CGAP Expands its Microfinance Digitization Community of Practice

WASHINGTON, D.C., December 5, 2022: CGAP today announced partnerships with 22 additional microfinance providers from around the world, bringing its Microfinance Digitization Community of Practice (CoP) to a total of 28 members. CGAP also announced partnerships with 14 CoP “champions” representing funders, networks and holding companies that support microfinance digitization and are interested in applying actionable insights that emerge from the CoP into their work. 

The CoP serves as a forum for members to exchange knowledge and best practices on improving the value created through digitization. Building on the approach tested through the six pilots undertaken with the first cohort, which began in early 2022,  CGAP also aims to strengthen partners’ business intelligence and data analytics practices with this second cohort to support more agile, customer-centric and value-creating digitization.   

“Microfinance providers can scale their impact on people’s lives and livelihoods if they accelerate adoption of digital technologies that support their core business and lead to value creation, for instance through offering services that are better suited to the various needs of their customers and at lower cost,” said Ivo Jeník, CGAP Senior Financial Sector Specialist, who is leading the CoP initiative. “Recognizing that business intelligence anchored in robust data analytics is a bedrock of any meaningful digitization, we aim to use the extended CoP to generate evidence that data can inform better choices for microfinance providers along their digital journey, no matter the use case.” 

For the next 5 months, the 22 participants will focus on analyzing where and how microfinance providers are adding value with their digital implementations and what improvements they can make. Using a library of value-focused performance dashboards developed under the first cohort, each participating provider will generate those dashboards with support from CGAP through a four-part "data boot camp", which will cover data extraction, warehousing, analytics, and visualization. The dashboards will inform strategic discussions around value creation during the CoP convenings.   

“Thanks to the first cohort experience, we have created a suite of tools that can help microfinance providers institute modern business intelligence. Through the extended CoP of 28 providers and 14 wholesale partners, we intend to expand the pool of evidence on where and how business and customer value is created through digital implementations,” added Jeník.  

Insights and tools developed for and by the CoP will be made publicly available once the pilots are complete. 

The 22 participants, listed below, were selected from a pool of over 60 applicants worldwide. They consist of a diverse sample of microfinance providers of different sizes and maturity levels, operating within different geographies and regulatory frameworks. 

The 14 CoP champions are listed below.  

“Digitization is key to improving the competitiveness and success of microfinance providers,” said Xavier Faz, CGAP’s Lead, Business Models. “We believe that microfinance providers can significantly grow their portfolios if they use digital technology wisely and focus on creating measurable value for their customers and business. Digitization opens many doors for microfinance providers to do so by streamlining their processes, entering strategic partnerships, and offering new services. Our suggested approach brings these providers to the starting line, giving them the first necessary impulse to go bigger”. 

The CoP is part of a wider focus at CGAP on ensuring that financial inclusion has a positive impact on people’s livelihoods and resilience and is based on earlier research from CGAP on successful examples of digitization. CGAP will share updates on the insights generated through the CoP on its dedicated microfinance page:  


About CGAP 

CGAP is a global partnership of more than 30 leading development organizations that works to advance the lives of poor people, especially women, through financial inclusion. Using action-oriented research, we test, learn, and share knowledge intended to help build inclusive and responsible financial systems that enable poor people to capture economic opportunities, access essential services, and build resilience, including in the context of climate change. We research and experiment to establish proofs of concept and extract actionable insights that help our partners implement solutions in the marketplace and take them to scale. In short, we influence through evidence. By doing so, we hope to advance broader development goals and contribute to more prosperous, equal, resilient, sustainable economies and societies.