Virtual Conference: Getting Past the Technology Hurdles at MFIs

Welcome to CGAP and Grameen Foundation’s Virtual Conference, “Getting past the technology hurdles at MFIs.”

Recap of the discussion

Over the past several months, CGAP and Grameen Foundation, with support from the MasterCard Foundation and the EU/ACP Microfinance Programme, hosted a series of four workshops to discuss the back office challenges at MFIs. Workshops took place in Washington, DC, Kenya, India, and Peru in an attempt to understand the issues at both a global and regional level. Proceedings from all workshops are available on the CGAP website.

The key question posed was “Why do MFIs struggle with technology and what can MFIs, donors, investors, software vendors and others do to improve the situation?”

At each workshop, we challenged participants to not only discuss the challenges they face, but also solutions to help the microfinance community move toward improved use of technology. We invite you to take a look at the consolidated recommendations for an overview of the recommendations discussed at the workshops, and participate in the virtual conference to share your opinions.

  1. July 7 (starting at 9 am EST): Capacity building to improve vendor/MFI relations and outcomes. Training for both MFIs and vendors would promote greater preparation on the part of MFIs and better understanding of the microfinance business on the part of the vendors. But what type of training is necessary and by whom? What other steps could be taken to ease the technology challenges at MFIs?
  2. July 8: New ideas to propel the use of technology at MFIs. Will new business models, such as Software as a Service (SaaS), change the way MFIs interact with technology? Would increased use of standards improve the quality of software products available to MFIs? Would greater involvement by funders lead to better systems outcomes at MFIs? What other ideas would help move the microfinance industry past this information systems challenge?

The conference will take place right here on the blog, no registration is required. Just post your comments using the “Leave a reply” option at the bottom of each thread.


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