Building Strong Networks: An Institutional Strengthening Guide for Microfinance Networks
This technical guide, published by the Small Enterprise Education and Promotion (SEEP) network aims to strengthen regional and country-level microfinance networks.
- Aims to be useful for networks at all stages of development;
- Reviews the current state of network practice in six areas of network effectiveness - governance, operations, financial viability, human resources, external relations and service delivery;
- Outlines common challenges faced by networks;
- Offers practical strategies to improve performance;
- Utilizes the experience of actual networks to illustrate the text.
- Uses the inputs of two SEEP documents:
- The Network Capacity Assessment Guide (which includes the Network Capacity Assessment Tool, or NCAT),
- The SEEP Technical Note - Achieving Financial Sustainability.
It provides the following information about microfinance networks:
- They are regional- and country-level associations of microfinance and micro-enterprise institutions;
- Their members have diverse clienteles and methodologies;
- They operate independently of one another;
- They come together to improve microfinance best practices, share information and coordinate efforts to promote an enabling policy and funding environment for microfinance.
The guide has three sections:
- Section I addresses the basics of network governance, operations, human resources, financial viability and external relations;
- Section II focuses on the principal services that networks provide;
- Sections I and II also offer a comprehensive set of strategies for strengthening networks;
- Section III reorganizes these strategies by the four stages of network development: nascent, emerging and expanding stages of development.