The SmartAid Index measures and rates the way funders with an interest in financial inclusion work. Heads of 29 major development institutions endorsed CGAP’s development of the Index.1 The premise of SmartAid is simple: funders with strong management systems are better equipped to support financial inclusion effectively. Its indicators assess five areas agreed by all funders as critical for effective financial inclusion: strategic clarity, staff capacity, accountability for results, knowledge management, and appropriate instruments.
Five funders— AFD Group (AFD/Proparco), EIF, IFAD, MIF and UNCDF —participated in SmartAid 2013, increasing the total number of funders participating in the SmartAid Index to 19. Prior rounds have included the participation of AECID, AFD, AfDB, AsDB, CIDA, EC, EIB, FMO, GIZ, IFC, ILO, KfW, SDC, and Sida. Three agencies from the 2013 round participated in prior SmartAid rounds (IFAD, MIF and UNCDF). AFD (AFD/Proparco) and EIF are both considered new participants given that different units in the agencies participated in prior rounds.2 This diverse group of funders includes development finance institutions focusing mainly on mature retail institutions, large multilateral development institutions that make sovereign loans to governments, and bilateral and multilateral agencies that primarily provide grants.
MIF received 85 out of 100 points, meaning that overall it has “very good” systems in place to support financial inclusion. As the graph below indicates, MIF received a score 4.0 or higher (on a scale from 0 to 5) on eight out of nine indicators. MIF also had a relatively strong performance on portfolio reviews (indicator 7) with a score of 3.5. MIF’s scores on strategic clarity, quality assurance, and appropriate instruments (indicators 1, 2 and 9) were the highest amongst all SmartAid participants to date, placing MIF as the top rated agency by SmartAid since its inception.