[x] Close

Download Link

Keep up with SEEP!

Sign up for our email list and you'll be the first to know about latest news, blog posts, events & new worldwide initiatives from SEEP and its members

Blog Image

Promoting Inclusive Markets and Financial Systems

< back to Blog Main

Responsible Finance Program: 2013 Institutional Strengthening Plans

Institutional Strengthening Plans (ISPs) were developed for each of RFLL’s eight partner associations after the conclusion of the Network Capacity Assessments (NCAT). These plans were based on NCAT recommendations and RFLL’s program goals, which include:
  1. Build the organizational capacity of microfinance associations (MFAs) to consistently deliver high quality, demand-driven services to local markets
  2. Create more transparent business environments to support responsible finance
  3. Promote the widespread application of consumer protection principles and practices
The Institutional Strengthening Plans consist of priority activities that seek to address the different weaknesses raised in the NCAT reports in order to improve the associations’ capabilities and skills throughout the course of the program. Plans are supported with technical assistance provided by SEEP consultants and a budget allocated to each association. The activities implemented include industry events, trainings, and services to members, among others. As seen in the graph, the main weaknesses are in the areas of financial viability and services. The scores are also relatively average in other institutional areas compared to mature associations with scores between 3 and 4. The common themes developed in the ISPs are:

Business Plans

All ISPs include a strategic planning process, which will lead to a new or updated plan for the next three to five years based on the model presented in SEEP’s strategic and business planning tools. Once these plans are developed, they will provide a basis for the development of ISPs for the following years. Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana and Rwanda are the most advanced in the process and have already developed drafts for review.

Human Resources

Activities in the HR area have been undertaken in all MFAs, including:
  • Reviewing procedures
  • Management capacity building
  • Evaluation systems
  • An administrative manual
  • Clear job descriptions
  • The development of performance evaluation criteria, a work plan and a salary scale


Governance issues are addressed in almost all ISPs. Some MFAs have already started activities, such as the implementation of Board and management tools, self-assessments for the Board and Executive Director, review of membership structures, and training sessions on the roles and responsibilities of the Board.

Sustainability and Cost Accounting

A top priority for most MFAs is implementing a cost-centered system, leading to accurate measurements of the profitability of each service and product. The activity has started in Uganda, Rwanda, Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana.

Services to Members

There is a trend towards using market studies and member feedback to review the set of services and products proposed by MFAs.

Communication Strategies 

Several communication activities are being implemented, such as the publication of reports, articles, and newsletters by various partner associations. Formal communication plans are also in progress, and almost all of the associations’ websites have been revamped to make them more attractive and dynamic. APSFD-Burkina Faso, for example, features a member every week and tracks the number of visitors.

Transparency and Consumer Protection Principles

The scores are very low in the areas of transparency and CPP, especially in the area of reporting and compliance.  The ISPs include activities designed to address these weaknesses. Most MFAs are implementing activities, such as:
  • Training members on CPP
  • Working with the Smart Campaign on increasing adhesion, self-assessment or audits
  • Setting up, implementing and enforcing CPP in the MFAs’ Code of Conduct.
  • Consortium Alafia, Benin: subscription to the Smart Campaign started for MFI members
  • AMFIU, Uganda: revised Code of Conduct approved by the AGM and disseminated to all employees
  • AMIR, Rwanda: partnership details with The MIX established; workshop conducted by MIX; two MFIs assessed with Microscore; officer in charge of financial and social reporting recruited.
More to come! Stay posted for next month’s blog featuring Sharon’s visit to Africa!

No Comments

No comments yet.
Get a photo next to your comment by visiting Gravatar.com & uploading a photo that links to your email address.

Post a Comment

All fields are required, unless noted.
We will never share or sell your email address.
Get our e-newsletter The Monthly Networker & you'll be the first to know about latest news, blog posts, events & new worldwide initiatives.

Like Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter RSS Feed
© Copyright 2018 SEEP Network. All Rights Reserved