CGAP Annual Report 2006
- Building on its work as part of the Middle East microfinance initiative, CGAP worked with Cairo-Amman Bank to help boost its microfinance services, including in the West Bank and Gaza. In FY 2006, the RAS list of bank clients grew dramatically to include BBS (Botswana), Ecobank (Ghana), Equity Bank (Kenya), Capitec (South Africa), and Forus Bank (Russia).
- CGAP continued to work with key stakeholders, including the Ford Foundation and Argidius, to develop a global reporting format for microfinance institutions that will enable them to track their social performance: from determining the poverty levels of clients to tracking whether clients are improving their economic conditions, their access to healthcare services, and their children’s school attendance.
- The CGAP Pro-Poor Innovation Challenge (PPIC) gives immediately disbursed and flexible awards up to $50,000 to microfinance organizations that have developed innovative methodologies to deepen poverty outreach and impact.
- CGAP significantly scaled up its savings initiative and continued to push its earlier work on money transfers. We also continued focusing on reducing transaction costs through the use of e-payment technologies, to ensure that delivery of ever smaller financial transactions can be made cost effectively.
- CGAP published a country-level savings assessment—on Uganda—to provide donors, governments, international networks, and technical service providers with a methodology for analyzing opportunities and constraints to savings mobilization at the country level. Building on an earlier Focus Note examining the work of the Bangladesh IGVGD program, an innovative effort to allow the destitute to “graduate” into becoming microfinance clients, CGAP published a paper in FY 2006 making the case for linking safety nets and financial services to help lift the poorest onto the bottom rung of the economic ladder. Graduating the Poorest into Microfinance: Linking Safety Nets and Financial Services provides examples of successful linkages between safety net and microfinance programs and aims to initiate a dialogue between experts in social protection and microfinance.
- In FY 2006, CGAP launched phase two of its money transfers work, establishing an advisory group in October to create a guide on strategic and operational issues around money transfers for microfinance providers and negotiating alliances with money transfer companies.
- The Law Library continued to grow as one of the most popular resources on the CGAP Web site and the affiliated Microfinance Gateway, drawing over 16,000 page downloads each month. New to the Law Library is a section on microinsurance, which will go live in the first quarter of 2007.
- CGAP extended its aid effectiveness initiative to the field. In addition to working though its wide network of contacts, partnerships, and hubs, CGAP launched a series of Country-Level Effectiveness and Accountability Reviews (CLEARs) in 2004. Through in-depth CLEARs in four countries, CGAP has collaborated with over 550 microfinance managers, aid agency representatives, and government officials.
- CGAP published 32 new publications and disseminated more than 3,000 of these each month, including a first-ever book, which captures 10 years of CGAP experience. Published in cooperation with the World Bank, Access for All: Building Inclusive Financial Systems lays out in plain language what CGAP and others in the development field have learned about microfinance and its integration into the financial mainstream.