Synthesis of Conference Evaluations: Structure and Design of Conference, Barriers to Rural Finance and Furthering the Dialogue

Proceedings from 'Paving the Way Forward for Rural Finance',2003
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The conference was attended by 400 representatives from 50 countries. The organizers designed a consultative group work ethic for the gathering. This involved conference calls, emails and a website. A questionnaire evaluated this efficiently organized conference. Using the survey as a base, the representatives were classified on:

  • Specialization in rural finance;
  • Profile and position;
  • Organizations;
  • Motivation and expectations of the conference;
  • Importance given to plenary and breakout topics;
  • Attendance.

The participants listed a number of ways to improve future events and also the areas where attention was needed. These were:

  • Agricultural issues;
  • Governance;
  • Private bank involvement in rural finance;
  • Donor funding for projects and post donor impact.

The participants identified barriers to successful rural finance as:

  • Incomplete understanding of the rural financial economy;
  • Misaligned policy design;
  • Government and donor interventions;
  • Weak agribusines;
  • Unsupportive legal and regulatory framework;
  • Banks that consider rural finance too risky and expensive.

The conference concluded with the following:

  • The agribusiness sector has a large informal field;
  • Records and tools should be kept for future initiatives;
  • The rural sector should be treated independently;
  • Donor coordination is essential;
  • Rural finance policy design process should be reconsidered.

About this Publication

By Ford, C.