Incofin successfully finalizes the RIF II Technical Assistance (TA) Facility, promoting innovation in financial inclusion for 7.4 million entrepreneurs world wide. The TA Facility financed over 8 years capacity building projects to promote innovation in rural microfinance and more financial inclusoin of traditionally underserved communities.

The USD 5 million Facility had broad-ranging impacts, both geographically and in terms of thematic areas. The Facility financed 54 projects in 24 countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe on a diverse array of topics ranging from new product development and digital delivery channels to risk and social performance management. In Bolivia for example, Incofin supported Sembrar Sartawi to develop a customized mobile app that streamlines client data collection, allowing the company to reach remote rural communities more efficiently.

Under the Facility, projects were designed to help partner institutions address and overcome challenges typically associated with financing the rural and agricultural sectors, such as high operating costs that can limit scalability. Additionally, the Facility organized 3 knowledge-sharing events that brought together financial inclusion players from around the globe to exchange best practices in agricultural lending, risk management and insurance.

In an intense collaboration between a host of international donors, each committed to promoting rural financial inclusion, the Facility was supported by Agence Française de Développement (AFD), the Belgian Investment Company for Developing Countries (BIO), the European Investment Bank (EIB), Nederlandse Financierings-Maatschappij voor Ontwikkelingslanden (FMO), the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the Luxembourg Government, Nordic Microfinance Initiative (NMI) and the RIFII Fund.

Karel Jansen, Chair of the RIF II Technical Assistance Committee: “At its launch, the RIF II TA Facility was unique to the microfinance industry and, over 8 years, financed a great variety of projects in many countries east to west. The Facility’s excellent results demonstrate TA’s capacity to generate concrete impact for partner institutions and their end-clients.”

 

Full press release:

Press Release TA RIFII

Incofin announces the launch of a multi-year partnership with French association CERISE and Asia focused, responsible development research, ratings and analytics firm M-CRIL that will support investees of Incofin’s agRIF Fund to rigorously track their impact among target clientele by collecting key information and using pragmatic “impact dashboards.”

A pioneer in social performance management, CERISE brings an impressive depth of experience in developing innovative tools and support to help mission-driven organizations in realizing their social goals. M-CRIL complements this expertise with years of practical experience in implementing outcomes measurement systems with financial institutions globally. The consortium will draw on an international network of experts to provide on-the-ground guidance adapted to the local context.

The partnership stems from a major Technical Assistance (TA) project, financed through the agRIF Technical Assistance Facility (agTAF). Though this is not the first collaboration between Incofin and CERISE, this time the organizations take their partnership one step further in providing in-depth coaching on outcomes measurement to individual organizations. The TA project will support a group of 8 equity investees around the world, each with diverse business models – from more traditional microfinance institutions, to a motorbike leasing company, a fintech P2P lending platform and a banking correspondent institution. The project aims to develop an impact measurement methodology flexible enough to respond to the unique nature and objectives of each institution, while furthering industry-wide efforts to make social performance management more standardized and practical.

Each participating institution will receive tailored TA and coaching at all levels of the organization – from branch staff up to Board and Management – to define a “theory of change” based on their unique social mission, identify priority social indicators mapped to the most relevant UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), establish a rigorous yet practical data collection system, and feed this data into strategic decision-making processes to better adapt the company’s products and services to their end-clients’ needs.

  “We spent 20 years building standards of Social Performance Management, with the Social Performance Task Force, we now need to add the missing piece of the puzzle: impact through outcome, with a pragmatic approach, building on digitalization, the SDG common framework, and the willingness of the sector to take data-driven decisions in favor of their clients. It is an innovative and logical next step!” – Cécile Lapenu, CERISE executive Director

“We look forward to building on and taking forward our work so far in social performance and outcomes management.  Partnering with a committed social impact investor, this will be a pioneering contribution for practical social outcomes reporting systems, data management and use, working with both traditional and new-age Inclusive finance providers.” – Frances Sinha, Director M-CRIL

 

 

Closing the financing gap for smallholder farmers and rural entrepreneurs requires investing in technology that maximizes efficiency and reduces operational costs. Recognizing the potential of mobile technology to boost loan officer efficiency, Incofin provided Bolivian MFI Sembrar Sartawi with a TA grant financed jointly by Incofin cvso, RIF II and the IDB Rural Finance Partnership to develop a customized mobile app that allows its loan officers to collect client data in the field via their smartphones. Sartawi can leverage this data for credit analysis, reporting and designing social programs for its clients, 60% of whom are women.

Watch the full video to learn more about how Incofin’s TA promotes innovative solutions to expand rural financial inclusion.

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