Case Study

Operationalizing IFAD Rural Finance Policy

Sharing lessons learned from IFAD’s work in rural finance
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This case study is a part of a series published by CGAP to highlight important lessons and share innovative tools and approaches from specific organizations that can be replicated and used in other organizations. The organization covered in this study is the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). IFAD is a specialized UN agency working to improve the lives of poor people in rural areas of developing countries. It works through loans to governments, packaged with technical and management support services throughout project cycles. The study particularly focuses on IFAD’s Rural Finance Policy and the measures taken till date to operationalize it. Key lessons that emerge from IFAD’s work include:

  • Pay attention to strategic alignment throughout the agency, particularly as growth plans may outstrip staff capacity at the field level;
  • Ensure technical consistency during project implementation across the whole portfolio;
  • Limit credit components in larger non-financial sector projects, and identify them so that they receive appropriate technical assistance;
  • Adopt strong policy enforcement mechanisms to reduce disbursement pressure and to maximize project compliance with policies;
  • Boost expertise at country level for design, implementation, and supervision through improved knowledge management;
  • Strengthen coding and performance monitoring systems.

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