Microfinance Innovation Center for Resources and Alternatives (MICRA)
MICRA, or the Microfinance Innovation Center for Resources and Alternatives, is an Indonesian foundation focused on development of the microfinance sector. MICRA’s mission is to build the institutional strength and outreach of the Indonesian microfinance sector, by providing a full range of high-quality, best-practice technical inputs and support to all industry stakeholders, in a sustainable and demand-driven manner. As an independent support center, MICRA is committed to promoting innovations, transparency, and improved outreach to the poor and ever-improving performance in the microfinance industry
MICRA was founded by Mercy Corps in early 2006 to institutionalize its joint “Commercial Linkages Pilot Project” with IFC PENSA. MICRA currently has 3 technical units: 1) Ratings and Appraisals; 2) Technical Assistance; 3) Research & Innovations. In August 2006, MICRA opened its first branch office in Banda Aceh, where it has on-going programming for a range of clientele.
MICRA currently has a staff of 35, including its headquarter offices in Jakarta and branch office in Banda Aceh. MICRA staff are assisted by three expatriate microfinance experts, provided by Mercy Corps and GTZ Aceh. Expatriates provide technical input for all units, as well support in the areas of strategic planning, operations, public relations and finance.
MICRA is made up of 3 (three) business units, including:
1. MICRA’s Technical Assistance department includes trainers who are among the leading Indonesian trainers in microfinance and contract trainers and consultants who provide additional expertise, as needed. Trainers are certified in the full range of CGAP microfinance trainings, as well as Citibank Foundation training materials in both Bahasa Indonesia and English. MICRA has its own body of internal trainings and consulting materials, based on best-practice standards. MICRA trainers and consultants have practical experience managing the full range of microfinance institutions, from foundations to cooperatives and BPR. They are assisted by Mercy Corps international training specialists in microfinance, who bring over 30 years international microfinance technical capacity building expertise.
2. MICRA performs specialized MFI appraisals and ratings on behalf of MFIs, donors, investors, commercial banks and government. These services provide independent expert evaluation and verification of individual MFI performance, based on international microfinance best practice and Indonesian commercial banking reporting norms.
3. MICRA’s Research and Innovations Unit works to address critical development needs of the Indonesian microfinance sector by conducting research and developing and disseminating new technical materials on microfinance innovations. The unit conducts original social and market research in microfinance on behalf of MFIs, donors, government and other parties. In addition, the Unit conducts impact research, to gauge the success of different products and strategies, as well as to determine levels of social performance.See more