South East Asia
The project supports the Government's initiative to promote financial inclusion through a highly consultative process among the concerned government agencies, banks, development partners and saving and credit groups to improve the policy, supervision and regulatory environment for a wider and deeper inclusion of the low-income population to safe and affordable financial services. The project scope includes a diagnostic assessment of the current framework for inclusive finance, development of a national strategy for financial inclusion and implementation plan for consumer protection, financial literacy and microinsurance, strengthened capacity of the Fiscal Policy Offices Bureau of Financial Inclusion Policy and Development to conduct its supervisory responsibility, and initial priority steps taken towards an improved regulatory and policy framework that will facilitate financial inclusion.
Evaluation of microfinance program under NRSL. Identification of constraints and opportunities for institutional and financial sustainability of microfinance program. Evaluation of Lao PDR microfinance regulation and supervision.
Review and redesign of existing AMK savings products and design of new products based upon market research and analysis and, financial impact analysis. Development of comprehensive product pilot testing and marketing strategy.
Robert Hickson was Team Leader for team of 4 consultants responsible for the conduct of market research to determine demand for micro-savings services.. This project includes the appraisal of 16 MFIs, the training of Central Bank in microfinance legislation and regulation, and MFIs in market research for product development, business-planning, accounting and financial analysis & product marketing.
Microfinance Services reviewed three UN funded Microfinance programmes in Myanmar. This included an institutional review of each programmes management, portfolio analysis techniques, management information systems and monitoring and evaluation system.
Microfinance Services was responsible for the design of microfinance programme for use by villagers participating in the Forest Management and Conservation Project. This programme intends to diversify household economies and reduce village dependence upon the harvesting of timber and non-timber forest products. This microfinance programme is noteworthy for its decentralized approach which involves the encouragement of autonomous village level banks run as independent businesses by village women.
Microfinance Services escorted a group of 6 officials from the Agricultural Bank of China through 10 microcredit projects in Asia to observe mechanism of microcredit delivery and savings provision under differing social, political and economic environments. The importance of this role was to facilitate analysis by group members as to how different projects attempted to achieve their specific objectives through the manipulation of the credit delivery mechanism or savings product within the context of each of their own particular environmental influences.