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© 2016 Opportunity Internationala 501(c)3 nonprofit.

Publications Knowledge Exchange

Insights on AgFinance Operations and Impact

Opportunity International, November 2016

Agricultural finance is risky and expensive for both farmers and banks. Opportunity’s AgFinance model is designed to reduce risks and costs by partnering with institutions that complement Opportunity’s financial services with high-quality inputs, training and market access. What is Opportunity learning about how these partnerships work? What’s the impact on farmers?

Girls' Education Challenge Midpoint Impact Results

Opportunity International, October 2016

Opportunity’s EduFinance program expands the market for affordable, quality education by extending loans and other financial services to private school proprietors and families. But how does this gender-neutral approach contribute to meeting the global girls education challenge? This rigorous impact study concludes that financing schools and families significantly increased learning outcomes and enhanced girls’ access to secondary school education. The addition of girls’ support groups smooths the path even further.

Positively Impacting Women Clients in India

Opportunity International, October 2016

A rigorous impact assessment of clients from three of our partner microfinance institutions in India indicates that women clients significantly increased income and well-being compared to non-clients with similar demographics. This assessment also affirms that Opportunity has a strong poverty outreach in India, with the majority of clients (80-85%) at the three partners studied in India living below $2.50 per day.

Strategies to Stimulate Sustainable Client Savings

Opportunity International, September 2016

The financial inclusion community is experiencing a common challenge: many savings accounts, little savings, and disappointing financial results. This innovative research combined financial analysis and participatory client engagement to identify clients with more potential to save and devise bother operational and marketing solutions to stimulate more sustainable client savings.

Linking Rural Women's Savings and Loan Groups with Formal Financial Services - Case Study

Opportunity International and Visa Inc, September 2016

In 2015 Opportunity in Uganda launched a new financial inclusion service with funding from Visa to reach more remote villages. Linking rural savings associations to banks can offer rural women a secure savings option and a way to access larger business loans while maintaining the group solidarity that is vital for social transformation. Click "view" for full version and summaries.

Sinapi Aba's Client Journey Mapping - Detailed Insight into the Client Experience

UN Capital Development Fund, September 2016

In Ghana, Opportunity and Sinapi Aba Savings and Loans partnered to better understand client satisfaction and needs using Client Journey Mapping, a participatory research methodology that elaborated the client experience in detail. The research covered all aspects of Sinapi’s services to diverse clients, including Sinapi’s recently-launched savings services.

Opportunity International: Assessing impact in Malawi

Opportunity International, October 2013

This research summary shares the exciting results of an extensive research project Opportunity completed in collaboration with The MasterCard Foundation and other generous partners in 2013 to determine the impact of our agricultural finance initiative on smallholder farmers. The document provides key information on how impoverished farmers who received financing from our banks in Ghana, Uganda and Malawi increased their crop production, yields and market access and improved their quality of life in important areas including education, health care and food security.

Financial Solutions for Sending and Keeping All Children In School

Opportunity International, November 2014

Opportunity’s innovative education finance initiative brings targeted financial services into the field of education. It helps private-school proprietors create better schools. It equips low-income households to provide their children with better educational opportunities. Each service we provide through the education finance initiative helps break down the main obstacles to education in poor communities.

Financing Smallholder Farmers to Increase Incomes and Transform Lives In Rural Communities

Opportunity International, June 2014

Opportunity is dedicated to equipping Africa's small-scale farmers with the tools they need to reduce hunger and food insecurity within their communities while also meeting growing worldwide food demand.

Agricultural Finance Impact Assessment

In October 2009, Opportunity International obtained funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and The MasterCard Foundation for a bold new experiment in Agricultural Development Financing.

Social Performance Management Report - 2013

Since 2012 we have been instituting Social Performance Management (SPM) as part of our new strategic plan. We are at the vanguard of the industry in utilizing SPM to measure how to achieve social goals and identify areas where we can improve the social outcomes for our clients. Through SPM, we are expanding our collection of data on who we serve and how their lives are changing. That data is then analyzed to assess how well we are aligned in our mission and how we can perform even better.

Interim Social Performance Report

Opportunity International

Since 2012 we have been instituting Social Performance Management (SPM) as part of our new strategic plan. We are at the vanguard of the industry in utilizing SPM to measure how to achieve social goals and identify areas where we can improve the social outcomes for our clients. Through SPM, we are expanding our collection of data on who we serve and how their lives are changing. That data is then analyzed to assess how well we are aligned in our mission and how we can perform even better.

Assessing the Impact of Opportunity International’s Agricultural Lending Program

Opportunity International, October 2013

This research summary shares the exciting results of an extensive research project Opportunity completed in collaboration with The MasterCard Foundation and other generous partners in 2013 to determine the impact of our agricultural finance initiative on smallholder farmers. The document provides key information on how impoverished farmers who received financing from our banks in Ghana, Uganda and Malawi increased their crop production, yields and market access and improved their quality of life in important areas including education, health care and food security.

Internal Operational Challenges Around Rural and Agricultural Finance

Opportunity International, May 2012

This “FIELD Brief” is the seventeenth in a series produced by the Financial Integration, Economic Leveraging and Broad-Based Dissemination (FIELD)-Support LWA Program. This brief discusses the internal operational challenges posed when implementing rural and agricultural finance.

Agricultural Finance - The Opportunity Difference

Learn how Opportunity International’s agricultural finance initiative equips farmers with the services they need to move from subsistence to economically and commercially active farming, thus increasing household incomes and food security throughout Africa.

2011 Sub-Saharan Africa Regional Snapshot

MIX Market and CGAP, February 2012

This analysis of microfinance and key trends in sub-Saharan Africa for 2011 highlights the impact of mobile banking in the world’s most unbanked region. The data covers approximately 23,000 providers of deposit, credit or mobile banking services in all 45 countries in the sub-Saharan region where less than 12% of people have a bank account.

Microinsurance - A Powerful Safety Net

Opportunity International

This video presents how MicroEnsure is working with mobile phone companies and other partners in Africa and Asia to provide a safety net to the people in the developing world.

Agricultural Finance - Cultivating Hope

This video presents Opportunity International’s approach to providing small-scale African farmers with comprehensive financial tools that help them increase yields, increase family incomes, and feed their villages.

Assessing the Impact of Our Microfinance Services

Over the last decade, Opportunity has conducted more than 50,000 face-to-face surveys with clients in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe and Latin America.

Branchless Banking and Rural Outreach in Malawi: Opportunity International Bank of Malawi’s Impact on the Market

This study of the impact of technology-driven, low-cost rural service delivery system that Opportunity International Bank of Malawi (OIBM) pioneered in 2005, examines the value proposition of the bank-on-wheels concept for clients in rural and peri-urban areas.

Assessment of Household Saving Behavior and Access to Financial Services in Malawi

This report presents findings from research on household saving behavior and access to finance services in Malawi, looking particularly at income sources and levels and its relationship to savings behavior.

The Case for Support: Bringing Opportunity to Women

Opportunity International

Women represent an estimated 70% of those living on less than $2 a day. They suffer most from the chronic effects of poor nutrition, insufficient access to healthcare and limited educational opportunities. And they comprise the majority of victims of forced labor, gender violence, and legal and cultural inequities.

Microfinance and Gender: Some findings from the financial diaries in Malawi

This study presents research on the financial behaviors of hundreds of low-income Malawians to present the gendered characteristics of the Malawian economy and the impact of financial services on women.

Cash In, Cash Out: Financial transactions and access to finance in Malawi

This study reports findings from the research on 172 low-income households and the value proposition of financial services to its clients: the uses of the mobile van, impact on family cash flows, and the gendered implications of services.

Addressing Capital Adequacy for MFIs: A risk management approach

This paper reviews key issues that MFIs should consider in determining how much capital is necessary in order to weather adverse business conditions and thrive, looking specifically at the relationship between risk and capital adequacy through the lens of risk management.

Overcoming Back-End Barriers: Opportunity International and bank switching solutions

This report describes Opportunity International’s efforts to use technology, specifically back-end switching systems, to enable its banks to achieve widespread outreach to rural microfinance clients.

Expanding Outreach in Malawi: OIBM’s efforts to launch a mobile phone banking program

This study explores the efforts of the Opportunity International Bank of Malawi to implement mobile banking (m-banking) for its microfinance customers.

Role of Microfinance in Asset-Building and Poverty Reduction: The Case of Sinapi Aba Trust

This report evaluated the extent to which Sinapi Aba Trust contributed to poverty reduction among rural and urban poor especially women by supporting them with small loans to expand their businesses to build their asset base.

Developing a Cost-Benefit Analysis Tool: Experiences and Lessons from Malawi and Mozambique

This case study shares the experience of Opportunity International in designing a cost-benefit analysis tool to evaluate and compare microfinance delivery channels. It chronicles the tool’s design and analysis features, the challenges faced, and offers practical experience to other microfinance institutions looking to design similar tools.

Rural Manual

This manual presents a compilation of articles discussing topics relevant to reaching the rural poor with financial services: agricultural finance, microinsurance, m-banking, back-end barriers, cost-benefit analysis, and rollout approaches.

Banking Rollout Approaches to Rural Markets: Opportunity International Bank of Malawi

Opportunity International

This paper examines strategies for expanding microfinance bank operations to a rural setting based on the experience of Opportunity International Bank of Malawi (OIBM), looking specifically at client responsive product modification, marketing/education, technology and distribution channels, and rollout.

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