Even as the microfinance field has become increasingly professional in its approach over the past few decades, lack of capacity at all levels – from retail institutions to industry supervisors - remains a key bottleneck in expanding access to finance. It has appeared consistently as a crucial constraint in the Microfinance Banana Skins report, a barometer of industry opinion. In the 2012 report, participants ranked “management quality,” “staffing,” and “back office” in the top 20 risks facing the microfinance industry.
CGAP and its members have invested a great deal over the years in strengthening institutional capacity across all levels of the financial system, including developing training materials and certifying trainers on a range of topics relevant to financial inclusion.
Below is a list of the principal training courses and materials available from CGAP.
Training for retail providers
Skills for Microfinance Managers: This series of practical three- to five-day courses is designed to improve MFIs’ financial and operational management. In partnership with local training centers and course-certified trainers, the courses were offered in 11 languages in over 40 different countries between 1997 and 2008. In 2009, recognizing the enormous demand for training materials, CGAP made the English version of the course’s seven training modules publicly available for download:
- Delinquency Management and Interest Rate Setting
- Financial Analysis for Microfinance Institutions
- Accounting Principles for Microfinance Institutions
- Business Planning for Microfinance Institutions
- Operational Risk Management for Microfinance Institutions
- Product Development for Microfinance
- Information Systems for Microfinance Institutions
Capacity Building Program for Francophone Africa (CAPAF): From 2000 to 2009, CGAP built up a network of CAPAF-certified training partners who offer the Skills for Microfinance Managers courses as well as a financial education training based on Microfinance Opportunities materials. The training partner network covers 17 African francophone countries with 23 institutional partners and 128 trainers who are certified on at least one of nine training modules.
Agent Management: To share critical success factors in building a viable agent network for branchless banking services, CGAP has developed an Agent Management Toolkit and a training package with exercises. The materials are based on 500 interviews with agents, agent network managers and financial institutions in Brazil, India, and Kenya.
Management Information Systems (MIS): Based on several years of experience with the Information Systems Program, CGAP has developed a practical guide to implementing MIS.
Training for policymakers
Supervisor training: Since 2011, CGAP has partnered with the Toronto Centre to develop programs for training supervisors on topics related to regulation and supervision of financial service providers relevant to financial inclusion. Known as the Inclusive Supervision Training Program (ISTP), the program builds on the complementary agendas and expertise of the two partner organizations. Focusing on a carefully identified set of issues, each of the programs developed so far (Microfinance Supervision, Market Conduct Supervision, and Digital Financial Inclusion Supervision) addresses the capacity constraints that challenge supervisors’ ability to fully exercise their mandate in the area of responsible financial inclusion while taking into account other regulatory objectives.
Banking supervision seminar: For several years, CGAP has participated in the International Banking Supervision Seminar, organized by the Bank for International Settlements’ Financial Stability Institute (held in Beatenberg, Switzerland), contributing to session development and discussions on financial inclusion issues of relevance to banking supervisors. This seminar is aimed at mid- to senior-level management and other professional staff of supervisory agencies and central banks, and intends to broaden participants’ understanding of core supervisory issues and promote an exchange of views regarding the latest developments in banking supervision.
Boulder Institute of Microfinance: Several CGAP staff members are part of the Boulder faculty, teaching at the annual Microfinance Training program (MFT) in Turin, Italy. The Boulder MFT offers a three-week overview of key issues in microfinance and financial inclusion, and networking with providers, government policy makers, and staff from funding organizations. It includes a dedicated “Policy Concentration” and features the “Boulder Master Class: New Financial Inclusion Paradigms,” a set of roundtable discussions on financial inclusion issues from a holistic point of view. Alongside the Boulder MFT, a Rural and Agricultural Finance Program (RAFP) has been carried out since 2015, which also features CGAP staff members as faculty.
Additional training resources
The Microfinance Gateway offers information on a wide range of training opportunities for financial inclusion professionals, including distance learning, academic programs, and specialized courses and events.
Program Contact: Antonique Koning