Market systems are dynamic and changes stimulated by projects are rarely linear, making it difficult to match each activity with a single output and outcome. Rather, activities can generate multiple outputs, and outcomes are interconnected and can occur at different points in the market system. Moreover, traditional M&E approaches tend to emphasize baseline and end line indicators such as volumes and values of production, productivity, income. However, we found that changes in relationships, interactions and behaviors of market actors were much better indicators of sustainable change. Yet these indicators are more challenging to capture.
At a time when neither the government nor the private sector in South Africa were clear about the obstacles to reaching the base of the pyramid with financial services, FinMark Trust demonstrated how an effective market facilitator can develop an evidence base to inform policy and approaches.
Transparency on funding for microfinance made significant progress over the last decade. There are strong reasons to believe that transparency contributes to more effective and more responsible funding.
Public funders have been instrumental in promoting and developing the microfinance industry; close to 70% of cross border public funding going into microfinance comes from public sources. Currently, the financial inclusion world is abuzz with excitement about branchless banking and the potential of services like M-PESA in Kenya to dramatically reduce costs and increase access to financial services. Yet branchless banking is a new delivery channel mainly implemented by private stakeholders such as for-profit mobile network operators or commercial banks.
MIVs constitute the largest group of MIIs. MIV investment levels quadrupled between 2006 and 2008, and today, according to Symbiotics and MicroRate 2011 MIV surveys, more than 100 MIVs manage total assets of around US$7 billion.