Microfinance Policy Development Volunteer Expert

  • Volunteer, Volunteer opportunity
  • Posted on 26 June 2019
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Job Description

SCOPE OF WORK

Microfinance Policy Development

Location of Assignment: Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

Proposed Level of Effort: Approximately 3 weeks

Anticipated Start Date: July 2019

Anticipated End Date: August 2019

Background

The Tanzania Enabling Growth through Investment and Enterprise Program (ENGINE) is a USAID-funded Feed the Future activity that aims to streamline and enhance many of the regulatory, informational and financial channels that encourage domestic and foreign investment in the southern mainland agricultural regions of Mbeya, Morogoro, and Iringa, and in Zanzibar.

ENGINE works at the district level, using a broad-based approach to engage with Local Government Authorities (LGAs), private sector associations, business development service providers, financial institutions and small and medium enterprises.

Problem Statement

Microfinance in Tanzania started in 1995 via SACCOS and NGOs, which emerged in response to the lack of access to formal financial services for most of the country’s low-income groups.

Unfortunately, the majority of microfinance institutions (MFIs) in Tanzania experience many challenges in an already competitive environment, where clients are becoming increasingly better informed and demanding more from financial service providers. Some of the challenges faced by MFIs include limited available capital, inadequate credit delivery and management, poor recovery rates, inability to reach the most vulnerable and marginalized, lack of internal policies, regulation and supervision problems, as well as high turnover of MFI staff.

However, with proper policies and procedures in place, MFIs can use limited resources more efficiently to provide consistent customer service and position the institution for growth. If better managed, these MFIs can have a positive impact on the wellbeing of low-income individuals and communities.

ENGINE is seeking an experienced microfinance expert to work alongside two Tanzanian microfinance institutions (MFI). Each MFI needs support to develop and apply appropriate policies and procedures that align with each organization’s goals and vision.

Objectives of the Assignment

This assignment aims to offer critical assistance to two MFIs to be able to develop and document proper policies that will provide frameworks for each institution’s operations and be well-understood by all employees. Specifically, the MFIs are requesting support to develop these policies: 1) procurement policy 2) anti-fraud and corruption policy 3) training policy 4) budgeting policy 5) coast allocation policy and 6) credit policy.

The consultant will work closely with each MFI staff to review the effectiveness and adequacy of the MFIs’ policies and procedures if available and determine whether the policies contain the information required, assess the scope of procedures, or ensuring that the policies meet the requirements of regulatory agency examiners. Finally, the consultant will support the MFIs to develop and document policies that align with MFIs business goals and plans, flexible and reflect the culture of the business.

Approach

Anticipated Tasks

The Expert Volunteer will complete the following tasks:

Prior to departure:

  1. After receiving confirmation to work with ENGINE, the expert will coordinate closely with the IESC office in Tanzania, review available secondary information and identify any country or institution-specific information needed to tailor the assignment to the local context.
  2. Develop effective workshop materials and finalize details of the assignment. The expert is encouraged to incorporate case studies and practical examples in the materials.

Upon arrival in Tanzania:

  1. Attend an orientation meeting with ENGINE Program staff in Dar es Salaam.
  2. Meet with each microfinance institution for introduction and start of the assignment.
  3. Spend time and work in close coordination with each microfinance Institution to:
  • Understand the organization and its operations
  • Review the available policies and procedures
  • Formalize any policies and procedures that are “known to everyone” but not documented in a consistent and complete format.
  • Develop the requested policies: 1) procurement policy 2) anti-fraud and corruption policy 3) training policy 4) budgeting policy 5) coast allocation policy and 6) credit policy.
  • Ensure the developed policies and procedures embrace the institutions’ goals and vision and inform employees what is expected of them, how they should perform their duties and what the consequences are if they do not perform as required. Policies should be clearly documented in a regularly updated operations manual that is appropriately disseminated.
  • Discuss the policies and procedures to get approval of the current board and senior management.
  1. Conduct a workshop to train the MFIs on the substance of policies as well as on how to perform procedures in real-life situations. Provide ways to communicate the policies and make sure they are understood and adhered to by all within the Institutions.
  2. The workshop should incorporate case studies and global best MFI practices.
  3. Provide recommendations to the ENGINE program staff on potential follow-up assignments on policies with the financial institution.
  4. Write a final report summarizing observations, activities performed and recommendations, as well as follow-up plans. The final report is discussed in the section on deliverables below.
  5. Attend a debriefing session with ENGINE COP and host organization staff members to provide feedback and discuss the recommended plan to follow up on volunteer recommendations and capture impact.

Deliverables

The Expert Volunteer will submit the following deliverables:

  1. To be submitted prior to delivering the workshop:
    • Training materials that include practical examples, case studies and group exercises on best microfinance policies and practices.
  2. To be submitted after concluding the workshop:
    • Final Report: Volunteer must submit a Final Report and tools to the ENGINE program, which is to include the following sections:
    • A summary of tasks and observations from the MFI visited
    • A list of proposed policies and procedures for the MFIs visited
    • A list of 5-7 specific and actionable recommendations for the host organization(s). These recommendations will be reviewed during the debriefing session with ENGINE staff at the end of the assignment and the volunteer may revise them in their Final Report.
    • A section listing the assignment objectives above and how they were met or why they were not met.

Additionally, the Expert Volunteer will provide exit debriefings to the ENGINE staff.

Volunteer Qualifications

  • Extensive experience in financial sector development (banking, microfinance and/or MSME finance). Hands-on knowledge on financial institutions policies and procedures, risk management, internal controls, credit operations, project management, procurement, development and marketing of loan products.
  • Experience in transformation of Microfinance Institutions is highly desired;
  • University level of education in banking, finance, management, economics or related field;
  • Candidates with a track record of successfully executed trainings and workshops will have priority;
  • Formal training or related certification is preferred.
  • Excellent interpersonal, communication and training skills, including training in group settings;
  • Ability to address issues, challenges, questions and concerns in a professional, respectful, logical and timely manner;
  • Flexibility and adaptability to cross-cultural environments;
  • Good writing and computer skills;
  • Experience working in developing countries is preferred.

About the Organization

The International Executive Service Corps is a Washington, DC based not-for-profit that focuses on private sector growth. We support and catalyze the development of private enterprises, business support organizations, financial institutions, and public institutions around the world. Utilizing skilled consultants and expert volunteers, we’ve implemented over 25,000 short-term projects and 200 programs in 130 countries. True to our mission — Promoting Prosperity and Stability through Private Enterprise — we’re proud to have created over one million jobs across the globe

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