Banking with the Poor Network: A History of Asia's Regional Microfinance Network 1990-2010
The report looks at the workings of the Banking with the Poor Network (BWTP) over a 20 year period (1990-2010). It observes that in 1990, the Foundation for Development Cooperations (FDC) initiated Banking with the Poor (BWTP) to demonstrate the efficacy of linkages between commercial banks, non governmental organizations (NGOs) and self-help groups (SHGs) as a means for extending financial services to the poor on a sustainable basis.
The report traces the evolution of BWTP over the years from an action research and advocacy program into an association of diverse but like-minded microfinance stakeholders working for financial inclusion. The report elaborates upon the following key phases in the life of BWTP:
- Genesis and Inception of banking with the poor, 19901995;
- The Establishment of the BWTP Network, 1996-1999;
- Continued Innovation and the First Asia Microfinance Forum, 2000-2006;
- Strengthening the BWTP Network and the Networks Community, 2007-2010.
It states the need for innovation in microfinance technology to increase outreach, creation of appropriate legal structures and greater investment in capacity building along with advocacy and effective lobbying for sustainable growth of the sector.