Evaluating the Impact of Microfinance Training
In an effort to enhance the quality of its products and services, reinforce the relevance of its activities to the needs and expectations of its partners and customers, and measure the results and the lasting changes produced through its training activities, products and services, the Centre is carrying out a special evaluation exercise.
The ITCILO’s learning approach is learner-centred, meaning that it is geared to practical needs of participants and their organizations, and therefore aims to make an impact.
Activities have a greater impact if they are part of medium and long-term development programmes. The impact is measured by evaluation at both entry and exit, by systematic follow-up of training and participants, and by regularly monitoring and evaluating both methods and programmes.
The special evaluation exercise will assess the impact of two training programmes, namely Making microfinance work: Managing for improved performance (MMW), and The Boulder microfinance training programme (Boulder MFT) on the learners, in terms of skills acquisition and application of learning, and on the organizations that employ them, in terms of improved performance. Besides providing information that will be used for strengthening the programmes, it will supply data and an assessment methodology that will be used Centre-wide.
The curriculum of the two-week course on MMW is designed to help mid-level managers of microfinance institutions (MFIs) better understand their job and obtain additional resources for strengthening the performance of their institutions. The course has been run in many countries in Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America. Several hundred microfinance managers have benefited from the training activity, and a regional network of accredited trainers, trained by the ITCILO to run the course in their home countries and regions, has been set up.
The three-week Boulder microfinance training programme, which the ITCILO hosts under an agreement with the Boulder Institute of Microfinance, is designed to give participants a thorough understanding of the essential principles of microfinance, plus exposure to current best practice in microfinance. The Boulder MFT aims to make participants aware of important microfinance examples and programmes from around the world, and to meet individual learning needs with both core courses and electives on more specific subjects. It has an alumni network of over 2,500 former participants from 135 countries, and is considered the best international training programme of its type.
The evaluation has just started and will conclude by September 2009. The countries involved are Bolivia, Egypt, Pakistan, Senegal, Uganda and Viet Nam.