Isabelle Barres

Isabelle Barrès works on CGAP’s guidance for MFI digital transformation. Over the past 23 years, Isabelle has promoted responsible and sustainable finance by leading industry-wide initiatives to increase collaboration and accelerate positive change. She co-founded the MIX and oversaw the development of the first global performance benchmarks, led the financial inclusion industry’s efforts on consumer protection through the Smart Campaign, and is now leading the Green Map project to increase the effectiveness of climate-focused action.

She holds an MBA from McGill University and a postgraduate degree in development economics from the Sorbonne University.

By Isabelle Barres


Building Value in Microfinance Through Digitization: Lessons from Loan Automation Pilots

Digitization has brought both hope and frustration to the microfinance industry. To address this, we identified and tested five core principles for successful implementation. This focus note summarizes our experience, evaluates the validity of the five principles, and offers key lessons learned for other industry stakeholders to adopt and scale a similar approach.

Building Value in Microfinance Through Digitization: A Role for Funders

This note highlights the importance of funders in supporting the digital transformation of microfinance institutions (MFIs). The focus is on business intelligence and credit renewal automation to increase the success rate of MFI digitization. Funders play a crucial role in ensuring that MFIs continue to serve the most excluded and underserved customers in the future.

COVID-19 and Microfinance: How Digitization Helps Build Resilience

When done right, with a focus on creating value for customers, digitization can improve the resilience of the people microfinance providers serve.

Client Protection: Are We There Yet?

Since its launch, the Smart Campaign has made enormous strides toward ensuring that clients of microfinance would receive transparent, respectful, and prudent treatment.