November 6, 2023
July to August, 2023
The Institute for Inclusive Finance and Development (InM), in collaboration with Water.org, is implementing the WaterCredit Adoption Scale-Up Programme in various regions of Bangladesh through eight (8) partnered implementing Microfinance Institutes (MFIs). The aim of the WCAD programme is to develop organisational and implementation capacity of the partner MFIs to reach out more marginalised communities to ensure improved sanitation and safe drinking water. As part of the capacity development initiatives, InM ensured one day ToT training for the Branch Managers to equip them with WCAD model, WASH initiatives, creating demand generation and programme outcomes for successful implementation of the project at the field level.
As part of the initiative, throughout July and August 2023, InM successfully conducted six comprehensive day-long physical training sessions on the WaterCredit Adoption (WCAD)- Scale up programme for its six esteemed partners: BASA, SFDW, PMUK, DISA, SDC, and IDF.
On July 15th, 2023, InM organised a training session at BASA Research and Training Centre in Mirzapur, Tangail with the presence of Mr. Bishwajit Saha, Senior AGM from BASA Foundation. This was followed by a training session on July 23rd, 2023, held at the SFDW Training Centre in Jessore, where Mr. Faisalur Rahman, Senior General Manager and Focal Person for WCAD at SFDW, was present. On July 29th, 2023, another training session took place at the Padakhep Institute of Development & Management (PIDM) in Adabar, Mohammadpur, with Mr. Md. Jahangir Hossain, Focal Person for WCAD at PMUK, participated. Moving into August, on the 18th, a training session occurred at the DISA Training Center in Mirpur-12, with the presence of Mr. Chandan Chakroborti, Micro Finance Director and Mr. Md. Jahangir Alam Bhuiyan, the Focal Person for WCAD at DISA. The next day, August 19th, 2023, InM organised another training session at the SDC Training Center in Faridpur, with the participation of Mr. Kazi Ashraful Hassan, Executive Director, and Mr. Hamidul Islam, Director of Operations at SDC. Concluding this series, on August 26th, 2023, a training session was held at the IDF regional office in Chittagong, with the participation of Mr. Toslim Rizvi, the Area Manager for Training at IDF. The training sessions were facilitated by Ms. Nahid Akhter, Senior Research Associate, InM; Mr. Utpol Das, Programme Manager, InM and Mr. Sajjad Kabir, Programme Engineer, InM.
The training aimed to enhance the understanding of the WCAD programme among Branch Manager- level participants, facilitating effective knowledge dissemination and future implementation. During the training sessions, the WCAD programme model was discussed, ensuring that participants gained a holistic understanding of its objectives, methodologies, expected outcomes and motivating them to amplify WCAD loan disbursement in alignment with project indicators. The participants also registered themselves for the online digital learning platform developed by InM on WCAD project implementation. The interactive nature of the training encouraged participants to ask questions, seek clarifications, and engage in meaningful discussions, thereby fostering a conductive learning environment.
The training not only equipped the participants with knowledge but also paved the way for effective cascading of the WCAD programme within their respective organisations. The Branch Managers, having grasped the programme’s essence, are now better poised to share their insights and knowledge with their teams
October 17, 2023
In-Country Exposure Visit Organised
Under the collaborative effort of InM and Water.org, a two-day in-country exposure visit was organised during 4-5 October 2023, at CHRD in Modhupur, Tangail. The location is one of the focal points for the WaterCredit Adoption (WCAD) programme of BURO Bangladesh, a long-term partner of Water.org. The primary objective of the visit was to offer participants a hands-on understanding of how microfinance has been effectively integrated into water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) initiatives. BURO Bangladesh, a successful WaterCredit programme partner, shared their valuable experiences with other organisations. The programme aimed to share these valuable practical experiences with other partner organisations to catalyse positive changes.
The participant partner organisations included IDF, BASA, PMUK, SFDW, DISA, SDC, GUK, and SDS, with each sending two senior staff members to participate in this enlightening exposure visit. InM played a pivotal facilitating role in organising the visit, fostering opportunities for mutual learning and collaboration among the WCAD partner microfinance institutions (MFIs). The visit created a platform where these organisations could exchange ideas and share their experiences, particularly concerning the challenges faced in implementing the WCAD programme effectively.
The objectives of the visit were multi-faceted. Firstly, it aimed to provide a deep insight into BURO Bangladesh’s WaterCredit Adoption Programme and its integrated approach towards improving access to safe drinking water and enhanced sanitation through microfinance mechanisms. Secondly, it sought to ensure a comprehensive understanding of the functioning, objectives, and impact of the WaterCredit Adoption Programme on marginalised communities. Additionally, the visit aimed to identify best practices and innovative strategies for combining microfinance and WASH interventions with a focus on achieving positive outcomes. Lastly, it aimed to explore the collaborative efforts between InM, MFIs, and BURO Bangladesh in implementing water credit initiatives and fostering sustainable development.
The visit comprised of various activities, including an orientation session where BURO Bangladesh introduced their WaterCredit Adoption Programme, field visits to project sites and communities and roundtable discussions where participants shared insights and strategies to overcome challenges. They also visited BURO Craft to learn about the socioeconomic impact of BURO Bangladesh’s initiatives. Participants provided valuable insights, noting the unique nature of WCAD’s integration of microfinance, the importance of top management support, capacity development for staff, rigorous research, programme structure, monitoring and evaluation, demand creation by loan officers and the necessity of local entrepreneur linkage. PMUK’s commitment to continuing WASH activities beyond the WCAD programme was highlighted and IDF emphasised the need for strong motivation to overcome challenges.
During the discussion, various challenges were also identified, including economic hardships faced by targeted marginalised communities, difficulty in loan collection, convincing potential borrowers due to interest rates, monsoon season hindering construction, employee turnover affecting project objectives and initial challenges faced by new partners which were subsequently addressed.
The exposure visit provided valuable insights and learning, showcasing the effectiveness of microfinance integration into WASH initiatives and the importance of collaboration and support from top management. It highlighted the need for staff capacity development, ongoing research, structured programme outlines and strong monitoring and evaluation. The challenges of economic conditions, loan collection, and convincing borrowers were acknowledged, emphasising the importance of motivation and determination to overcome such obstacles. Overall, the visit underscored the innovative and transformative nature of the WCAD programme and its potential to make a lasting impact on marginalised communities.
June 11, 2023
Institute for Inclusive Finance and Development (InM) in collaboration with Water.org Bangladesh organised a comprehensive one-day training programme on 6 June 2023 in Bogra. The training focused on enhancing the capacity of managerial staff of the Gram Unnayan Karma (GUK) in adopting the Water Credit Adoption (WCAD) Model.
- A group of senior professionals, including 30 Branch Managers from GUK, actively participated in the training programme. The objective was to provide the participants with necessary knowledge and expertise in various WCAD-related matters. The topics included provision of safely managed drinking water, sanitation, and safe hygiene services along with an elaborate discussion on the WCAD programme and selection process of potential beneficiaries from the bottom of the pyramid and other issues.
Along with the participants from GUK, the programme was attended by Mr Pankaj Kumar Sarkar, Director, Microfinance of GUK; Ms Somashree Chattapadhya, Partnership Accounts Manager of Water.org Bangladesh; Ms Khandaker Shaoli Hassan, Capacity Development Specialist of Water.org Bangladesh; Mr Md. Zia Uddin, Assistant Director, GUK; Mr Golam Rabbani, MIS Officer, GUK; Mr Gobindo Kumar Datta, Assistant Coordinator, GUK and Mr Md. Mahfusul Alam, WCAD Programme Manager of InM.
May 28, 2023
Institute for Inclusive Finance and Development (InM) with support from Water.org Bangladesh organised a daylong Capacity Building Managerial Staff Training programme on WaterCredit Adoption (WCAD) Model on 24 May 2023 at the SDS Training Centre, Shariatpur. Senior professionals (including 7 Regional Managers and 31 Branch Managers) of Shariatpur Development Society (SDS) joined the training course. This daylong training aimed at providing the required and expertise on WCAD related issues including safely managed drinking water, sanitation and safe hygiene services, installation of sanitary latrines and hygiene practices, detailed description of WCAD programme, selection process of potential beneficiaries from the bottom of the pyramid segments under the programme and other issues.
Mr. Bm. Kamrul Hasan, Director, SDS formally inaugurated the training programme. Among others Mr. Abul Kalam Gazi, Coordinator Microfinance, SDS, Mr. Tanvir Ahmed Kamal, Training Coordinator, SDS; Ms. Nahid Akter, Senior Research Associate, InM; Md. Mahfusul Alam, WCAD Programme Manager, InM were present at the programme
Location: Shariatpur Development Society: SDS, Shariatpur.
May 22, 2023
The 2nd meeting of the Advisory Committee of the “Comprehensive Rural Finance” study supported by the Bangladesh Bank was held on 15 May 2023 at PKSF Bhaban in Dhaka. Dr. Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, Chairman of the Advisory Committee chaired the meeting which was attended by Dr. Toufic Ahmad Choudhury, Director General, Bangladesh Academy for Securities Markets; Mr. Helal Ahmed Chowdhury, Former MD & CEO, Pubali Bank Limited; Dr. Mustafa K. Mujeri, Executive Director, Institute for Inclusive Finance and Development (InM) and Dr. Nazma Begum, former Professor, Department of Economics, University of Dhaka. The meeting reviewed the progress of the study including the field level activities currently on-going across the country and the work plan for the next six months. The members explored different options and suggested various measures to ensure quality and relevance of collected data and information. The members also appreciated the efforts put forward by InM to achieve the overall objectives of the study.