Agency for Technical Cooperation and Development (ACTED) is a non-governmental organization with headquarters in Paris, founded in 1993. The programs implemented by ACTED (around 170 per year), in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Latin America and the Caribbean, aim at addressing the needs of populations affected by wars, natural disasters and/or economic and social crises.
ACTED’s microfinance projects
ACTED has been engaged in microfinance since 1997. For more than a decade, ACTED’s activity has been based on innovative initiatives, led in partnership with numerous growing actors from diverse professional and cultural backgrounds.
OXUS is progressively taking over ACTED’s interventions in the microfinance sector. Nevertheless, certain individuals in a situation of extreme vulnerability do not always fulfil OXUS’s selection criteria. For this reason, ACTED has maintained its microfinance activities for the most vulnerable community members.
In all cases, the focus is on the mobilization of local solidarities in the form of solidarity-based groups, agricultural unions, parent/teacher associations, as well as village banking organizations.
ACTED considers that supporting local economic initiatives is an indispensable condition for the sustainable development of regions severely affected by a crisis.
ACTED’s commitment to microfinance
For the past 10 years, ACTED has been working in microfinance to provide fair means to the most vulnerable people so that they can launch and to support an economic activity in the countries and contexts where these are virtually inaccessible. Microfinance is an obvious and consistent extension of our humanitarian commitment and contributes, as well as our other activities, to the global reduction of poverty, one of the Millennium Development Goals defined by the United Nations in 2000.
To help populations and to effectively meet their needs, ACTED surrounded itself with and relies on specialized stakeholders – OXUS, the South Asian Micro-entrepreneurs Network (SAMN), the peer to peer lending website Babyloan, Octopus Microfinance Software and the Convergences platform. The success of microfinance as well as its capability to effectively reduce poverty will depend on the capacity of all actors to develop synergies by developing targeted and innovative solutions.
AMA is the national network of Development Finance Institutions (DFIs) in Afghanistan. It was established in 2005 by the Microfinance Investment Support Facility for Afghanistan (MISFA), microfinance practitioners and other stakeholders. AMA was registered with the Ministry of Justice of Afghanistan in 2007. Due to limited resources and activities, AMA was not very active until 2010 and was almost a dormant organization.
In 2011, AMA was revived through the support of USAID’s Financial Access for Investing in the Development of Afghanistan (FAIDA) project, and the continued backing of MISFA. Since its revival, AMA restructured its governance and management systems, expanded its membership to go beyond microfinance institutions and include other types of development finance institutions, such as community-based savings promoting institutions (CSPI) and SME lenders. AMA also branded itself as an association that promotes the broader development finance sector in Afghanistan (as opposed to limiting its scope to only the microfinance sector).
The Centre for Microfinance (CMF) Nepal was established in July 2000 to strengthen the capacity of microfinance institutions and enable them to provide savings, credit, and other financial services to the poor, with women as a focal point.Â CMF runs a wide range of programs designed to meet the emerging needs of microfinance institutions and its members. CMF engages in training, technical assistance, advisory services, research, knowledge management, policy advocacy, publication and documentation, dissemination of best practices, and networking among its shareholding, strategic, and associate members in partnership with national and international development organizations to promote and strengthen the microfinance sector. CMF’s Articles of Association 13 (f) states that the surplus earned by the organization shall not be distributed as dividends to the shareholding members. Rather, such profits shall be deployed for the development of the microfinance sector and poverty alleviation programs and CMF shall remain a not-for-profit organization.
Originally, CMF was a project implemented by the Canadian Centre for International Studies and Cooperation (CECI) funded by USAID and the Ford Foundation in 1998-2000. CMF has transformed from the project to an autonomous, privately owned national network organization that works to strengthen the microfinance sector and its member associations, institutions and individuals with a vision of “sustainable access to microfinance services for the poor”.
Credit and Development Forum (CDF) is the national Microfinance Network in Bangladesh has been contributing to the institutional & knowledge based capacity building of MFIs, sectoral research, networking, advocacy & lobbying, information disseminations, financial sector linkages and organizing experience sharing events at home and abroad on microfinance.
CDF was established in 1992 is among first microfinance network. It is not for Profit Company limited by guarantee and registered with the Joint Stock Companies, Bangladesh. NGO Affairs’ Bureau, Government of Bangladesh.
Main objective of CDF is to build institution of the microfinance NGOs to facilitate enabling environment for the microfinance operation.
Specific objectives are to:
Ensure support to use potentialities of MF-NGOs for a healthy microfinance sector.
Assist MFIs in improving competencies for providing effective microfinance services to the poor and extreme poor
Facilitate an enabling environment for MF practitioners.
Establish linkage with bank and thereby, provide MFIs collateral-free access to financial resources through offering repayment guarantee.
Strengthen network and advocacy to change policy and strategy issues towards effective poverty reduction.
Accordingly CDF works in three core areas of
a) Capacity Building Services
b) Research and Advocacy Services and
c) Network, Development and Linkage
Its present membership consists of over 1,500 NGO MFIs across the country.
Lanka Microfinance Practitioners’ Association (LMFPA)
Lanka Microfinance Practitioner’ Association is a network formed by several Microfinance Practitioners in Sri Lanka. Our main function is to enhance the ability of our members to provide quality financial services to grass-root communities. We achieve this goal by promoting Microfinance and by encouraging cooperation, sharing information & assistance between member practitioners & stake holders.
LMPA is the pioneer in microfinance networking among microfinance practitioners in Sri Lanka, and was initiated on the 31st of March 2006. The Lanka Microfinance Practitioners’ Association is incorporated as a non-profit Organization under the Companies Act No. 7 of 2007.
The Association is governed by 15 Board of Directors, who represent both national and regional level MFIs. LMFPA has been recognized & accepted by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka as “The coordinating body for Microfinance Institutions in Sri Lanka”.
MFIN is the first Self-Regulatory Organisation (SRO) in the financial services sector recognized by the RBI and regulates NBFC-MFIs to ensure responsible lending and client protection. MFIN works closely with other key stakeholders and plays an active part in the larger financial inclusions dialogue through the medium of microfinance.
MFIN was established in October 2009 as a Society under the Andhra Pradesh Societies Registration Act 2001. As per MFIN Bye-Laws, all NBFCs registered with the RBI as NBFC-MFIs are eligible for membership of the Society. MFIN is to a large extent member funded. Its Governing Board comprises of Members elected from amongst the leadership of member MFIs. One third of the Board comprises independent Members.
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) vide its letter dated 16th June, 2014 accorded recognition to MFIN as Self-Regulatory Organisation (SRO) of NBFC-MFIs.
MFIN’s primary objective is to work towards the robust development of the microfinance sector, by promoting:
The Pakistan Microfinance Network (PMN or ‘the Network’), the national association for retail players in the microfinance industry, was established as an informal group by industry practitioners in 1997, under the name Microfinance Group-Pakistan [MFG-P]. At the time, the group was focused on coordinating dialogue and lateral learning opportunities between members. Over time, with the increase in the nature and level of activities, and membership, the setup was registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan [SECP] in April 2001 under the Companies Act. It has since been known as the Pakistan Microfinance Network.
PMN’s members lie at the heart of the organization’s governance. The Network’s strength today stands at 50 retail microfinance providers [MFPs] that collectively account for over 99% of the total microfinance outreach in Pakistan.
The key objectives of PMN are:
Promoting an enabling environment that benefits the work of all stakeholders.
Building the capacity of stakeholders, especially that of retail microfinance institutions.
Acting as an information gateway by disseminating industry relevant information, improving transparency, promoting bench-marking, and serving as an information hub.
Sa-dha, a member based association of microfinance institutions. It was registered in 1999 as not-for-profit organization. It is working with Government, NGOs and Financial Institutions in facilitative the orderly and appropriate growth of the Community Development Financial Institutions in India. This is done though the policy advocacy, standards, capacity building, research and documentation.
Sa-Dhan focuses on the following aims and objectives:
Provide a forum for organisations and individuals engaged in the field of community development finance, to meet, share and exchange their experiences, expertise and resources.
Serve as a catalyst for further building the field of community development finance in India.
Strengthen the capacities of CDFIs through research, consultancy and training in different aspects of community development finance.
Establish jointly, minimum standards of performance, both developmental and financial, which members would have to adhere to and encourage CDFIs to adopt the same.
Establish linkages between members and ResourceCentre.htm institutions, such as funding agencies, training, and consultancy and research institutions.
Sa-Dhan shall also have powers to frame rules and bylaws, and to amend them under its Constitution, and the Governing Board shall have power to control the affairs of the Association.