Smart Aid

Your effectiveness to deliver results on the ground is linked to how effective you are internally, whether you have the right incentives, whether you have the right structure, whether you have the right staff, whether you use your instruments effectively. I mean all these are the key building blocks and that’s what SmartAid brings to the table. -Henri Dommel, UNCDF

SmartAid measures whether funders are set up to support financial inclusion effectively. Launched in 2007, SmartAid builds on a framework of five elements of effectiveness—strategic clarity, staff capacity, accountability for results, knowledge management, and appropriate instruments—developed with CGAP members and financial inclusion experts. These five elements were translated into a set of well-defined indicators that, taken together, provide a comprehensive picture of a funder’s internal management systems. SmartAid is designed to help funders identify areas in which they can improve their systems and policies to better support financial inclusion projects. It also helps funders track their progress over time and compare progress with their peers.

To date, 20 funders have participated in SmartAid, with six funders— AFDIFAD, GIZ, KfW, MIF and UNCDF—having participated in multiple rounds.  CGAP completed the last full SmartAid round in 2013. SmartAid has proven to be useful as an evaluation instrument for funders, and it has resulted in significant internal changes for many participating agencies. See what funders have to say about the SmartAid Index.

Moving ahead, the SmartAid Index is offered as a tool that funders can use with support from consultants certified by CGAP. This new approach allows funders to implement SmartAid anytime, whenever strategic and feasible for them.

How to use the SmartAid Index to assess your effectiveness in financial inclusion

Funders committed to improving their effectiveness in financial inclusion can indicate their interest by signing up for the SmartAid Index. Registered funders will receive all the materials necessary to conduct a SmartAid assessment including sample terms of reference and the list of certified consultants that can support the implementation of the Index. Detailed guidance on the SmartAid Index is provided in the SmartAid Technical Guide.

Funders can choose one of three options to implement the SmartAid Index: SmartAid Index Self-Assessment, SmartAid Index Accompanied Assessment, or the SmartAid Index Validated Assessment.  All participating funders will receive a report detailing an overall score and a score on each indicator with comparison to the median, minimum and maximum performance of other agencies which had previously participated in SmartAid. Funders validating their scores with the support of a CGAP certified consultant will also receive a report with recommendations.  Validated scores will be integrated into the overall funder score benchmarks and reports will be made public on the CGAP website.

Funders interested in the SmartAid Index should register online to receive additional information. 

Related Resources

SmartAid Technical Guide
SmartAid Focus Note
SmartAid Brochure
SmartAid Evaluation Reports 2009-2013