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Housing Implementation Grant Program Learning Network

Inclusive Financing for Housing: Exploring Viable Business Models

Panelists from the three Housing IGP grantees, USAID, and SEEP gathered in Washington DC for an engaging day of knowledge exchange, sharing findings from their specific project implementation experiences with each other and deepening the conversation around inclusive financing for housing. This video records a final learning session held on June 4, 2014, at which the panelists continued to dialogue with each other, and were also able to report out their findings to an audience of interested industry stakeholders.


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Housing IGP movie


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)

Naeem Razwani is the Head of Product Development at The First MicroFinanceBank in Afghanistan (FMFB-A) – A part of Aga Khan Development Network. Besides Afghanistan, Mr. Razwani has worked on projects in Pakistan, Egypt and Kyrgyzstan in commercial and social sectors ranging from health, education, community development and financial services. Along with management of housing product, Mr. Razwani has piloted a cashless branch model using mobile technology, conceptualisation and implementation of Universal Loan Officer (ULO) model for smoothening client graduation from microfinance to SME; development of seasonal repayment model for rural clients to select their credit payment dates as per their harvest and cultivation period; and implementation of Monitoring, Evaluation & Learning Framework for improved research and analysis to inform business strategy. Mr. Razwani has also assisted one of the major microfinance institutions in Egypt in development and rolling-out of housing microfinance product. He has been associated on projects funded by International Finance Corporation, USAID, KfW, International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD) and Microfinance Investment Support Facility for Afghanistan (MISFA). The housing microfinance toolkit was also a joint venture between FMFB-A and IFC. 

Imran Shams - Project Manager, First Microfinance Bank (Tajikistan)

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.

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