Data Collection and Development of Educational Materials in Bolivia and Ecuador
In one of my previous blog posts, I shared our plans to host a conference to present the results of our Transparent Pricing Initiative in Bolivia in early September. As it is critical for us to include all key stakeholders of the local microfinance industry in this conference, such as the local microfinance networks, regulatory institutions, investors and participating MFIs, we agreed to move the conference date to October 21st, so as to allow for full participation. I have just returned from a field trip to Bolivia to assist the remaining MFIs with the completion of their data submissions, meet with the local networks ASOFIN and FINRURAL to finalize the conference agenda and view the conference facilities for the event. I also had the opportunity to continue discussing the development of educational materials for the Bolivian microfinance sector with a number of local institutions.
Over the past 3 months, our team has been working with over 25 Bolivian institutions on data collection and to date, 17 MFIs have submitted complete data, while 9 additional institutions are still in the process of completing their submissions. Last week I met personally with ANED, Banco de Crédito (BCP), Banco Unión, IDEPRO, Fortaleza and Ecofuturo to assist them in this process. Our Latin America team is currently processing the data we have received so far and we are hoping to finalize the data collection process this week. As our next step, we will share the results of our calculations with each MFI individually and allow all participating institutions to preview the country curve prior to the official data launch.
We are also currently developing educational materials tailored to the unique context of the local microfinance sector. Besides specific materials designed for MFIs, microcredit borrowers and regulators, we are elaborating case studies on good practices underway at a number of institutions. During my Bolivia trip, I met with CRECER and ProMujer to discuss their participation in our Bolivia case study. We are also currently discussing ideas for this case study with Banco FIE and Banco Los Andes ProCredit. In a meeting with FINRURAL and the regulatory authority ASFI’s financial literacy department last week, I had the opportunity to discuss the program for our conference and initiate dialogue on a possible collaboration in the development of educational materials. We are excited to share the first materials at the conference on October 21st in La Paz.
Similarly, in Ecuador we are currently finalizing the data collection process. We have received complete data from 17 MFIs and 25 additional institutions are still working on their data submissions. Next month we will launch our Ecuador data via an online webinar and host a conference to present and discuss the results of our Initiative in Quito on November 30th. As the prices of microloan products are constantly changing in Ecuador due to the Central Bank’s monthly adjustment of the interest rate cap, we will give all participating MFIs the opportunity to update their data during the period between the webinar and the in-country conference as well as encourage the remaining MFIs to submit data before the event.
In the context of the Ecuadorian microfinance industry, we are planning to co-develop educational materials with the Superintendency of Banks (SBS) and the local microfinance network RFR. We are also collaborating with Banco ProCredit, FODEMI and COAC Padre Vicente Ponce Rubio to highlight good practices in the area of pricing transparency in our Ecuador case study.
I look forward to sharing the first insights on our educational materials in one of my next blog posts. This week we will also provide you with more details on our Bolivia conference and open registration. Stay tuned.