Program Review: CGAP'S Pro-Poor Innovation Challenge 2000-2005

Innovative approaches to offer sustainable financial services to marginalized clients
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This report gives the detail of the review undertaken to assess the performance of CGAP's Pro-poor Innovation Challenge (PPIC) award program initiated in 2000. The goals of PPIC program are to:

  • Identify smaller, "under-the-donor-radar" microfinance institutions (MFIs) that use innovative methodologies to reach clients;
  • Help these MFIs perfect and scale up their methods;
  • Promote these approaches to the industry at large by producing demonstration effects among practitioners and donors.

The report describes the award program and the various PPIC award winners. It compares the program results against its stated goals, and reports that:

  • PPIC has successfully identified younger, smaller organizations off the "radar screen" of microfinance donors;
  • The PPIC award winners have grown substantially after receiving the award;
  • The award had helped in accessing additional funds;
  • The award has helped increase their status among government officials, and hence, has given them a chance to influence policies.

The report also talks about the following lessons learnt from the program and its winners on extending the reach of microfinance:

  • Developing loan, savings, remittance and insurance product;
  • Carrying out client targeting and assessment;
  • Creating new delivery mechanisms and technologies;
  • Encouraging organizational practices that can foster innovation in microfinance organizations.

The report concludes by recommending that the PPIC program should be continued as it benefits grantees and CGAP in addressing the huge unmet demand for microfinance among the very poor.

About this Publication

By Sebstad, J., Deshpande, R. & Johnson, L.