CGAP Annual Report 2007

2007 CGAP Highlights

  • CGAP began a major expansion of its commitment to using technology to make financial services accessible to poor people. The $26 million program is co-funded by a four-year, $24 million grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
  • CGAP accelerated its engagement with policymakers and regulators to understand the key issues in technology-based banking and to promote sound regulatory frameworks for these new financial service delivery mechanisms.
  • CGAP helped finance 28 detailed assessments of different MFIs’ IS needs. Nearly 100 such assessments have been completed in the past two years. CGAP drew together the experience of five pioneering countries in branchless banking—Brazil, India, South Africa, the Philippines, and Kenya—and explored the main issues involved in regulating branchless banking, particularly regarding the use of retail agents. The findings were published in CGAP Focus Note No. 38, Use of Agents in Branchless Banking for the Poor: Rewards, Risks, and Regulation.
  • CGAP developed a technical tool to assess the regulatory environment for branchless banking and conducted diagnostic exercises in seven countries: Brazil, India, Kenya, Pakistan, the Philippines, Russia, and South Africa. Already, regulators in the Philippines, Kenya, and Pakistan have sought CGAP’s guidance as they develop regulation for branchless banking models.
  • As of July 2007, nearly 1,000 microfinance providers and 95 microfinance funders reported to the Microfinance Information eXchange (MIX), the leading provider of data on MFIs. Created by CGAP and spun off in 2002, MIX is now a partnership of CGAP, Citigroup Foundation, Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation, Open Society Institute, and Rockdale Foundation. CGAP has two board seats, provides active oversight, and supports MIX activities in many areas throughout the year.
  • CGAP continued to provide short-term policy advice, including awareness-building consultations, forums, seminars and workshops, and critical reviews of draft strategies, policies, laws, and regulations affecting microfinance in almost 30 countries.
  • CGAP conducted full country-level policy diagnostic assessments in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Pakistan, and Syria. Policy diagnostics specific to branchless banking were conducted in Brazil, India, Kenya, Pakistan, the Philippines, Russia, and South Africa. CGAP provided comments on 17 microfinance-related laws in many countries, including Bosnia, Kenya, and Sri Lanka. In Bosnia, CGAP provided technical assistance to the central bank/banking agencies on transparency regulations under the new microcredit organizations legislation.
  • The Law Library covered more than 50 countries, and its use continues to grow dramatically, making it one of the most popular CGAP resources on the Microfinance Gateway, with an average of more than 41,000 page downloads each month.
  • CGAP continued research on the increasingly varied and complex funding flows to microfinance.
  • CGAP published more than 20 new publications that were then distributed at an average rate of about 5,000 documents a month in hard copy alone.