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STEP UP Image

STEP UP's vision: 

To foster a significant increase in practitioners' capacities to assist large numbers of the ultra poor to move out of extreme poverty.

How to Engage

The STEP UP initiative will accelerate and enhance evidence-based economic strengthening programs for the ultra poor and mobilize required donor support to scale up proven approaches. Through STEP UP, the SEEP Network will facilitate a continuing dialogue among practitioners from different fields to deepen learning, coordinate activities and develop practical implementation guidelines and tools. Ongoing discourse on topics identified as being of crucial importance by practitioners will guide the agenda, all the while integrating important voices from across multiple sectors and actors such as donors, regulators and researchers.

SEEP Members

STEP UP activities are related to consolidating, sharing and creating knowledge to increase the scale and impact of economic strengthening programs for ultra-poor people by improving their design, delivery, cost-efficiency and sustainability.

If you are a SEEP member you can engage in the following ways

  • Connect with other practitioners to discuss  through the forum  to drive the learning agenda for the initiative
  • Share a case study using the format here, to showcase you program that is focused on working with ultra-poor populations
  •  Share tools that you have used and found effective
  • Propose topics or speakers for the  STEP UP Webinar Series

Others

If you are interested in learning more about working with the Ultra poor but are not part of a SEEP member organization , you can still be a part of this learning  community and engage in the following ways

  • Share a case study using the format here, to showcase you program that is focused on working with ultra-poor populations
  •  Share tools that you have used and found effective
  • Propose topics or speakers for the  STEP UP Webinar Series

PEOPLE

The initiative is currently facilitated by Jan Maes and Margaret Richards. You can also contact Nisha Singh, Senior Director of the Financial Services Community of Practice, and David Myhre, Senior Advisor of the Financial Services Community of Practice, for more information about the intiative.

Jan Maes, Independent Consultant

Jan has served as a consultant to a number of organizations, including Women's Trust, Habitat for Humanity International, PACT, CARE USA, and the International Finance Corporation. He has extensive experience with monitoring and evaluation, MSME training, technical assistance, and grant-making to indigenous organizations in developing countries.
Contact Jan 

Margaret E. Richards, Independent Consultant

Margaret Richards is an education and learning expert with nine years of experience working across development sectors to facilitate and improve the way organizations and individuals teach and learn. She is a facilitator of SEEP's POWG where she works with MED professionals around the world to improve the way financial services are delivered to the ultra-poor. She is a trainer, e-learning developer, M&E specialist, mathematics professor and Ironwoman triathlete. She has lived in Korea and Micronesia and worked in most regions of the world. 

Financial Services Community of Practice

Nisha Singh, Senior Director

Nisha Singh is the director of the Financial Services Community of Practice. Prior to this, she supported the implementation of SEEP's Citi Network Strengthening Program. Nisha has more than 10 years experience working on issues related to microfinance, livelihood development in India. This includes setting up microfinance operations, action research in the area of livelihood development and food security, institution building of transforming MFIs as well as piloting technology for microfinance initiatives. Nisha holds a Masters in Non-Profit Management from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from the University of Hyderabad, India. 
Contact Nisha 

David Myhre, Senior Advisor

For more than 25 years, David has worked to promote sustainable, equitable development, primarily in Latin America. From fall 2008, as Director of Microfinance at the MasterCard Foundation, he helped launch a grantmaking program to extend financial services to the poor in Africa. In mid-2010, he returned to his primary interests in Latin America as a consultant on migration and development, financial inclusion and strengthening rural communities. David previously served as Program Officer (2001-2006) and Senior Program Officer (2006-2008) for Development Finance and Economic Security in the Ford Foundation’s Office for Mexico and Central America, based in Mexico City. His grantmaking focused on promoting rural microcredit and savings programs, as well as the strengthening of microfinance networks. 
Contact David 

Enterprise Development Community of Practice

Margie Brand, Senior Advisor

Margie is an internationally experienced development professional, project manager, trainer, facilitator, curricula developer, international development consultant, and entrepreneur. Born and educated in South Africa and now based in Washington, D.C. Margie specializes in livelihood and economic development with a specific focus on the cross-cutting areas of climate change, natural resource management, and food security. Margie has worked in over 20 countries; designed and managed over five large development programs ranging from under $1 million dollars to $16 million in size; trained over 4,000 trainers and master trainers; developed microenterprise, microfinance, sustainable development, and entrepreneurship curricula independently and as part of a team, which have now been translated into over 15 languages and used in over 35 countries worldwide; worked in building the capacity of development organizations in over 10 countries; and has presented her learning and experiences at international conferences in over 50 settings. Among others, Margie founded EcoVentures International, a
non-profit organization specializing in economic and enterprise development as it relates to natural resource management and climate change.
Contact Margie



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