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Blue Arrow Graphic Guidelines for Designing Poverty-focused Projects with Microfinance Components (34kb pdf)
Developed by the Social Protection Unit in collaboration with the Consultative Group to Assist the Poorest, Financial Sector Development and the Rural and Small Enterprise Thematic Group, December 2002


These guidelines have been developed in order to help Bank task team leaders and their client country counterparts design and support effective microfinance within poverty-focused or multi-sectoral projects such as social funds. The guidelines are not intended to substitute for or replace microfinance industry best practices. Rather, they focus specifically on how to design a microfinance component within a multi-sectoral project in a way that incorporates recognized best practices to the greatest degree possible subprojects.


Blue Arrow Graphic Agriculture Investment Note: Microfinance Institutions Moving into Rural Finance for Agriculture

Agriculture Investment Sourcebook, Module 7

World bank Agriculture & Rural Development Dept. (ARD), March 2004


Microfinance institutions (MFIs) have tended to avoid less densely populated or diversified rural areas, and financing of seasonal or longer-term crop and livestock activities.  However, a few innovative MFIs have recently led the way in adapting their operations and products to expand into agricultural lending.  Successful MFIs have important strengths, such as financial sustainability, excellent portfolio quality, financial products that fit diverse client needs, and a clear commitment and orientation to the poor.  Prudent risk management techniques can increase the outreach of MFIs to less affluent, more remote rural areas and more diversified farmers.


Blue Arrow Graphic Graduating the Poorest into Microfinance: Linking Safety Nets & Financial Services (269kb pdf), CGAP Focus Note No. 34, February 2006

This note provides examples of successful linkages between safety net and microfinance programs. The key, notes author Syed Hashemi, is appropriate sequencing – grants, followed by savings and basic training, followed by small amounts of credit. Without prescribing a single model, Hashemi hopes to initiate a dialogue between social protection and microfinance experts to develop new ideas for reaching the poorest.

Blue Arrow Graphic Meeting Development Challenges: Renewed Approaches to Rural Finance (883kb pdf)
World Bank Agriculture and Rural Development Department, December 2005
by Renate Kloeppinger-Todd


This paper has attempted to create awareness of the complexities of rural finance and its relevance for rural development, and to explain the principal methods and solutions that have been successful. Many of the challenges that have confounded efforts to increase the access of rural populations to sustainable financial services have now been overcome in a number of countries.  Over the years, the World Bank has been an integral part of the international effort that has led to the current state of knowledge.  It is now time to increase that effort as an indispensable part of the fight against poverty.


Blue Arrow Graphic Microfinance, Grants and Non-Financial Responses to Poverty Reduction: Where Does Microcredit Fit?

Consultative Group to Assist the Poorest (CGAP) Focus Note 20, May 2001
by Joan Parker and Doug Pearce


This Focus Note is aimed principally at donors and policy-makers considering microcredit as a poverty alleviation response. Microcredit is placed as only one among many possible interventions to generate income and employment and alleviate poverty. This perspective should make it easier to see how microcredit relates to other financial and non-financial interventions, and to select a package of tools that are likely to work best in each specific situation. The authors argue that effective poverty alleviation may require linkages among specialized institutions and multiple intervention programs.

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Blue Arrow Graphic Albania Rural Microcredit Program (106kb pdf)

The Albania rural credit program was initiated in 1993 under the Albania Rural Poverty Alleviation Pilot Project (RPAPP). Among other activities, the RPAPP introduced small scale credit to this post-communist country with the aim of promoting private sector activities and to help create a rural market economy.  The microcredit program was subsequently refined and expanded as a component of the Rural Development Project (1995-1999), and the follow-on Microcredit Project (1999-present). This case study addresses, among other features,  the program’s design, outcomes and key success factors.


Blue Arrow Graphic  Bulgarian Regional Initiatives Fund: Innovative Approach to Income Generation (120kb pdf)
Social Funds Innovation Update Vol. 1 No. 2; October 2001
by Peter Pojarski


Blue Arrow Graphic Holding the Door Open: Facilitating Access to Microcredit in the Benin Social Fund (203kb pdf)
Social Funds Innovation Update Vol. 2 No. 3; March 2002
by John Elder and Maurizia Tovo


This note features a particularly successful component of the Benin Social Investment Fund – support to income-generating activities through financial intermediation.


Blue Arrow Graphic Social Fund Support of Microfinance: A Review of Implementation Experience (113KB PDF)
World Bank Social Protection Discussion Paper No. 0215, July 2002
by Alexandra Gross and Samantha de Silva

These case studies were developed in order to help Bank task team leaders and their client country counterparts design and support effective microfinance components within social funds. They aim to highlight best practice as well challenges for designing and implementing a microfinance component within a multisectoral project.


Blue Arrow Graphic Timor-Leste: Independent Review of the Credit Component of the Community Empowerment Project
World Bank Social Development Paper, Conflict Prevention & Reconstruction No.11, March 2004

by John Conroy


This review analyzes the Community Empowerment Project (CEP) credit component. The author states that the experience offers no new lessons for good practice in microcredit, but rather it reinforces a number of lessons well-understood from experience elsewhere. It does, however, underline some limitations of microcredit in the immediate aftermath of crisis which bear upon the concerns of donors and the World Bank.



Related Web Sites 

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Blue Arrow Graphic Consultative Group to Assist the Poorest

The Consultative Group to Assist the Poorest (CGAP) is a consortium of 29 bilateral and multilateral donor agencies who support microfinance. Their mission is to improve the capacity of microfinance institutions to deliver flexible, high-quality financial services to the very poor on a sustainable basis.


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