Financial Services for the poor: An introduction
Sarah Z H
BRAC Development Institute with Alliance Forum Foundation and Defta partners-the venture capital intoduced a fourteen day course from February 25 to March 9 offering a range of issues inmicrofinance, pedagological methods and extensive field visits for participants from three different categories-undergrad students,postgrad students and professionals. Mr.Gorge Hara,the founder of Alliance Forum Foundation has had a vision to train and nurture the youth who aim to build a career in the field of international development.
Participants from the last course involved themselves in activities like setting up a microfinance institution in South Africa with students of the University of South Africa,volunteering at a microfinance institution in Uganda and holding a workshop in mayanmar about financial services for the poor.Sumala,the Bangladesh country representative of Allience Forum Foundation and Asumi Nonomiya,the microfinance course manager from Japan are formulating and coordinating the program.
The course directed by Professor Syed M. Hashemi, Director, Brac Development Institute covered different topics like Promoting Outreach and Efficiency in Microfinance, Microfinace-Origin and Expansion,The Financial Lives of the Poor: Coping with Risk and Insecurity,Poverty Susutainability Debate,Microfinace Products: Credit, Pathways for the Poorest: The Brac Ultra Poor Program and The CGPA-Ford Global Graduation Program. Tomoko kubayashi,Management Consultant at Mckinsey & Company,taking the course believes that she was greatly benefited in terms of finding out more about microfinance intitutions and commercial banks.
Ryohei Yamanaka,an undergraduate level student attending the workshop was happy that he got to learn the basics of microfinanace through fieldwork.
Another professional Hayashi Shohei working for Jica on the other hand thought the course to too short though the fieldworks were quite promising.