man-Months of Professional

Staff Provided by Associated Firm:

††††††††††† 0

Senior Staff Involved and Functions Performed

Robert Hickson: MF Training/Capacity Building Specialist

Lucy Gray: Microfinance Specialist

 

Detailed Narrative Description of Project

The Citi-China Microfinance Training Center initiated this project in order to bring free microfinance technical training to a struggling/pre-mature microfinance sector in China. As part of a two month training programme, Citi-China Training Center contracted four international microfinance specialist to conduct relevant training for managers and field staff from county-level non-profit MFIs across Chinaís 30 provinces.

The project was primarily intended to improve MFIsí capacity to conduct market research, evaluate existing products, identify needs and build institutional capacity to introduce new products and employ produt costing methods.

The Market Research for Product Development course had the specific agenda of providing practical training in the following areas: international microfinance product development, including those initiatives that have succeeded and those initiatives that have failed, focusing on the basic leading principles and processes, particularly those that are effective and ineffective. The training was delivered from a practitionerís perspective thus providing an over-arching theory, as well as key points for actual product design, market study, and methods for evaluating the success of oneís product.

Detailed Description Of Actual Services Provided

Microfinance Services Pty Ltd was responsible for devising the course with the use of MicroSaveís Market Research for Product Development Toolkit. A rationale, strategy and structure of the training workshop was designed and managed by the Consultant. The consultant was responsible for producing a copy of all training materials in advance of the workshop.

Firmís name: MICROFINANCE SERVICES PTY. LTD.

 

4 MFI Capacity Building Component of the Design of the Financial Services for the Poor Programme Ė DFID


Project Name

MFI Capacity Building Component of the Design of the Financial Services for the Poor Programme

Country

Bangladesh

Project Location Within Country

Throughout

Professional Staff Provided No. of staff:

1

Name of Client

DFID

No. of person months

1

Start Date (Month/Year)

Completion Date

Approximate Value of Project

09/2003

10/2003

$US 15,000

Name Of Associated Firm, If Any

Enterplan

No. of Man-Months of Professional

Staff Provided by Associated Firm:

††††††††††† 6

Senior Staff Involved and Functions Performed

Robert Hickson: Microfinance Specialist

Bob Fitch: Institutional Specialist

David Wright: Microfinance Regulation Specialist

 

Detailed Narrative Description of Project

The primary objective of the this component to the project was to increase professionalisation of the microfinance industry and adoption of corporate governance standards. This was achieved by the facilitation of deeper knowledge and understanding of microfinance at universities, relevant professional institutions, and industry organisations. The capacity building componentprovided details of the different organisations and individuals to be targeted and also the skills and knowledge that is required to be developed.

Detailed Description Of Actual Services Provided

Microfinance Services Pty Ltd was responsible for designing the MF capacity building and research output of this project. A rationale, strategy and structure for the capacity buiding project was proposed by the Consultant. Various programme activities, suggestions for improved knowledge management and academic research were introduced along with budgets for each activity. Recommendations to develop an ĎInstitute of Microfinanceí were also introduced. Microfiance Services was responsible for implementation and administration of the training component of the project, including project monitoring and preparation of timely project progress reports and financial statements to the client.

Firmís name: MICROFINANCE SERVICES PTY. LTD.

5 Extreme Poverty Programme Evaluation -BURO Tangail


Project Name

Extreme Poor Microfinance Review

Country

Bangladesh

Project Location Within Country

Throughout

Professional Staff Provided No. of staff:

2

Name of Client

BURO Tangail

No. of person months

2

Start Date (Month/Year)

Completion Date

Approximate Value of Project

11/2003

01/2004

$US 18,000

Name Of Associated Firm, If Any

N/A

No. of Man-Months of Professional

Staff Provided by Associated Firm:

††††††††††† 0

Senior Staff Involved and Functions Performed

Robert Hickson: Team Leader / Microfinance Specialist

S M Rahman: Microfinance Specialist

 

Detailed Narrative Description of Project

BURO Tangail implemented the piloting of the ďModel Financial ProgramĒ for the very poor; a project which involved finding out and implementing strategies that provide opportunities for very poor rural and urban households to achieve sustainable livelihoods. It focuses on changing the ways in which the interests of poor people are represented in resource allocation decisions and local socio-political processes that affect their livelihoods and their experience of poverty. The basic program components included social development, special investment (savings and credit) and employment generation. In brief, the project was designed toimprove living standards of the poorest of the poor.

Microfinance Servcies Pty Ltd was charged with the task of completing a high quality professional assessment of the program in order to test the efficacy and replicability of the model. Microfinance Servicesí key responsibilities included: an examination of the appropriateness of client selection criteria; an assessment of the client perceptions on products, terms and conditions, and service delivery mechanism; an assessment of the behavioral aspects of the clients as opposed to traditional micro clients in respect of attendance of meetings, propensity of savings, making repayments, demand for other financial services and future aspirations, etc; a review of the feasibility of working with this category of clients in achieving those aforesaid objectives; an assessment of the potentiality of mainstreaming into the micro financial services, analysis of the indebtedness issues of the clients; the redesigning the piloting (if so warranted) as well as for expansion of the hard-core program; recommendations to BURO, Tangail for doing a simple business plan for replication of the model or expansion; suggestions of appropriate institutional framework embodying the mechanism to handle this segment of clients; and the identification and recommendations as to the donorsí role in expanding this segmentís outreach.

Detailed Description Of Actual Services Provided

The consultants completed a review of the ILSP pilot project, which aimed to increase BURO Tangailís outreach to the poorest of the poor. This project made several recommendations to improve the ILSP project and to thus achieve greater outreach and sustainability of its microfinance products and services. Microfinance Services was responsible for implementation and administration of this entire project including the briefing and mobilisation of the consultants, project supervision, project monitoring and preparation of timely project progress reports and financial statements to the client and other project administration.

Firmís name: MICROFINANCE SERVICES PTY. LTD.

6 Training in Microfinance for Womenís Groups - AusAID


Project Name

Training in Microfinance for Womenís Groups

Country

India

Project Location Within Country

Throughout

Professional Staff Provided No. of staff:

6

Name of Client

AusAID

No. of person months

18

Start Date (Month/Year)

Completion Date

Approximate Value of Project

8/98

2/2001

$US 400,000

Name Of Associated Firm, If Any

Womenís World Banking (India)

No. of Man-Months of Professional

Staff Provided by Associated Firm:

††††††††††† 10

Senior Staff Involved and Functions Performed

Dr Robert Hickson: Australian Team Leader / Microfinance Specialist

Robyn Cornford: Microfinance Specialist

Stuart Rutherford: Poverty / Microfinance Specialist

Professor Michael Scully: Financial Analyst and Micro-Banking Specialist

Anne Kennedy: Gender and Development / Project Planning Specialist

Anthony Kelly: Community Development / Communication Specialist

Vijayalakshmi Das: Microfinance Training Specialist

Angela Lonergan Project Administrator (Microfinance Services)

Detailed Narrative Description of Project

Microfinance Services Pty Ltd provided 6 consultants to implement this project which aims to support the Department of Women and Child Development (DWCD) in the execution of the Indira Mahila Yojana (IMY) project. The IMY is the largest government managed microfinance project in India with a planned coverage of over 1 million women.

The Training in Microfinance for Womenís Groups technical assistance project created a cadre of 80 Master Trainer of Trainers. In addition, Microfinance Services responsibilities included the provision of specialist training to 30 GOI officials through a study tour to Bangladesh and Indonesia (to critically analyse the strengths and weaknesses of microfinance projects in these countries) and an Australian based training program. The Australian training focused on project planning and management, microfinance implementation strategies, financial analysis, community development and communication skills and techniques.

Microfinance Services Pty Ltd also provided support to the DWCD in the areas of key strategic advice in implementation of the Indira Mahila Yojana project and advising key government departments and parastatal concerned with microfinance on general microfinance policy.

Detailed Description Of Actual Services Provided

Microfinance Services Pty Ltd is responsible for implementation and administration of this entire project. This includes the briefing and mobilisation of all consultants, project supervision via an assigned project director, project monitoring and preparation of timely project progress reports and financial statements to the client and other project administration.

Firmís name: MICROFINANCE SERVICES PTY. LTD.

7 Chongqing Comprehensive Poverty Alleviation Project - AusAID


Project Name

Chongqing Comprehensive Poverty Alleviation Project

Country

Peoples Republic of China

Project Location Within Country

Chongqing

Professional Staff Provided No. of staff:

18

Name of Client

AusAID

No. of person months

424

Start Date (Month/Year)

Completion Date

Approximate Value of Project

1/2001

6/2005

$US 10,000,000

Name Of Associated Firm, If Any

Hassall & Associates International

No. of Man-Months of Professional

Staff Provided by Associated Firm:

††††††††††† 395

Senior Staff Involved and Functions Performed

Mr Frank Roseby†††††††††† Australian Team Leader

Mr Michael Adams†††††††† Rural Water Supply Engineer

Dr Kristian Whittaker††††† Participatory Planning Adviser

Mr Lei Guoping††††††††††††† Chinese Accountant

Ms Lin Zhibin†††††††††††††††† National Participatory Planning Adviser

Ms Xia Yuan††††††††††††††††† National Participatory Planning Specialist

Dr Ge Tang††††††††††††††††††† Marketing and Information Adviser

Mr Mark Moran††††††††††††† Rural Roads Engineer

Ms Louise Smith††††††††††† Financial Systems Specialist

Mr Neil Urwin†††††††††††††††† Environmental Specialist

Ms Karen Lummis††††††††† Less Experienced Professional (Environment)

Mr Larry Hendricks†††††††† Microfinance Specialist

Dr Du Xiaoshan††††††††††††† National Microfinance Specialist

Mr Gary Lim††††††††††††††††† Microfinance MIS Specialist

Mr Leslie Smith†††††††††††† Microfinance Technical Adviser

Dr Xu Xianmei †††††††††††††† Enterprise Training Specialist

Mr Robert Nairn†††††††††††† Transport Planner

Detailed Narrative Description of Project

The Chongqing Comprehensive Poverty Alleviation Project is a multi-sector project aimed specifically at reducing poverty through sustainable increases in diversified rural household cash incomes in selected poor townships/villages in one district and four counties in the south east of Chongqing Municipality.

This is being achieved using a participatory planning process to provide access to markets (village roads) and market information; to strengthen the capacity of communities to increase their available labour (water supply), capital, (microfinance) and know-how (information and training) to diversify and increase cash incomes.

Detailed Description Of Actual Services Provided

Microfinance Services Pty Ltd is responsible for implementation of the microfinance component of this project. This has included the conduct of initial market research into the needs and capacities of potential microfinance clients. Based on this market research a variety of product prototypes were developed and piloted among the target clients. These products were then modified as required and following the development of a business plan with the implementing RCCs they have been rolled out in the target district and four counties. Microfinance Services Pty Ltd has provided briefing and mobilisation of all consultants, project supervision via an assigned project director, project monitoring and preparation of timely project progress reports and financial statements to the client and other project administration.

Firmís name: MICROFINANCE SERVICES PTY. LTD.

 

8 The Microfinance Capacity Building Programme in Africa - World Bank / DFID


Project Name

The Microfinance Capacity Building Programme in Africa Ė AFCAP

Countries

Botswana, Ethiopia, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe

Project Location Within Country

Throughout

Professional Staff Provided No. of staff:

††††††††††† 4

Name of Client

CGAP (World Bank) / DFID

No. of person months

††††††††††† 108

Start Date (Month/Year)

Completion Date

Approximate Value of Project

11/99

1/03

USD 3,000,000

Name Of Associated Firm, If Any

N/A

No. of Man-Months of Professional

Staff Provided by Associated Firm:

††††††††††† 0

Senior Staff Involved and Functions Performed

Mr Roland Pearson††††††† Programme Director

Dr Robert Hickson: ††††††† Microfinance Technical Support Specialist

Ms Janis Sabetta:††††††††† Microfinance Training Specialist

Ms Beatrice Sabana:††††† Microfinance Training Specialist

Detailed Narrative Description of Project

The Microfinance Capacity Building Programme in Africa (AFCAP) was financed jointly by the Consultative Group to Assist the Poorest (CGAP) and the British Department for International Development (DFID).While based in Nairobi, Kenya, its mandate encompassed the whole eastern and southern African region.AFCAPís mission over the coming three years was to build a core of internationally competitive African professional service providers from the private sector, who, in turn, delivered appropriate, high quality products and services to the microfinance sector. By building this group of talented Africans, AFCAP made a substantial contribution towards a commercially viable, client-responsive, and developmentally sound sector of financial institutions, serving micro and small enterprises and poor communities at scale throughout the region. Overall, our objectives were to:

         Accredit qualified trainers and consultants for the microfinance sector;

         Market our key partners and AFCAP itself;

         Establish recognition as the beacon for local, regional, and international best and emerging practice;

         Manage delivery of fundamental and cutting edge training to microfinance institutions (MFIs) by local providers;

         Coordinate provision of technical assistance to MFIs by local providers, supported by international specialists; and

         Contribute to the development of new products and services for the MFI community.

Detailed Description Of Actual Services Provided

Microfinance Services Pty Ltd role was to develop African-based microfinance consulting capacity by providing on-site technical assistance to MFIs, through expert mentoring and Ďon-the-jobí training to carefully selected African-based consultants. In this product, AFCAP provided highly qualified Senior Mentors to work with promising, African-based professional consultants in the course of executing actual consulting assignments for real MFI and donor clients. We focussed on building both technical skills, many of which are analogous to the subjects covered in the CGAP technical courses, as well as other professional skills, such as report writing, presentation, critical analysis, and effective communication.

Firmís name: MICROFINANCE SERVICES PTY. LTD.

9 Bangladesh Research and Development Project - ADB


Project Name

Bangladesh Research and Development Project (TA 1440)

Country

Bangladesh

Project Location Within Country

Throughout (64 Thanas)

Professional Staff Provided No. of staff:

6

Name of Client

Asian Development Bank

No. of person months

74

Start Date (Month/Year)

Completion Date

Approximate Value of Project

5/93

2/96

USD 800,000

Name Of Associated Firm, If Any

International Development Support Services

No. of Man-Months of Professional

Staff Provided by Associated Firm:

††††††††††† 47

Senior Staff Involved and Functions Performed

Dr Robert Hickson: ††††††††††††††††††† Team Leader/ Monitoring and Evaluation/ MIS Specialist

Mr Stuart Rutherford:††††††††††††††††† Microfinance Specialist

Mr. Ashraf Chowdhury:Training Specialist

Mr Mafuzer Rahman:††††††††††††††††† Institutional Specialist

Mr Muzzamul Huq:†††††††††††††††††††† Microfinance/Microenterprise Specialist

Dr Eusuf Ali:††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Microsavings Specialist

Detailed Narrative Description of Project

The Bangladesh Research and Development Technical Assistance Project provided research and development support to an ADB funded Microfinance Project Thana Resource Development and Employment Project (TRDEP). This project has 150,000 clients and is executed by the GOB using the Grameen Bank model of credit delivery and microenterprise development. The TA has worked closely with the Grameen Bank in providing training to project field staff and establishing credit operating systems. The task of the TA has been not only to provide ongoing assistance to the GOB in project implementation but also undertake research and highlight issues limiting the effectiveness of the Grameen Bank model.

The primary goal is to not only to provide critical research into issues facing microcredit delivery systems but also to develop the government executing agencyís capacity to analyse and act upon these findings, and systematically monitor and evaluate the social and economic impact of the project.

Detailed Description Of Actual Services Provided

Microfinance Services was responsible for the management of the team of 6 multi-disciplined consultants. It was responsible for project management in-country and the identification and conduct of appropriate research topics. A major undertaking was to design and operationalise a manual and computer-based MIS for use by TRDEP. This MIS was introduced throughout the 64 TRDEP branches.

Microfinance Services produced 6 research reports during this technical assistance.

Firmís name: MICROFINANCE SERVICES PTY. LTD.

 

10 Qinghai Community Development Project - AusAID



Project Name

Qinghai Community Development Project

Country

China

Project Location Within Country

Haidong Prefecture, Qinghai

Professional Staff Provided No. of staff:

10

Name of Client

AusAID

No. of person months

65

Start Date (Month/Year)

Completion Date

Approximate Value of Project

6/94

2/98

$US 3,000,000

NAME OF ASSOCIATED FIRM, IF ANY

Hassall and Associates

No. of Man-Months of Professional

Staff Provided by Associated Firm:

††††††††††† 51

KEY Senior Staff Involved and Functions Performed

Mr Tim Zachernuk: ††††††† Team Leader / Institutional Specialist

Mr Charles Davis: ††††††††† Farming Systems Specialist

Dr Robert Hickson: ††††††† Microfinance Specialist

Mr Mark Moran: ††††††††††† Roads and Water Engineer

Ms Paula Lennon:††††††††† Project Administrator (Microfinance Services)

Detailed Narrative Description of Project

This project is a broad based poverty focussed project implemented through the Planning Commission and the Agricultural Bank of China (ABC). It targets Tibetan and Hui minority groups. It includes water supply design and construction, microfinance / microenterprise development, agricultural research and development, road construction and the establishment of primary health care services.

The microenterprise / microfinance component is designed to promote asset accumulation and entrepreneurism among the poorest section of the community.

Detailed Description Of Actual Services Provided

Microfinance Services has been responsible for the management of the microenterprise / microfinance component of this project. This has included the design, implementation and evaluation of the component and the development of a MIS for use by the ABC in the implementation of the project.

Development of this component has required a highly experimental approach in order to adapt traditional microenterprise / microfinance methods to the needs and capacities of Qinghaiís highly illiterate subsistence farming communities. A number of the innovations tested and adopted relate directly to the enhancement the financial sustainability of the microfinance program. These include, contracting of the village level financial intermediation responsibility to local women while utilising a formal bank (the ABC) to supervise these village intermediaries and manage the overall program.

The microfinance / microenterprise model which has now been fully adopted provides a greatly enhanced utility to its users while retaining simplicity of management. The UNDP is currently proposing to utilise this model for a Poverty Alleviation Project in Qinghai currently under preparation.

Firmís name: MICROFINANCE SERVICES PTY. LTD.

11 Mid-Term Evaluation of UNDP Microfinance Projects in Myanmar - UNDP


Project Name

Mid-Term Evaluation of UNDP Microfinance Projects in Myanmar

Country

Myanmar

Project Location Within Country

Delta, Dry Zone and Shan State

Professional Staff Provided No. of staff:

2

Name of Client

UNOPS

No. of person months

3

Start Date (Month/Year)

Completion Date

Approximate Value of Project

9/98

9/98

$US 35,000

Name Of Associated Firm, If Any

Not Applicable

No. of Man-Months of Professional

Staff Provided by Associated Firm:

††††††††††† 0

Senior Staff Involved and Functions Performed

Dr Robert Hickson: ††††††††††††††††††† Team Leader/ Microfinance Specialist

Dr Puhazendhi Venugopalan†††††† Rural Banking Specialist

Detailed Narrative Description of Project

Review of UN funded Microfinance activities in Myanmar.

Detailed Description Of Actual Services Provided

This included a review of program management, portfolio analysis techniques, management information systems and monitoring and evaluation systems of the 3 pilot projects being supported by UNDP.

Firmís name: MICROFINANCE SERVICES PTY. LTD.

 

12 Microfinance Study Tour for Agricultural Bank of China - AusAID


Project Name

Microfinance Study Tour for Agricultural Bank of China

Country

Vietnam, Philippines and Bangladesh

Project Location Within Country

Throughout

Professional Staff Provided No. of staff:

1

Name of Client

AusAID

No. of person months

1.5

Start Date (Month/Year)

Completion Date

Approximate Value of Project

5/96

6/96

$US 87,000

Name Of Associated Firm, If Any

Hassall and Associates

No. of Man-Months of Professional

Staff Provided by Associated Firm:

††††††††††† 0

Senior Staff Involved and Functions Performed

Dr Robert Hickson: ††††††††††††††††††† Study Tour Leader/ Microfinance Specialist

Ms Paula Lennon†††††††††††††††††††††† Project Administrator (Microfinance Services)

Detailed Narrative Description of Project

This study tour was funded by AusAID to build the capacity of the branches of the Agricultural Bank of China that were participating in the Qinghai Community Development Project.

Detailed Description Of Actual Services Provided

Microfinance Services prepared, and fully administered the Study Tour. A senior Microfinance Services staff member led of a group of 6 officials from the Agricultural Bank of China through 10 microfinance projects in Asia to observe and analyse microfinance delivery mechanisms under differing social, political and economic environments.

The staff consultantís role was to facilitate analysis by group members of how different schemes attempted to achieve their objectives of targeting and sustainability through manipulation of the credit and savings delivery mechanism (ie. loan terms and conditions such as loan size, eligibility criteria, maturities, interest rates, repayment schedules etc.).

Firmís name: MICROFINANCE SERVICES PTY. LTD.

 

13 Lao Forest Management and Conservation Project Ė World Bank / Finnida


Project Name

Forest Management and Conservation Project

Country

Lao PDR

Project Location Within Country

Vientianne and Savannakhet

Professional Staff Provided No. of staff:

7

Name of Client

World Bank and Finnida

No. of person months

182

Start Date (Month/Year)

Completion Date

Approximate Value of Project

11/95

10/98

USD 2,500,000

NAME OF ASSOCIATED FIRM, IF ANY

Jakko Poyry (Finland)

No. of Man-Months of Professional

Staff Provided by Associated Firm:

††††††††††† 170

Senior Staff Involved and Functions Performed

Mr Marko Katila: †††††††††† Team Leader / Institutional/Forestry Specialist

Mr Manuel Bonita: †††††††† Forest Management Specialist

Dr Bruce Jefferies:††††††††† Environmental Specialist

Dr Robert Hickson: ††††††† Microfinance Specialist

Mr Edwin Payuan:††††††††† Community Development Specialist

Mr Martti Matikainen††††† Forest Harvesting Specialist

Detailed Narrative Description of Project

The Forest Management and Conservation Project is designed to assist the transfer of management authority of forest reserves from the government to Laotian village communities.

The microenterprise program is diversifying household economies and reducing village dependence upon the harvesting of timber and non-timber forest products for their cash income.

Detailed Description Of Actual Services Provided

Microfinance Services has been responsible for the design of the microenterprise / microfinance program for use by villagers participating in the Forest Management and Conservation Project.

This microfinance program design is noteworthy for its decentralised approach which involves the encouragement of autonomous village level banks run as independent businesses by village women but coordinated through the Lao Womenís Union. The microfinance / microenterprise model provides a greatly enhanced utility to its users while retaining simplicity of management.

Microfinance Services also developed and provided training in the use of a paper-based MIS for use by the Lao Womenís Union and village banks.

Firmís name: MICROFINANCE SERVICES PTY. LTD.

 

14 Inner Mongolia Grasslands Conservation Project - AusAID


Project Name

Inner Mongolia Grasslands Conservation Project

Country

China

Project Location Within Country

Ulanhot, Inner Mongolia

Professional Staff Provided No. of staff:

8

Name of Client

AusAID

No. of person months

60

Start Date (Month/Year)

Completion Date

Approximate Value of Project

9/96

6/2000

$US 2,500,000

NAME OF ASSOCIATED FIRM, IF ANY

Hassall and Associates

No. of Man-Months of Professional

Staff Provided by Associated Firm:

††††††††††† 54

Senior Staff Involved and Functions Performed

Mr Bob Galland: ††††††††††† Team Leader / Institutional Specialist

Mr Ian Auldist: Farming Systems Specialist

Dr Robert Hickson: ††††††† Microfinance Specialist

Ms Irene Bain: ††††††††††††† Community Development Specialist

Mr Bruce Mitchelhill:††††† Agricultural Economist

Detailed Narrative Description of Project

This project is a broad based poverty focussed project implemented through the Bureau of Animal Husbandry. It includes agricultural research and development, rangeland management, microfinance / microenterprise development, community development.

The microenterprise / microfinance component is designed to promote asset accumulation and entrepreneurism among the poorest section of the community. It is intended to allow economic diversification through microenterprise development. This is intended to reduce the dependence upon pastoralism and thus reduce grazing pressure on the fragile grasslands in the project area.

Detailed Description Of Actual Services Provided

Microfinance Services has been responsible for the design of the microenterprise / microfinance component.

Development of this component has required a highly experimental approach in order to adapt traditional microenterprise / microfinance methods to the needs and capacities of Inner Mongoliaís pastoral and subsistence farming communities.

The microfinance / microenterprise model provides a greatly enhanced utility to its users while retaining simplicity of management. The UNDP is currently proposing to utilise this model for a Poverty Alleviation Project in Qinghai currently under preparation.

Firmís name: MICROFINANCE SERVICES PTY. LTD.

15 Pakistan Livestock Sector Development Project - ADB


Project Name

Pakistan Livestock Sector Development Project (Sindh Component)

Country

Pakistan

Project Location Within Country

Throughout province of Sindh

Professional Staff Provided No. of staff:

3

Name of Client

Asian Development Bank

No. of person months

39

Start Date (Month/Year)

Completion Date

Approximate Value of Project

7/93

6/95

USD 500,000

Name Of Associated Firm, If Any

Overseas Projects Corporation of Victoria

No. of Man-Months of Professional

Staff Provided by Associated Firm:

††††††††††† 15

Senior Staff Involved and Functions Performed

Dr Robert Hickson: ††††††††††††††††††† Team Leader / Farming Systems and Extension Specialist

Mr John Wildin:††††††††††††† Pasture and Fodder Specialist

Mr. Peter Jellinek:††††††††††††††††††† Bovine Reproduction Specialist

Detailed Narrative Description of Project

The Sindh Livestock Sector Development Project was part of a national project aimed at improving livestock productivity in Pakistan. The major foci of the project were the establishment of livestock extension services, pasture and fodder development, animal nutrition and reproduction and genetic improvement.

Detailed Description Of Actual Services Provided

Microfinance Services was responsible for the in-country management and supervision of the team of 3 consultants on the Sindh component of the Livestock Sector Development Project.

Technically, Microfinance Services was specifically responsible for the development of the extension system, involving preparation of extension material, identification of appropriate technologies establishing producer organisations (as a means of channelling these extension inputs and for marketing of livestock production outputs, primarily milk) and credit and savings cooperatives. These were credit cooperatives were designed to mobilise local capital resources for small on- and off-farm entrepreneurs through the encouragement of savings by local wage earners

Firmís name: MICROFINANCE SERVICES PTY. LTD.

16 Framework for Country Surveys for Microfinance - AfDB


Project Name

Development of a Framework for Country Surveys for Microfinance

Country

Africa Region

Project Location Within Country

Throughout

Professional Staff Provided No. of staff:

3

Name of Client

African Development Bank

No. of person months

10

Start Date (Month/Year)

Completion Date

Approximate Value of Project

1/99

6/99

USD 200,000

Name Of Associated Firm, If Any

IRIS, University of Maryland, USA

No. of Man-Months of Professional

Staff Provided by Associated Firm:

††††††††††† 6

Senior Staff Involved and Functions Performed

Dr Robert Hickson: ††††††††††††††††††† Microfinance Specialist

Betty Wilkinson:††††††††††††††††††††††† MFI Regulation Specialist

Patrick Meagher:†††††††††††††††††††††† Legal Specialist

Ms Angela Lonergan:†††††††††††††††† Project Administrator (Microfinance Services)

Detailed Narrative Description of Project

Development of evaluation guidelines for assessing the potential for sustainable microfinance development and expansion in Africa on a country by country basis. The guidelines outlines the geographic, economic, social and legal issues which may determine the success, or otherwise, of promoting the development of sustainable microfinance institutions in each given country.

The objective is to develop a strategy for the promotion of microfinance through the establishment of appropriate legislation, regulatory mechanisms and possible incentive schemes for Microfinance Institutions (MFIs).

Detailed Description Of Actual Services Provided

Preparation of guidelines for surveying African countries to determine a strategy for support to, and development of, sustainable Microfinance Institutions. The survey approach focuses upon the use of legislative and regulatory interventions to support the development of a responsible and financially sound microfinance sector.

Firmís name: MICROFINANCE SERVICES PTY. LTD.

 

27 Institutional Review of Credit Management Services - USAID


Project Name

Institutional Review and Training Needs Assessment of the Microfinance Institution - Credit Management Services

Country

Zambia and South Africa

Project Location Within Country

Throughout

Professional Staff Provided No. of staff:

3

Name of Client

USAID

No. of person months

5

Start Date (Month/Year)

Completion Date

Approximate Value of Project

9/98

12/98

USD 100,000

Name Of Associated Firm, If Any

IRIS, University of Maryland, USA

No. of Man-Months of Professional

Staff Provided by Associated Firm:

††††††††††† 2

Senior Staff Involved and Functions Performed

Dr Robert Hickson: ††††††††††††††††††† Microfinance Specialist

Betty Wilkinson†††††††††††† MFI Regulation Specialist

Patrick Meagher††††††††††††††††††††††† Legal Specialist

Detailed Narrative Description of Project

Institutional review of Credit Management Servicesí microfinance program performance and a training needs assessment of staff and clients. The technical assistance continued to develop CMS capacity in strategic planning, to develop its approaches to microfinance delivery.

Detailed Description Of Actual Services Provided

Responsible for providing on-site training to branch and head office staff in program management, portfolio analysis, management information systems and monitoring and evaluation. Responsible for drafting the detailed requirements of the MIS to be utilised by CMS and the briefing and guidance of software developers.

Firmís name: MICROFINANCE SERVICES PTY. LTD.

38 Role and Impact of NGOs in Bangladesh - ADB


Project Name

Role and Impact of NGOs in Bangladesh

Country

Bangladesh

Project Location Within Country

Throughout

Professional Staff Provided No. of staff:

2

Name of Client

ADB

No. of person months

3

Start Date (Month/Year)

Completion Date

Approximate Value of Project

8/92

12/92

USD 50,000

Name Of Associated Firm, If Any

International Development Support Services

No. of Man-Months of Professional

Staff Provided by Associated Firm:

††††††††††† 2

Senior Staff Involved and Functions Performed

Dr Robert Hickson: ††††††††††††††††††† Microfinance and NGO Specialist

Neil OíSullivan†† ††††††††††††††††††††††† Institutional Specialist

Detailed Narrative Description of Project

The assignment purpose was to conduct a comparative assessment of the social and economic impact of a number of Government and NGO rural development projects in Bangladesh. The evaluation developed specific recommendations on potential modalities for collaboration between the Government, NGOs and the Bank.

Detailed Description Of Actual Services Provided

Microfinance Services was responsible for the in-country management of the team of international consultants. Responsible for provision of expertise to conduct a comparison of the relative impact of "minimalist" credit and savings models and "comprehensive" NGO models of development (which place a greater emphasis upon a broad range of community development activities). Undertook an extensive review of the performance of NGOs and their capacity to engage in bank financed projects.

Firmís name: MICROFINANCE SERVICES PTY. LTD.

49 Feasibility Study for Oxfam Development Finance Institution - Oxfam


Project Name

Feasibility Study for Oxfam International Managed Development Finance Institution

Country

World-wide

Project Location Within Country

Throughout

Professional Staff Provided No. of staff:

2

Name of Client

Oxfam International

No. of person months

5

Start Date (Month/Year)

Completion Date

Approximate Value of Project

9/97

1/98

USD 80,000

Name Of Associated Firm, If Any

N/A

No. of Man-Months of Professional

Staff Provided by Associated Firm:

††††††††††† 0

Senior Staff Involved and Functions Performed

Dr Robert Hickson: ††††††††††††††††††† Microfinance Institutional Specialist

Margo Leach†††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† Banking Specialist

Detailed Narrative Description of Project

Oxfam International was interested in establishing an international development finance institution with the capacity to provide commercial finance and technical assistance to medium sized microfinance and microenterprise development institutions in less developed countries. Initial clients were to be drawn from the 9,000 NGO local partner organisations with which the Oxfam network collaborates in providing development assistance to impoverished communities. The study recommended against the establishment of a such DFI by Oxfam.

Detailed Description Of Actual Services Provided

Microfinance Services Pty Ltd provided expertise to investigate the feasibility of the establishment, by Oxfam International, of an international facility capable of providing commercial finance and technical support to rural finance institutions operating in less developed countries. This study reviewed the institutional capacity of the Oxfam group and the absorptive capacity of their partner organisations in LDCs and explored potential avenues of grant and commercial financing. The study developed an outline of the likely institutional and capital structure of the proposed entity and gave an indication of the financial and technical products that may be provided.

Firmís name: MICROFINANCE SERVICES PTY. LTD.

20 Afghanistan Rural Development Project - DFID


Project Name

Afghanistan Rural Development Project

Country

Afghanistan

Project Location Within Country

Badakshan

Professional Staff Provided No. of staff:

1

Name of Client

DFID

No. of person months

2

Start Date (Month/Year)

Completion Date

Approximate Value of Project

8/97

10/97

USD 25,000

Name Of Associated Firm, If Any

N/A

No. of Man-Months of Professional

Staff Provided by Associated Firm:

††††††††††† 0

Senior Staff Involved and Functions Performed

Dr Robert Hickson: ††††††††††††††††††† Microfinance Specialist

Detailed Narrative Description of Project

The United Kingdomís Department for International Development was supporting efforts to rebuild the rural economy in Badakshan in northern Afghanistan. This project aims to stimulate the rural economy through the re-introduction of a stable, currency based, financial system. The program has been developed in an environment of high inflation and in which bartering has replaced currency as the medium for commodity exchange.

Detailed Description Of Actual Services Provided

Microfinance Services Pty Ltd provided expertise for the design of a savings and credit programme to assist Afghan villagers re-establish small enterprises in the wake of the prolonged Afghan war. Developed a temporary note of exchange (backed by the Afghanaid (the implementing agency) which is tied to the local price of wheat. The savings and credit program has needed to conform to strict laws of Islamic banking.

Firmís name: MICROFINANCE SERVICES PTY. LTD.