Valdete Berisha manages FinDev Gateway. She has over thirteen years of international development experience focused on research and communications in global trade policy, agriculture, and financial inclusion.
The question that will be on everyone’s mind is why the name change? After all, the name Microfinance Gateway is so well-known that it’s almost become a byword for the ultimate source of information on microfinance. The platform has been around for almost two decades. Over the years, FinDev Gateway has built a strong regional presence through its four language sites - English, Spanish, French and Arabic, - catering to specific knowledge needs in different parts of the world.
So why change the name if we are that well-known? The simple answer is that the world has changed, and so has FinDev Gateway.
Today’s FinDev is far more than a repository for microfinance practitioners. It is an interactive knowledge-sharing platform that engages a more diverse audience through publications, blogs, webinars, communities of practice and events, and it covers a wide range of topics beyond traditional microfinance. While microfinance practitioners continue to be an important part of our audience, FinDev Gateway users include financial service providers, technology firms, investors, and others who work more broadly on financial inclusion. The new name is more inclusive and better reflects what FinDev Gateway is today, not what it used to be.
Why FinDev Gateway?
FinDev stands for “Financial Inclusion for Development.” The name is meant to convey the important contribution of financial inclusion in achieving global development goals. FinDev is short and easy to say in most languages. In our global audience survey, the majority of respondents said the name FinDev was easy to pronounce and remember. Since “Gateway” is an important part of our brand, we are keeping it as part of our name to ensure continuity.
FinDev stands for 'Financial Inclusion for Development.' The name is meant to convey the important contribution of financial inclusion in achieving global development goals.
How is FinDev different?
FinDev Gateway will continue providing easy access to publications, news, events and jobs through its resource library. But often the most relevant and timely information for financial inclusion practitioners is derived from people’s experiences and not from an online repository. That is why, in recent years, FinDev Gateway has increasingly found ways to proactively identify and share knowledge relevant to practitioners by using different mediums.
FinDev Gateway Webinars, launched last year, are a great example of our new emphasis on sharing practical knowledge. Feedback from participants shows that practitioners value being able to draw lessons, learn and adapt from the experience of their peers across the globe. Speakers also tell us how they benefit from audience engagement; questions and comments from the audience often inspire new ways of thinking and provide ideas on how their own work can be improved.
In just one year, over 20 organizations have shared lessons, new data and tools through FinDev Gateway webinars in four different languages. Featured presentations covered topics ranging from digital finance and risk management for MFIs, to financial services for refugees and smallholder farmers. Interest in FinDev Gateway webinars is high and average attendance hovers around 200 participants per session.
Another way in which FinDev Gateway connects practitioners is by hosting communities of practice (COPs). FinDev is home to Women’s Financial Inclusion COP which connects over 400 organizations across nearly 60 countries. Previously, FinDev also hosted the Graduating the Poor Initiative, which is now housed at the World Bank’s Jobs Group of the Social Protection and Jobs Global Practice. By hosting communities of practice, FinDev hopes to encourage and support collaborative learning and innovation in financial inclusion.
Similarly, the FinDev Gateway Blog offers a neutral space for financial inclusion professionals to share ideas and lessons from their work. Since we launched earlier this year, we have seen an increasing number of contributions covering a wide range of topics. We have also found that in many cases, interviews can be an effective way of capturing and sharing knowledge from financial inclusion experts. That is why we have included expert interviews as part of our new Blog space.
We are not alone. Our partners are an important part of the FinDev Gateway community and our knowledge-sharing strategy. We work with them closely to identify and share lessons on various topics. Through our partnerships, we have established a strong presence at key regional and global events, which allows us to capture new knowledge early and make it available to those who are unable to attend.
How can you share your work?
Whether it’s knowledge obtained from research or from experience, FinDev Gateway provides different ways in which you can engage with your peers and replicate their success. If you would like to share lessons from your work with the FinDev Gateway community or have an idea brewing, reach out to one of us and we will help you find the best way to engage with your peers.
If you would like to share a publication, event, news, or a job with our global audience, you can do so easily with a few simple clicks on FinDev Gateway. Across our four platforms, FinDev Gateway has considerable reach. We have over one million website visits annually, over 20,000 people receive our newsletters, and 30,000 people follow us on social media. Sharing on FinDev Gateway means that your work will not go unnoticed!
In honor of International Women’s Day, FinDev Gateway features FinEquity (formerly known as the Women’s Financial Inclusion Community of Practice), a special corner of FinDev where practitioners working to increase women’s financial inclusion can share ideas, resources and lessons learned. Uloma Ogba of UNCDF tells us what she values about this community of practice.
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