Leading Microfinance Stakeholders Join Forces to Enhance Poverty Assessment and Tracking in Sub-Saharan Africa

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02/18/2010

Initiative Will Focus on Mali and Senegal
 

February 18, 2010 - Grameen Foundation today announced an innovative, two-year initiative designed to help African microfinance institutions (MFIs) better target poor clients and track how they are moving out of poverty.  The initiative, the first of its kind in Africa, is being facilitated by the PPI™ Users Collaborative in Africa (PUCA), a new, multi-stakeholder group that unites five charter partners—Oikocredit, Catholic Relief Services, Terrafina Microfinance, Planet Rating and Grameen Foundation—with the national microfinance networks APIM/Mali and  APSFD Senegal.

The Progress out of Poverty Index™ (PPI™) is a globally recognized poverty assessment tool that enables MFIs to understand their effectiveness in targeting poor clients and tracking their progress.  Additional information on the PPI is available at www.progressoutofpoverty.org

The initiative will work with three MFIs—Caurie Microfinance and U-IMCEC of Senegal and Kafo Jiginew of Mali—to implement the PPI and analyze its findings. During the course of the initiative, PUCA will promote the adoption of the PPI by other MFIs across Africa and in other countries where PUCA partners are active.
 
“The PUCA initiative is laying the foundation for the microfinance sector in Senegal and Mali to collect and use poverty assessment data in the most effective way,” said Norman Buckham, Grameen Foundation’s regional CEO for Africa.  “It also enables us to demonstrate the importance of integrating social performance into the day-to-day operations of poverty-focused institutions in Africa and, equally important, to provide them with a blueprint for doing so.” 
 
All three MFIs have already received training and are preparing to pilot the PPI within their organizations. As part of the project, PUCA will publish case studies documenting the MFIs’ experiences which can help guide the work of other MFIs as well as networks seeking to replicate this collaborative model of poverty assessment training.  In addition, PUCA will also work with external groups interested in conducting independent research and analysis of data.
 
This hands-on involvement will also enable the members of PUCA to work more effectively with a broad range of poverty-focused institutions in adopting and using PPI.   
 
Here is background information on other members of the PPI Users Collaborative in Africa (PUCA):
 
Catholic Relief Services (CRS)
Founded in 1943, Catholic Relief Services (CRS) is one of the world’s largest, most respected international relief and development agencies. Working with a wide range of non-governmental and governmental partners, CRS provides assistance to people in need in more than 100 countries, without regard to race, religion or nationality.  For more information, visit www.crs.org
Press contact: John Rivera, jrivera [at] crs [dot] org.
 
Oikocredit
Oikocredit is a worldwide financial institution that promotes global justice by empowering disadvantaged people with credit. Oikocredit offers loans, guarantees and investment capital to microfinance institutions, cooperatives, fair trade and other businesses in around 70 countries. For more information, visit www.oikocredit.org
Press contact: Kawien Ziedses des Plantes, kziedsesdesplantes [at] oikocredit [dot] org.
 
Planet Rating
Planet Rating is a rating agency specialized in microfinance, with regional offices covering all areas of the developing world. By creating necessary transparency conducive for investment, Planet Rating seeks to improve access to funding for MFIs.  For more information, visit www.planetrating.com.
Press contact: Emmanuelle Javoy, ejavoy [at] planetrating [dot] com
 
Terrafina Microfinance
Terrafina Microfinance was founded in January 2005 as a joint microfinance program of ICCO, Oikocredit International, and Rabobank Foundation. Terrafina offers more than simply the sum of the individual instruments of each of the partners. It provides MFIs with the complete package 
of financial and technical support that is required to energize African roots. For more information, visit www.terrafina.nl
Press contact:  Marie-Catrien Goddijn, marie-catrien [dot] goddijn [at] terrafina [dot] nl.
 
APSFD Senegal
Created in August 1996, the “Association Professionnelle des Institutions Mutualistes d’Epargne et de Credit ” is the national network for MFIs in Senegal.  All legally registered MFIs are mandatory members of APSFD, representing 96 percent of total microfinance outreach in Senegal, 98 percent of total outstanding savings and 98 percent of total outstanding loans.  For more information, visit www.apsfdsenegal.org/.
 
APIM/Mali
Created in May 1999, the Association of Professional Institutions in Mali promotes the microfinance industry in Mali through assistance with professional development.  The membership is composed of 48 MFIs out of the 58 existing in Mali.   For more information, visit www.apim-mali.org/.
 
About Grameen Foundation
Grameen Foundation, a global nonprofit organization, helps the world’s poorest people access financial services and technology solutions by providing financing, technology support and management strategies to the local organizations that serve them. It also spearheads technology initiatives that create new microbusiness opportunities for the poor, provide telecommunications access for the world's rural poor, and improve their access to health and agriculture information and other services.  Founded in 1997, Grameen Foundation has offices in Washington, D.C., Seattle, Washington, Hong Kong, Ghana and the Philippines. Dr. Muhammad Yunus, the founder of Grameen Bank and the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, is a founding member of its board of directors, and now serves as director emeritus. For more information, please visit www.grameenfoundation.org.
 

Additional information on PUCA and French translations
PUCA Factsheet
PUCA Communiqué de presse
PUCA Bulletin d'informations

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