Microfinance Capacity Building Services will be launched by the Program in November 2005. These services will include regular on-site and off-site microfinance training, management development services for microfinance institutions and a microfinance knowledge resource hub.
Regular Microfinance Training Courses
Microfinance training courses will be offered by the Development Studies program. Such courses respond to market needs. They will employ adult learning techniques and structured learning experiences that enhance the knowledge and skills of participants. The courses provide practical and readily applicable tools that lead to better institutional and operational policies.
Off-Site Microfinance Training
Microfinance institutions (MFIs) usually need training interventions specifically tailored to the peculiarities of their operations in the short term. They want specific solutions to problems that they face and at the same time build the capabilities of their staff. Off-site training courses target MFIs that have a human resource base adequate enough to run a training course (at least 15 management staff). Cost is also reduced on the part of the MFI without sacrificing income streams from the activity. Since courses will be specifically tailored to the needs of the MFI, these will include topics offered in regular microfinance training courses and other topics that the MFI needs.
Microfinance Management Development Program
The microfinance management development program caters to microfinance institutions that need capacity building interventions in the long term. A combination of various capacity building interventions will be offered that depend on the specific needs of the MFI. These may be in the form of training, mentoring, technical assistance, facilitation and experts’ advice, on the job training, strategic planning and other consulting services. This is also conducted off-site. A capacity building needs assessment will be conducted to determine priority capacity building interventions in the long term.
Microfinance Knowledge Resource Hub
Most microfinance institutions have the necessary human resource base but lack the right policies, systems and procedures. One of the keys to unlocking the MFI’s human resource potential is through dissemination of information that could be used to enhance policies, systems and procedures. The knowledge resource hub will offer access to secondary sources of information such as books, microfinance journals, case studies and the like. Multimedia resources such as CD-ROM databases, audio and visual materials will also be collated in the hub. The heart of the knowledge resource hub is the development of a website that will be made available to members for a fee. The website will offer publications that could be downloaded, trends and news/updates in the microfinance industry.