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Promoting Inclusive Markets and Financial Systems


Inclusive Financing for Housing: Exploring Viable Business Models


DC Economic Partnership’s Pepco Conference Room, 1495 F Street, NW
Washington, DC, USA 20004
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Jun 4, 2014 (Wed), 4:00pm-5:30pm (US EDT)

Increasing access to better housing for people living in poverty is a priority. This Dialogue will be an opportunity to explore and collectively build our understanding of approaches in promoting access to housing through a combination of financing for housing services such as improvements/ incremental building, and construction technical assistance. Building on the experience of the three grantees—Opportunity International - Ghana, Habitat for Humanity - India, and Aga Khan Agency for Microfinance - Afghanistan—from the USAID Housing Implementation Grant Program (IGP), the workshop will bring together implementing agencies, funders and other key stakeholders that are experimenting with new approaches to   support improved standards of living as well as asset creation for poor households while being commercially viable for financial institutions. The workshop is an activity under the USAID Housing IGP Learning Network, facilitated by the SEEP Network.  A networking reception will follow the conclusion of the Dialogue.

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The session will be recorded. if you would like to receive a notification once the recording is available, please click here. 


Genzo Yamamoto - Director, Knowledge Management, Opportunity International

Genzo oversees the research, evaluation, and knowledge generation related to Opportunity programs. Prior to joining Opportunity, his engagement of development projects included an evaluation of an USAID education program in South Sudan, consulting for l’Université Chrétienne Bilingue du Congo in the DRC on institutional assessment and program alignment, among others. With Opportunity, his research has cut across a broad range of topics (e.g. housing, microinsurance, agriculture) across multiple countries in Africa and South America. Genzo has a PhD from Yale and a CEP from The Evaluators’ Institute at George Washington University.

Justice Arthur - Housing Loans Project Manager, Sinapi Aba Savings & Loans

Justice oversees Sinapi Aba’s Housing Loan Project in Ghana, West Africa. He brings over 15 years of microfinance experience working with the rural poor in Ghana. He began his career in microfinance as a Loans Officer, rose to become Branch Manager and then to the position of an Area Manager overseeing seven branches prior to his current role as Housing Loans Project Manager. Justice has extensive experience in microfinance and is committed to serving the poor wherever he finds himself. He has participated in a number of training seminars on microfinance both locally and internationally and has acquired an in-depth knowledge on the formation, running and management of microfinance/microenterprise development. Justice graduated from the University of Cape Coast with an M. Phil. in Economics and B.A (Hons.) Economics as well as Diploma in Education. 

Naeem Razwani - Manager, Marketing and Product Development, The First Microfinance Bank (Afghanistan)

Patrick Kelley - Senior Director of Market Development and Housing Finance, Habitat for Humanity International

Patrick’s responsibilities include leading Habitat’s global strategy for facilitating more effective market-based solutions for affordable housing. His team’s work includes working with indigenous local market actors such as small, medium, and large enterprises in industries ranging from the financial sector to the materials suppliers and professional service providers. Habitat’s team works to spark, nurture, and scale housing solutions through mobilizing social and venture capital, providing advisory services, and working to establish social enterprise solutions. Prior to HFH, Patrick served extensively in Africa supporting MFIs under USAID’s IGP and Economic Strengthening funding. Other work experience included supporting the growth and advocacy agenda of three national microfinance networks through USAID’s Sector Strengthening funding. Patrick served as Executive Director of URWEGO LLC, the largest microfinance institution in Rwanda, and initiated the startup of Turame in Burundi, and Hekima in the DRC. Both URWEGO and Turame were awarded “Best MFI in Country” by the U.N. Year of Microcredit Campaign. Patrick is embarrassed to be a Certified Public Accountant and holds a B.S. from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and a master’s in International Public Policy from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University.

Sitara Merchant - Director, Research and Product Development, Aga Khan Agency for Microfinance 

Sitara has over 25 year of experience in both the private and social development sector; she was the founder and owner of her own private sector consulting company in Canada that worked with clients to develop their strategy and link it to their day to day performance to have a bottom line impact. Her desire to make a difference motivated her to work with the Aga Khan Development Network where she has been for the last nine years in various different capacities. For the last five years, she has been developing financial products for the poor and more recently was asked to set up and lead research and product development at AKAM. The focus of her work at AKAM has been to support its microfinance institutions across 10 countries to transition from supply- to demand-driven products and develop the social performance management system. 

Sashi Selvendran (Moderator)  – IGP Learning Network Facilitator, MEDA

Sashi, as Director of Partnerships at MEDA, is responsible for developing new business across MEDA’s technical areas of economic opportunities and private sector development. She has led and managed projects in product development, market research, savings mobilization and mobile financial services for microfinance instituitions in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. Prior to MEDA, Sashi worked at USAID in the Office of Development Credit managing a portfolio of DCAs (credit guarantees) and specialized in providing advisory support in small and microenterprise finance, housing microfinance, social entrepreneurship, and water and sanitation finance.  She also worked with the Office of Microenterprise and Private Enterprise managing the Housing Microfinance IGP.  Previously, Sashi has worked at CGAP, the World Bank, Grameen Foundation, and as a consultant to the Asian Development Bank.  Sashi obtained her MSc. in Local Economic Development from the London School of Economics and her BA in International Relations from Vanderbilt University.


Time : 4.00 to 5.30 pm US EDT followed by networking reception

Location : DC Economic Partnership’s Pepco Conference Room, 1495 F Street, NW, Washington, DC 20004

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