Kim Kerry-Tyerman is a volunteer for Grameen Foundation’s Bankers without Borders® initiative, based in Ghana and Kenya for eight weeks to help the BwB team develop relationships with local organizations (companies, associations, microfinance clubs and institutions of higher education) there. She recently posted a blog about her experience working with another BwB volunteer on behalf of Grameen Ghana, helping to implement a financial-modeling approach by Grameen Foundation that we hope to replicate at microfinance institutions (MFIs) throughout the world; an excerpt from that post is below, with a link to the full post. If you'd like to read her first posting about her BwB experience in Ghana, you can find it here.
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At Grameen Foundation, our goal is to spur innovation in the global movement to eliminate extreme poverty. Part of that work is to develop better solutions and share them with people like you.
On GF Insights, we share lessons learned from our leaders in the field, news about efforts to expand access to financial and information services for the poor, and how poverty-focused organizations are using data to improve the way they work.
Alex Counts is president, CEO and founder of Grameen Foundation, and author of several books, including Small Loans, Big Dreams: How Nobel Prize Winner Muhammad Yunus and Microfinance are Changing the World.
Grameen Foundation has been working for 14 years to advance a certain approach to microfinance – one that is rooted in the experiences, achievements and philosophy of Grameen Bank. Though we do not promote any particular methodology (i.e., a certain means of providing financial or human development services to the poor), we do focus on and try to advance a set of principles and standards. Methodologies are very context-specific, while principles endure and standards are universal. (We approach our technology-for-development work similarly, but that is beyond the scope of this short post.)
Kim Kerry-Tyerman is a volunteer for Grameen Foundation's Bankers without Borders® initiative, based in Ghana and Kenya for eight weeks to help the BwB team develop relationships with local organizations (companies, associations, microfinance clubs and institutions of higher education) there. A graduate student in public policy at Mills College in Oakland, CA, Kim is a former AmeriCorps VISTA fellow, where she researched strategic volunteerism at the Taproot Foundation. She has dual citizenship in the US and the UK, and has volunteered on several community development projects throughout England, Eastern Europe and Africa. She says her hobbies include daydreaming, playing tennis and drinking beer.
Readers of this blog might enjoy the most recent post on her own blog, Akua Yevu, in which she describes her experiences meeting with staff and clients of a microfinance institution in Ghana:
Grameen Foundation founder, President and CEO Alex Counts is in the beginning phase of working on a new book on microfinance in Haiti, focusing in particular on the country's best-known microfinance institution, Fonkoze.
Alex is in Haiti now, conducting research and working closely with Fonkoze staff and meeting with borrowers to find out more about what's working, what's not, and the organization's overall impact on the poor. You can follow along with Alex's progress at his blog, where he is posting updates on his activities, including videos and drafts from his book. As Alex says, "I hope lots of people will take interest in this project, check out the postings and comment on them, so I can improve my thinking and writing, and even repost/circulate what I post to draw in others."
What does it take to design and create savings products that are useful and safe for poor people? In a guest piece for the CGAP Microfinance blog, Debbie Dean -- Grameen Foundation's Microsavings Project Director -- discusses the team's experience working with CARD Bank in the Philippines. Together, they are integrating poverty data and financial data to better understand the savings behavior of CARD's existing clients and the markets it is serving, as well as to design products to fill needs where there are gaps. Her guest blog post is part of a special series on savings.