Katia Agostinho is a market analyst at FSD Mozambique. She brings over 6 years’ experience in business development and research, and is passionate about entrepreneurship and women empowerment. She has an Honors Degree in Economics (2010) and holds a number of Certificates in financial sector development and policy from University of Cape Town (2014), FSDAfrica Academy (2015) and The Smart Design for Policy and Practice Framework by the Harvard Kennedy School of Harvard University (2015).
Ama Akuamoah is the CEO of Mokobε and Consultant to DSS Platform Ltd, Ghana, a results delivery company utilising knowledge and experience in Communication, Development, Governance and Politics to support organisations wanting to make a sustainable impact in the African context. She has over 10 years of experience across four continents. With Savings at the Frontier she is using her expertise in partnership building and community engagement to help SATF partner with DSS Platform to find the business case that will help users really engage with digitised daily savings collections
Ben is the Technical Advisor for Microfinance Research at Catholic Relief Services, where he evaluates the agency’s SILC programming and innovations. A specialist in rigorous research designs and analytical methods, Ben holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley, and served in the Peace Corps in Paraguay from 2004 to 2006.
Weselina Angelow works as a Senior Program Manager with WSBI (World Savings and Retail Banking Institute)'s Advisory Services and is part of the Institute's global efforts to providing an account for everyone and making a contribution to universal financial access. In this context, she manages the learning agenda of WSBI's initative for Making Small Scale Savings Work - MTripleSW. Her focus is on understanding the business case of small scale savings and the drivers of usage for formal financial services when offered to the underserved and unbanked.
She is an international development expert with nearly two decades of experience in leading programs and initiatives across Eastern Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America. She brings with her an in-depth knowledge of financial inclusion.
Prior to joining WSBI, Weselina worked for an IT start up in Germany and in private sector development for GIZ (Germany's Agency for International Cooperation) in Chile. Weselina holds a Master in Economics and Social Sciences from Bonn University and an Executive Master in Responsible Banking from Instituto de Estudios Bursatiles (IEB) in partnership with London School of Economics (LSE) and WSBI.
Sukhwinder Arora has focused on inclusive economic development for over 30 years in various assignments mainly in Africa and Asia. Sukhwinder spent over 10 years directly implementing economic development programmes and providing nancial and non- nancial services to poor households and micro-businesses in India. Sukhwinder currently serves as Team Leader for Savings at the Frontier programme, a partnership between Oxford Policy Management and Mastercard Foundation. SatF is working with selected nancial service providers in Ghana, Tanzania and Zambia to support the testing, development, and implementation of scalable, sustainable, and innovative solutions to improve the delivery of formal nancial services to those participating in savings groups and other informal savings mechanisms.
Marc has worked in pro-poor microfinance for 15 years, with field experience in over 20 countries. As Microfinance Technical Advisor, he leads CRS’s work on the SILC-PSP methodology and has written the manuals and trainer guides used in SILC programs across the agency. In addition, he has designed CRS’s master trainer program and was the technical lead for the EFI project which reached over 500,000 members, two thirds of them from the poorer half of their communities. Previously he worked with Freedom from Hunger, where he supported MFIs and contributed to the development of the Saving for Change methodology.
Irma Lourdes Centeno Beltrán is an Agronomist with a Master's Degree in Business Administration and a post-graduate degree in Pedagogy. She is responsible for the expansion of the Self-Savings and Loan Groups methodology at Catholic Relief Services in El Salvador. A faithful believer in the capacity of vulnerable populations to improve their own lives, she has focused on SGs and their intersection with Financial Education, Entrepreneurship and Basic Marketing. She is responsible for promoting entrepreneurship with vulnerable youth and represents CRS before the National Advisory Council for Entrepreneurship.
Clement Bisai has participated integration of gender, financial education and linkages with formal financial services in VSLA methodology and currently manages the CARE Malawi portfolio of over 18, 000 VSLAs as their Senior Technical Advisor. He is a member of the Malawi Government National Technical Committee on Saving Groups.
He is also a Phd Student in Transformative Community Development and has Msc in Leadership and Change Management from Leeds Metropolitan University. He has over 10 years’ experience working with VSLAs and has been involved in testing different innovations in VSLA Programming and measuring the value addition of such innovations.
Svein serves as Head of International Department, NAD Oslo. Svein has been a development worker since 1983, initially drawing on his background in civil engineering and as an agronomist. He holds a Masters degree in Management from Norwegian Business School (BI). Svein is particularly qualified in the area of disability inclusion with a focus on Organizational Development, CBR / Community Based Inclusive Development and Economic Empowerment.
Svein has extensive experience cooperating with Governments, I/NGOs, and Disabled People’s Organizations, as well as with WHO, the International
Flavia is a microfinance specialist with over 18 years’ experience microfinance operations, capacity and staff development, financial management and project management. She is the Membership & Financial Inclusion Manager at Association of Microfinance Institutions of Uganda (AMFIU); the national network for the microfinance industry in Uganda.
She champions the financial literacy and inclusion program that aims at tackling barriers to accessing financial services for under-served populations including persons with disabilities. She has coordinated research undertakings on microfinance, financial inclusion and disability development. She is a graduate of education and finance; working with wide spectrum of financial service providers.
Anibal is founding member and managing director of Ophavela, a Mozambican NGO focusing on the promotion of Savings Groups. Anibal was involved in the introduction of Savings Groups in Northern Mozambique back in 1998, working for CARE Mozambique. He played an important role in the creation of Ophavela, recognizing the need for a specialized organization promoting Savings Groups. Since the formalization of Ophavela as NGO in 2004, he has lead the development of Ophavela’s PCR (Poupança e Credito Rotativo) savings group methodology, the creation of micro life insurance for Savings Group members and the formation of animator associations. In his position of Managing Director of Ophavela, he develops Savings Groups projects, communicates with donors and other partners and ensures project implementation.
Gloria is the Assistant Country Director of Programs at CARE-International in Tanzania. She is a passionate feminist to who sees development and economic growth as core to environmental sustainability and social and gender inclusivity. Gloria has a B.A in Environmental Science and Public Policy (Harvard College ’09) and an MSc in Climate Change and Development (Institute of Development Studies ’12). Working with CARE, she has been a champion for seeing financial inclusion embedded with financial service providers and helping reduce the misperceived gap between the services demanded by rural women and communities, and economic growth opportunities for businesses.
With 15 years of microfinance experience, specifically focused on saving groups and formal financial services for the unbanked, Sybil Chidiac now works as the Senior Regional Director at Grameen Foundation, leading the design and implementation of digital financial services, mobile agriculture initiatives and health access and financing programs and engages with the private sector and a variety of partners to develop effective business models in West Africa.
Prior to working at Grameen, Sybil was a technical visionary of CARE’s innovations for financial linkages, mobile technology and M&E. Externally, Sybil serves on the Truelift Steering Committee. Sybil holds a Certificate in Strategic Leadership in Microfinance from Harvard Business School, MSc in International Community Economic Development from Southern New Hampshire University and a Bachelors of Arts in International Affairs and French from Emory University.
Holly is a Senior Program Manager for Youth and Economic Empowerment at Plan International, USA, serving as the technical lead on financial inclusion and youth workforce development. She has more than 20 years of experience managing and implementing economic empowerment projects around the world. Holly served as the Community Economic Development Programming and Training Specialist for the US Peace Corps, and as Microfinance Technical Advisor at The Salvation Army World Service Office. Prior to that she was a Small Business Development Volunteer with the US Peace Corps in Costa Rica. She holds a B.A. in Cultural Anthropology from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and a M.P.A. in development management from the Monterey Institute of International Studies. Holly is passionate about Savings Groups and socially responsible enterprises.
Tiago is a Mozambican social entrepreneur, researcher, and developer of IT services for social impact. As the co-founder of UX Information Technologies he was responsible for product development of emprego.co.mz (career platform),biscate.co.mz (informal work platform), mopa.co.mz (participatory monitoring platform), and soma.co.mz (savings groups platform). Additionally, he worked as a technical consultant for projects from the World Bank, USAID, UNICEF, GIZ, Microsoft, among others, and has also supported multiple aspiring entrepreneurs as a tech trainer for the US State Department’s Tech Camp, as a Country Ambassador for Seed Stars World, as a mentor for Startup Weekend, and as a speaker and trainer at various tech conferences.
Amy is a senior advisor for Catholic Relief Services, Field Management Response Team (FMRT), OPEX.
Amy is a senior international development professional and microfinance specialist with over 25 years of experience. She served as Project Director for the Expanding Financial Inclusion Africa contract managed by Catholic Relief Services (CRS) and funded by The MasterCard Foundation, operating in four countries—Burkina Faso, Senegal, Uganda and Zambia—designed to serve 500,000 SILC members over 4 years. In her current role, Amy provides rapid response and coverage for senior management gaps in CRS field programs. She participates actively on the Field Management Response Team (FMRT) as an innovative and responsive manager fulfilling critical short-term staffing and technical gaps.
William Derban is currently the director for strategic partnerships at Fidelity Bank Ghana Ltd. He has 19 years practical experience in policy related international development issues, corporate responsibility, poverty reduction, social and financial inclusion, private sector development and microfinance strategies. He is a specialist in co-creation and the implementation of innovative market-based solutions to development especially around savings groups, public/private partnerships and fundraising. He is the founder of the Financial Inclusion Forum Africa, a recipient of Ghana Professional Award for Banking and Finance (2006) in recognition of innovative work in financial inclusion.
Diana is Team Leader of the MasterCard Foundation Savings Learning Lab, an initiative implemented by Itad, in partnership with the SEEP Network. In this role she provides organizational and technical leadership on activities aimed to support learning among the learning partners and others in the sector through the generation, synthesis, curation and dissemination of knowledge. She has worked in senior leadership positions of international organizations including the SEEP Network and ACCION USA.
Monique is a Village Agent in Touba, Municipality of Marico, Cercle of Niono in Mali. She is a teacher by profession. She is a member of Muso ka jigiya ton (MJT / Saving Group), administrative Secretary of the Horonya village MJT network of Touba, responsible for the communication of the municipal MJT network Nièta of Marico. She has worked as a Village Agent since 2006. Village Agents supports the creation of new groups and supports functional groups and networks. It has also set up the village network for her village, Touba. Mrs. Diarra is married and has 3 children. She holds the Basic Studies Diploma (3 years secondary school)
Essi Digo est actuellement la Conseillère en Sécurité Economique des Ménages a Plan International au Togo. Avant cela elle a été successivement Agent de Développement Communautaire, Coordinatrice Nationale du projet Associations Villageoise d’Epargne et de Crédit (AVEC), Manager d’Unité de Programme et Cheffe d’un Sous Bureau de Plan International en République Centrafricaine. Elle a été aussi chef de bureau de liaison avec l’ONG nationale GRADSE/PHCI au Togo. Dans toutes ces positions, Essi a travaillé et travaille encore étroitement sur et avec les groupes d’épargne. Elle est la pionnière des Groupes d’Epargne à Plan International Togo. Elle a travaillé avec les Groupes d’épargne depuis 2007 jusqu’à ce jour. Elle a aussi contribué à élargir les horizons des GE avec les GE+ d’autres domaines notamment les GE+ Mutuelle communautaire de santé, GE+ apprentissage/formation professionnelle des jeunes vulnérable, GE+ Protection de l’enfant/Lutte contre le trafic des enfants, GE+ autonomisation des filles/genre transformateur, GE+ lutte contre le trafic sexuel des filles, GE+ santé maternelle et Infantile-SMI etc.
Formatrice certifiée de l’Université New Hampshire des Etats Unis et VSL Associates, elle forme les praticiens en langue française chaque année en collaboration avec le réseau MAIN (Microfinance African Institution Network) et forme également des ONG Nationales et Internationales du Togo, et ailleurs en Afrique et une Agence du Ministère du Développement à la Base, de l’Artisanat, des Jeunes et de l’Emploi des Jeunes du Togo.
Hadjo is a MMD Savings Group member. She is a widow, with two children. She lives in the municipality of Hamdalaye, region of Tillabery in Niger. Mrs. Djibo was able to go to finish primary school and went up to the third year of high school. She worked few years as a literacy agent. She joined the MMD/ Saving Groups in 1997 and later on the networks of MMD in Hamdalaye. In 2011, local elections, Mrs Djibo was able to run for office, thanks to the power of the MMD networks (who encouraged her and voted for her). Today, not only she is municipal cancelor in Hamdalaye, she is also the vice mayor.
Kristin (MPH PhD) is Senior Specialist Scientist in the What Works to Prevent Violence Against Women and Girls Program at the South African Medical Research Council. She is a social epidemiologist with a BA in Biology and English from Case Western Reserve University and an MPH in International Health and PhD in Epidemiological Science both from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor.
She has been working on gender-based violence and sexual violence in Africa since 1994. Her research has included work and publications on understanding connections between intimate partner violence and HIV for both women and men, in both heterosexual couples and men who have sex with men (MSM); understanding links between gender-based violence, transactional sex, and poverty; understanding gender based violence and sexual violence in LGBTQ communities; and understanding risks of gender-based and sexual violence among people living with disabilities in lower and middle income countries. Her focus is on evaluation of programs to prevent intimate partner violence in developing countries.
Chrisy Paul Gawanani is a mother of three boys and one girl aged between 7 and 17 years. She is married, lives in a village about 40 km away from the capital city Lilongwe. Chrisy was one the rst bene ciaries of a CARE Malawi Women’s Empowerment: Improving Resilience, Income and Food Security project implemented in her community between November 2016 and September 2016. She joined CARE’s VSLA programs in 2012 and was elected as a Secretary of her group. She has also participated in Community Score Card activities in her community since 2012 to present.
Nadège Gbaguidi is the Regional Technical Advisor for Grameen Foundation. Nadège has more than 10 years of experience working in the International Development sector, managing and providing technical assistance to Financial Service Providers in West Africa and working with local and international NGOs in conceptualizing, implementing and leading innovative programs. She has expertise in Community Microfinance, Design of Education Modules for Adult and Youth audiences, Development of mobile technology solutions as job-aid for Village Agents, Integration of education into financial services, Training and Coaching. Nadège has expertise in facilitating Health Linkages with Health Services Providers and Financial Linkages between Savings Group implementing organizations, FSPs, and MNOs, focusing on the use of Digital financial services.
Mabel has worked for Catholic Relief Services as a Regional Techincal Advisor, specifically working with savings groups of women, youth, adolescents, girls and boys in rural and urban areas for 12 years. In her 16 years of working in the economic empowerment field, she has facilitated numerous trainings and coordinated the development of methodological manuals for savings groups with a variety of different users, all in versions that support easy adoption by vulnerable populations and facilitate implementation by local organizations. Her experience extends to countries in Central America, South America and the Caribbean; she has focused numerous thematic areas including community finance, organizational development, value chains, and growth of small rural businesses.
Craig is the Founder and CEO of Arifu, an edtech company with a smart chatbot making it possible for anyone to freely access training and education from the organizations they trust over any mobile phone. Since launching in East Africa in 2015, over 600,000 people have turned to Arifu to learn essential skills and discover high-impact products and services offered by Arifu's partners.
Prior to Arifu, Craig conducted livelihood research working with microentrepreneurs in Zimbabwe, Zambia, and Tanzania. He also held business development roles with the World Wide Web Foundation and MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL) on projects designed to foster a more open and inclusive Web responsive to the needs of underserved communities globally.
Lauren Hendricks is the Executive Vice President for Global Strategy for Grameen Foundation. She was previously Executive Director for the Access Africa initiative at CARE, where she led the development of nancial inclusion programs and innovative solutions to reach the poorest people in Africa. In this role, she partnered with banks, micro nance institutions, mobile network operators, and others in the private sector to adapt products and services to meet the needs of the poor, and to ensure that participants bene tted from new, digital nancial services. Lauren also served as Director of the Economic Development Unit for CARE USA, where she provided strategic direction and technical leadership for more than 100 active micro nance and enterprise development programs in 54 countries.
Valere serves as the first and current CEO of ALIDE, an emerging microfinance institution in Benin and that focuses on working with the underprivileged segment, especially women. Mr. HOUSSOU is a resource person in the microfinance sector in Benin, and his work on turning around ALIDE is remarkable, making the organization one of the model institution in Benin within a decade. ALIDE is also ranked the most transparent MFI in Benin and amongst the best in social and financial performance improve. M. HOUSSOU was till 2017 the president of the professional association of MFIs of Benin.
As a consultant in Financial Sector Development with Nathan Associates London, Katherine specializes in financial inclusion and capability, MSME development and financial product development. She has strong experience of multi-country project design and management, structuring M&E frameworks and implementing evaluations. Katherine is currently managing DFID’s £26 million BFP-B program in Bangladesh to support MSEs access to financial services and also supported CGAP’s Smallholder Families Data Analytics and Data Hub project to generate deeper insights from the smallholder diaries across Africa and South Asia. She is also leading the SEEP funded research into Women’s Empowerment within Saving’s Groups.
Suraj joined IFMR-LEAD as a Research Associate in 2015. In this role, he is involved with coordinating the field operations, program monitoring and analytics for various research studies across India. His portfloio of projects includes the impact evaluation of SHG based microfinance as well as the assessment of digital financial services in India. He holds an M.Sc. in Economics from the University of Warwick and B.A.(Hons) in Economics from the University of Delhi.
Evas works at ChildFund International as the Team Leader of the ESFAM Project.
Kansiime Evas Atwine has implemented various child-focused interventions, including Health and HIV, Education, Psychosocial Support and Livelihoods programs in Eastern and Southern Africa. For the past three years, she has led a team implementing ChildFund International’s Economic Strengthening to Keep and Reintegrate Children into Families (ESFAM) program in Uganda. ESFAM’s key components are cash transfers and VLSAs. She has a Master’s in Demography from Makerere University’s Institute of Statistics and Applied Economics.
Ms. Rew-Revealed Kataru is the Director of Programs for Aga Khan Foundation in Tanzania overseeing AKF’s development programs across Economic inclusion, Food Security, Health, Education, Civil Society and Early Childhood Development with the aim to improve the quality of life of people in poor and marginalized societies, especially women and girls. Before joining AKF, Ms. Revealed worked for Care International to improve access to nancial services and quality of life for communities through saving groups and business development. She also provided consulting services, including for Financial Sector Deepening Trust Uganda. Ms. Revealed has a Bachelor’s degree in Social Sciences and a Master’s in Business Administration from University of Glasgow. Ms. Revealed is interested in the development and empowerment of girls, women and youth.
Aslihan Kes is a Senior Economist at the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW), where she leads research, designs and conducts evaluations, and develops and facilitates partner capacity building. Ms. Kes has over a decade of experience working on gender issues as they intersect with agriculture and food security, land and property rights, economic empowerment and women in the supply chain. She has analyzed the economic and social costs of maternal mortality, intimate partner violence and child marriage at the household, community and country-level, and she has developed approaches to integrate gender considerations into agricultural projects. Ms. Kes has also developed and tested new methods for obtaining quantitative information on women’s and men’s ownership, use and control of land and other assets and the nature of joint ownership and decision-making on land and assets. She has explored linkages between women’s asset rights and economic empowerment. Her current work includes developing and testing options for inclusive energy access and distribution in India.
Ms. Waringa Kibe, is the Country Director for Access to Finance Rwanda. She has been involved in nancial inclusion for the last 22 years having worked with various organizations such as Faulu Kenya Micro nance Bank, the African Rural and Agricultural Credit Organization (AFRACA), the World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU) and Global Communities and as a part time lecturer in micro nance for Strathmore University. She has been a “Bankers without Borders” (BwB) Volunteer under the Grameen Foundation and has conducted various consultancy assignments in market research, product development and curriculum development. She holds a Masters in Entrepreneurship from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Diploma in Information Systems from Strathmore University and Bachelors in Mathematics and Economics from Egerton University. She is an alumna of the Harvard Kennedy School program, Rethinking Financial Inclusion: Innovation for Policy and Practice.
Lucy is the Agriculture Product Manager for AgriFin Accelerate at Mercy Corps. She has specialized in value chain development and pro-poor development initiatives for smallholder farmers. Her expertise is in the areas of project management, business development (BDS) approach, building linkages to financial services, use of technology (both digital and appropriate), structured commodity trading systems, market systems development, building sustainability and traceability systems, women and youth participation in agriculture, use of Human Centered approaches to product and service development for smallholder and advocacy for improved policy and business environment for smallholder farmers to thrive.
Doug is the Country Director for Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) in Rwanda.
Doug is an NGO professional with experience working in Education, Gender, Health, Research, Protection and Agriculture across 11 African countries, based in Africa since 2008. Doug is the Country Director for Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) Rwanda. IPA is a research and policy NGO that discovers and promotes effective solutions to global poverty problems. IPA designs, rigorously evaluates and refines these solutions together with researchers and local decision makers, ensuring evidence is used to improve the lives of the world’s poor. Since being founded, IPA has worked with over 400 leading academics to conduct over 500 evaluations in 51 countries.
Anton is SaveAct Founder and Executive Director. He has a long history of involvement in community-based development, the non-governmental sector, in consulting and in the introduction of new development models in South Africa. He is confident that SaveAct’s programme is a powerful and effective way of empowering the many socially excluded and vulnerable groups that struggle to experience true freedom in South Africa. SaveAct is building an enabling ecosystem around savings groups, and is seeking partners to co-design effective systems with savings groups. These include last-mile-access to health, hygiene and energy products, and access to farming inputs.
Sayan has worked as a Research Manager at IFMR-LEAD, India since 2017. Previously he has worked with Poverty Action Lab (JPAL) and Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) in various research-oriented positions across multiple countries in Africa, Asia, and the USA.
His personal research interests lie with financial inclusion, women empowerment, and how does the political economy interact for provision of social security in post-conflict or ongoing-conflict affected geographies. Additionally, he strongly believes that technological and digital innovations have the answer to some of the most complex problems impoverished communities face in today’ world.
Maureen Kwilasa is the Technical Advisor on Financial Inclusion for Southern Africa, based in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. She currently spearheads CARE’s efforts in Southern Africa, to capitalize and scale savings groups as a platform to increase food and nutrition security and building communities’ resilience against climate change, primarily working with women and girls as both the agents of change and program beneficiaries. She is also a lead champion on financial inclusion for Savings Groups, within the Graça Machel Trust’s- Women Advancing Africa Network.
Maureen has led programs in OXFAM Ireland, Amnesty International-Malaysia, CARE International in Tanzania and One Acre Fund. Maureen holds an LL.M in International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights from the Graduate Institute in Geneva, Switzerland and a Bachelor’s Degree with honors in Law, awarded by the University of Reading in the United Kingdom. She is fluent in English and a native speaker of Kiswahili.
Olga is an economist, specialized in community-managed microfinance and market systems development, with 16 years experience in international development management. As technical advisor at the Corporación VITAL, she provides strategic guidance to the largest Savings Groups program in Latin America, with a cumulative outreach of over 200,000 members across Colombia. Since 2008, Corporación VITALhas been developing sustainable models for income generation and financial inclusion, based on Savings Groups, with the active participation of communities and an extensive network of public and private sector partners.
Olga Lucia has worked in Canada, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Haiti and Mexico; and speaks Spanish, French and English.
Esselina is CEO of FSDMoç. Previously was the Policy Advisor at the same institution. She joined FSDMoç after a 10-year career at the Central Bank of Mozambique where she was an Executive Director, Payments Systems, and Board Member. She led the drafting of the Central Bank’s financial inclusion strategy. Esselina is an Associate Professor at the Eduardo Mondlane University. She has extensive experience in information and communication technology – ICT, payments systems, financial inclusion and currency management. She holds a Doctoral Degree (PhD) in Information Communication Technology from the University of Pretoria, South Africa and a number of Certificates from the FSDAfrica Academy on M4P approach, The Digital Frontiers Institute on Digital Money and the Fletcher Institute on leadership in financial inclusion.
Michael is a Product Development Professional at NMB Bank Plc in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, where he oversees Retail Liability Products. His areas of competency are Product Development, Product Portfolio Management, Deposit Mobilization and Pricing of Products and Services. In addition, he has also been engaging with financial inclusion programs since 2014 and has developed a variety of products targeting financially excluded individuals both youth and adults. Before joining NMB Bank, Michael worked with a Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) company, Tanga Fresh Co. Ltd. as an Assistant Accountant. He holds an adanced diploma in Accountancy from the Insitute of Finaance Management and is currently pursuing an MBA in Corporate Management at Mzumbe University.
Yerefolo is the West Africa Regional Representative for Trickle Up.
Yéréfolo began his career organizing market gardeners into associations. He moved from field level positions to projects at cluster, national and regional levels. His expertise in economic strengthening is complemented by experience in water and sanitation and social policies including those focused on safety nets and food security. Over the years, Yéréfolo has worked with several NGOs including Trickle Up, Water and Sanitation for Africa, WaterAid, Save the Children UK, Africare and Groupe de Recherche et d’Applications Techniques.
Yéréfolo Mallé is an Engineer in rural development and holds a Master II in Innovation, Development and Society
Lucia is the Senior Policy Associate (Gender) for the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) Global.
Lucia leads J-PAL’s newly-formed gender sector focused on analysis related to reducing gender inequality. She also works on J-PAL’s Finance Sector. J-PAL’s mission is to reduce poverty by ensuring that policy is informed by scientific evidence. J-PAL does this through research, policy outreach, and training. Prior to joining J-PAL, Lucia worked for NGOs based in Latin America, including the microfinance and women's development organization Pro Mujer and Habitat for Humanity Guatemala. She holds an MPA with a concentration in Economic and Political Development from Columbia University and a bachelor's degree in Anthropology from Yale University.
Jessica is a Financial Capability Specialist for UNCDF, based in Kigali, Rwanda. She has over 15 years of experience in financial literacy, nonformal education and financial access programming across sub-Saharan Africa. In her previous role at Microfinance Opportunities, she trained over 200 trainers, and wrote and adapted education for clients of commercial banks, microfinance institutions and village savings and loan (VS&L) groups across Africa. Jessica has also held positions at the Microcredit Summit Campaign, Mesilla Valley Habitat for Humanity, and the National University of Rwanda
Lydia is the Regional Youth and Gender Advisor Africa for ACDI/VOCA, and has more than 15 years of experience in agricultural development, humanitarian assistance, and livelihoods. Lydia provides support to projects in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Zambia, South Sudan, Rwanda, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Afghanistan, and the Philippines. Her main role is ensuring ACDI/VOCA’s mandate of using an integrated approach to transform opportunities for men and women is realized in different projects. She also mentors and coaches project gender specialists to ensure that they have skills and tools to provide technical support to their teams. Lydia has a Masters in Gender and Development.
Hermann is program specialist at UNCDF’s MicroLead program that focuses on last mile financial inclusion of the informal sector.
Hermann is a financial inclusion expert with more than 15 years’ experience in financial institutions and microfinance projects/programs management, design of financial services, design of inclusive finance policies and projects, financial sector’s assessment and strategic planning and management.
He previously worked at Accion as director of marketing and savings projects for Africa and provided advisory services to a broad range of financial service providers, donors, governments and international organizations in SSA, India and the Caribbean.
Mrs. Puspita Mohanty is a graduate from Utkal University of Odisha and a rebrand social activist, presently serving as the ‘Director of Governing Body’ at Swayamshree. She has professional skills as a trainer in tailoring and craftworks (which she imparts onto the girls/women of her slum, to make them nancially self reliant) and is also active as a Paralegal Volunteer in State Legal Services Authority at Cuttack. She thus helps women gain a stronger voice in decisions that affect them. She also works as ‘Secretary of Federation of Mahila Mission Shakti Bidanasi’ Cuttack, ‘President of Paicharika Mahasangh’ (an organization of women domestic workers) and an o ce bearer of several NGOs working in various elds.
Sabasaba is the Chief Executive Officer of TPB Bank PLC, Tanzania since 2011. A seasoned banker with extensive international experience, he was previously Regional Head of Consumer Banking Operational Risk and Sales Governance with Standard Chartered Bank in the Gulf region. He sits on the governing bodies of national and international organizations including organs of the World Savings and Retail Banking Institute, the Tanzanian Bankers Association, the Association of Savings Banks of East Africa and he is an Eisenhower Fellow. Sabasaba is a certified chartered banker with a Master of Business Administration (Finance) from the University of Dar-es-Salaam.
Joel Muhumuza is the Partner Support Specialist in the Innovative Financial Services Pillar at FSD Uganda. He’s responsible for product development as well as project management. He is the lead on several themes including microinsurance, digital payments and linkage banking. He’s also a key contributor to emerging areas in FinTech.
Joel has 7 years’ experience working in financial services, having launched several products in the Ugandan and Zambian market.
He holds a certificate in Digital Money from Tufts University and holds an MBA with honors from Southern University A&M College and bachelor’s degree in Commerce with a specialty in finance from Makerere University.
Annette is currently working with Rwanda Women’s Network as the Director of Programs and as the RWN lead person on Indashykirwa Project. She is a social worker by profession and a feminist leader. She has been doing development work within the NGO world for more than 15 years. In her current role, she is responsible for the coordination of the implementation of all RWN program work, specifically overseeing quality & effective program delivery at community level as well as ensuring respect of contractual obligations with multiple stakeholders. Her portfolio includes; leadership & management, planning & organizing, compliance assurance & accountability, resource mobilization & partnership building.
George is the Technical Adviser of the iSAVE Program at the Norwegian Association of Disabled (NAD), specialized in strengthening the capacity of individuals and organizations to systematically adapt, improve and further develop their practice through peer learning. For nine years, George worked at National Union of Disabled Persons of Uganda (NUDIPU) where he spearheaded the design and implementation of the iSAVE Inclusive Economic Empowerment program.
He has hands-on experience in microfinance, project and business management working with managers, disability organizations, microenterprises, and community development finance organizations. Based in Uganda, he regularly travels to support country programs.
Zainab Asiimwe Mulinde is The Associate Director, Economic Empowerment at Women for Women International. She is the Global Technical Lead on Economic Empowerment and Financial Inclusion programmatic interventions in conflict and post conflict countries where Women for Women International operates. She has over 20 years’ experience in program/project design, management and implementation around the world as well as in Banking and Microfinance. She has worked on projects and programs that support financial inclusion national strategies and intervention in different countries in Africa and Asia. She holds an MBA, Management as well as BA Education from Makerere University, Kampala.
Chipili is the Project Manager for Informal Finance at Financial Sector Deepening Zambia (FSDZ). She designs, facilitates, and manages interventions aimed at contributing to increased access to financial services for low income individuals in Zambia. She manages the Savings Group and other informal financial mechanisms technical portfolio, and oversees partnerships.
She has 10 years of professional experience in development work. Prior to her moving to FSDZ, she was a Program Officer for Savings Groups and Management Information Systems at the World Vision Southern Africa Regional Office supporting programs in 8 countries. Chipili holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Development Studies/Public Administration obtained from the University of Zambia.
Elizabeth is the head of Digital Finance at CRDB Microfinance in Tanzania. She joined CRDB microfinance in 2016 to deploy the digital finance products and services in the market. She is currently executing the market roll out of the digital finance product ‘SIMAccount’ that embeds use cases for groups. She previously worked at Vodacom Tanzania as the head of Quality Assurance where her role was to participate in product development by challenging the customer experience that the digital products and services brought. Elizabeth holds a certificate in digital money from the Digital Frontiers Institute and an MBA from the Eastern and Southern Management Institute.
Julie is currently the Business Growth Manager at Postbank Kenya, and has over 30 years of experience in savings banks, having started her career at Postbank Kenya. She has a Master’s in Business Administration (Finance Option) from the University of Nairobi. Mrs. Mwakidedi has worked in several departments of Postbank, the last one being Marketing department before she moved to Banking.
Born in the rural areas of Kenya the first child in a family of five, Julie has deep understanding of rural Kenya and relates very well with the small saver as well as the urban customer. This attributed to her region being the first to open Mchama accounts to the groups immediately the bank rolled out the product.
She is in charge of the Southern and Coastal part of the country which covers both rural and urban areas. Based in the seaside town of Mombasa, Kenya she however travels deep into the region to sensitize Kenyans from all walks of life on the benefits of savings and resources mobilization. She is particularly active on the rural and urban stage offering savings education to both youth and women on how savings can alleviate their standards of living.
Peter is currently working as an Economist – Desk officer for VSL/COMSIP and Pro-poor Microfinance (MF) programs in the Ministry of Finance Economic Planning and Development. His main role is to provide policy and technical guidance in the design and implementation of VSL and MF programs. He also worked as Agriculture Relationship Officer for Opportunity Bank of Malawi in 2012 to 2013 responsible for agriculture loans. Peter holds a bachelors of Science degree in Agriculture economics from University of Malawi – Bunda College of Agriculture.
Peter has acquired a wide range of knowledge and experience in areas of economics, business management, rural development, research and statistics and project planning. He conducted undergraduate research project titled ‘The role of microfinance on poverty reduction: Impact assessment of Village Savings and Loans on rural Livelihoods’. The results of study provide empirical evidence on the impact of VSLs in Malawi. He has also gained various skills and hands on experience in data collection, analysis and presentation.
He has also been exposed to the VSL sector and microfinance industry practical experience through the research paper that he did through work experience gained from both previous and current job. He jointly with CARE Malawi conducted National Wide mapping of VSL organizations and outreach in Malawi. Some of the recommendations from the study have been adopted and are in use. He has also gained considerable experience on policy analysis and social protection systems through the current job.
Gift Mwase is a Program Coordinator for Economic Empowerment in World Relief Malawi. He leads the development, facilitation, and implementation of interventions that empowers the most vulnerable people economically; by providing them skills and tools that help them move out of poverty. He is responsible for the establishment and growth of the Savings Group program in World Relief Malawi. He is passionate about seeing poor people re-awaken their hope for a better life and work towards that. He is very interested in learning and creating new and innovative ways of delivering savings group work in an efficient and cost effective manner.
David of FHI 360 works on savings mobilization for vulnerable populations, sustainable rural financial services, and livelihoods development. At FHI 360, he promotes household economic strengthening approaches to improve economic and health outcomes for people living with or affected by HIV/AIDS, especially youth. As a board member of My Oral Village since 2013, he supports innovations in oral financial information management tools to enable people with limited numeracy to better manage their financial lives. He also serves as a Senior Advisor to the SEEP Network. Previously, he supported innovative work on financial inclusion as a grantmaker at the Ford and MasterCard foundations.
Tara, a Professor at the Gujarat Institute of Development Research, Ahmedabad, has contributed to the discourse on Indian micro finance since the late 1990s through research studies and policy critiques. She co-authored the Micro finance State of the Sector Report 2013 and the Inclusive Finance India Report 2014. She has also edited a volume of essays titled, Micro finance in India: Approaches, Outcomes and Challenges (Routledge, 2015). Her current research focuses on understanding the gender implications of the new and emerging institutional arrangements that have gained currency as part of the process of restructuring the rural and agricultural economy and the implications of financial sector reforms and financialisation for household economies.
Emily is the Associate Director of the Behavioral, Epidemiological, and Clinical Sciences division for Global Health, Population and Nutrition at FHI 360, where she facilitates and conducts social science research related to public health and development. She has implemented qualitative and mixed-methods research in a dozen countries, on issues including HIV prevention, maternal and reproductive health, economic strengthening, child protection, and bioethics. Additionally, Emily has an interest in and works on improving the evidence base for qualitative research methodology. She is the co-author or -editor of five books on research methods and has led dozens of research-related trainings domestically and internationally.
Ross Nathan has over 19 years of hands-on experience in Development Finance with proven competencies in Micro nance, Banking, Project Management, Responsible Finance, Small holder Agriculture Finance, Client protection, Digital Finance, Savings Groups linkages, Training & Mentoring, Capacity Building. He has developed polices, procedure manuals and business strategies for ve countries, lobbied widely for the development sector, and has signi cant experience in knowledge dissemination. He has served in various Executive and Technical Advisor / consultant capacities, including 13 years in Sub Saharan African countries.
Saqib Nazir is a FinTech entrepreneur who loves to develop businesses that use technology to solve local problems.
Saqib has Bachelors in Computer Science from the University of Ghana, Legon and a Masters in Information Systems Engineering from the University of Manchester, UK. Saqib has extensive experience in developing and implementing solutions aimed at making technology locally relevant and using it to solve everyday problems.
Saqib’s current focus is Interpay, a payment processor that seeks to enable digital financial services across emerging markets.
Esnat has a Master of Arts degree in Economics and joined NBS Bank in the year 2000 and has 17 years banking experience. She occupied several positions within NBS as Research Manager, SME Manager, Products Development Manager. She championed the Microlead project at NBS the development of the Pafupi Savings product and is now championing the group linkage project that will see Malawi Village Banks linked to a special group account with a group wallet. Esnat is currently Senior Manager, Personal and Business Banking deposits, Lending and Transactional products. The portfolio includes Bancassurance products, group scheme lending products and deposits.
Engaged with the SEEP Network since its inception, Candace Nelson has served as advisor, working group facilitator, conference manager, grants manager, trainer, and writer. From 2009 – 2017, she facilitated the Savings-Led Financial Services Working Group (SLWG) and has researched and written extensively on Savings Groups. Candace led the design team for both the 2011 Arusha Savings Group Summit and SG2015 in Zambia. Also an expert on nancial education, as technical advisor to Micro nance Opportunities, she wrote nancial education curriculum for youth, adults and SGs, trained trainers in multiple countries and advised on the development of national FE strategies. Fluent in French and Spanish, Candace lives in Concord Massachusetts.
Dr. Monique Nsanzabaganwa is Deputy Governor of the National Bank of Rwanda. She is also a member of the African Advisory Council of Women’s World Banking and founding member of New Faces New Voices Rwanda Chapter. Founded by Grac?a Machel, NFNV is a Pan-African movement that aims at empowering women in nance. Dr. Monique holds a PhD in Economics and Masters in Economics from Stellenbosch University, South Africa. She is a Fellow of the Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government’s Executive Education in Public Financial Management, a Fellow of the Africa Leadership Initiative (ALI) East Africa and the Aspen Global Leadership Network (AGLN), and a member of the African Leaders Network.
Gerald is a Business Development strategist who partners with sole traders and MSMEs to grow their businesses. After spending nearly a decade working in retail and Corporate Banking, Gerald understands Bottom of the pyramid banking. A development finance enthusiast who is passionate about inclusive economic development and hates exclusive growth, Gerald knows what truly drives conversions at the bottom of the pyramid. He believes Financial Inclusion is not about profit, but about social and economic development - profit is only a bonus to a sustainable financial inclusion model.
Gerald’s financial inclusion articles have found space in local print media like The Standard and the Newsday, as well as international websites such as Mobile Money Africa, All Africa, Africa news Hub and Chartered Institute of Development Finance Journal. He also recently discovered a new passion - the rehabilitation and social reintegration of prisoners - and will be launching a ‘donate a book’ campaign for the prisoners in Zimbabwe.
Geraldine is the Chief Innovation Officer and Co-founder of Software Group, a global technology company that is specialized in delivery channels and integration solutions for institutions that provide financial services. Geraldine is passionate about financial inclusion domain and is inspired to help institutions leverage technology to achieve efficiency, scale and increase outreach. She has a proven ability to discover customer needs and design sustainable, holistic solutions that carefully consider the interactions between people, process and technology. Geraldine is a specialist in technology for Microfinance, including not only Core Banking Systems, but also all nature of delivery channels with extensive experience of deploying innovative mobile and agency banking solutions.
Ruth Orbach is the Senior Monitoring and Evaluation Advisor at CARE Canada and manages a complex monitoring and evaluation system across a four-country portfolio. Ruth has worked in financial inclusion, youth engagement, education, and community development across southern, eastern, and western Africa.
With over 24 years of professional experience, M. Ouedraogo is the current CEO of SOFIPE SA (a subsidiary of Microfinance of the Ecobank Group in Burkina Faso), and holds a MSc in Banking and Finance and a Master's degree in Economics. He is board member of the Professional Association of Decentralized Financial Systems of Burkina Faso. Prior to SOFIPE, he held several managerial positions at Ecobank Burkina and at the Agricultural and Commercial Bank of Burkina Faso. Before his banking career, M. Ouedraogo worked for seven years in the Civil Service of Burkina Faso at the Internal Revenue Directorate.
Giannis is a full-stack developer and a multidisciplinary entrepreneur. He currently works with UX, a company he co-founded. He started his career in 2008 where he co-founded Paramana.com a small IT firm providing IT consultancies. On the same year, he co-founded fietslabyrint.nl an interactive bike tour for people with mobility impairment, mainly used in the health-care sector. From 2010 he was part of the Cloud9 team creating one of the first online Integrated Development Environments (IDE) that run on a browser. In 2012 he co-founded UX, an award-winning Mozambican company developing locally-relevant, market-driven and self-sustainable tech-based products and services for high social and economic impact in emerging markets
"It's about supporting people to grow" - this view has guided my work as an independent consultant, technical advisor and program manager since I started to work with Savings Groups in 2003. My work focuses on the design, implementation and evaluation of SG and Value Chain programs and lately the introduction of an App for SG has kept me busy. Born and raised in East Africa I am passionate about gender equality, working with local communities, developing training programs and materials and building the capacity of local trainers and coaches.
Christian serves as Director, Access Africa/Financial Inclusion at CARE. He is committed to harnessing the power of business and technology to improve lives by creating sustainable enterprises and promoting inclusive markets. He has over a 15 years of experience working with teams across Africa, Asia and Latin America to improve economic and food security outcomes for rural poor households. As Director of Access Africa at CARE, Christian leads the organization's approach to financial inclusion, focusing on taking proven models like CARE's Village Savings and Loans Associations to scale. Christian has extensive experience working with teams to overcome first mile / last mile challenges and is most energized when figuring out how to build bridges between formal and informal economies while advancing equity and opportunity for all.
Mercy Corps' Senior Technical Advisor - Financial Inclusion has worked in international economic development for over 10 years. Previously, Ms. Post worked with MEDA (Mennonite Economic Development Associates) as their Senior consultant/Project Manager on their West Africa/MENA team, managing and providing technical assistance to projects focusing on financial inclusion and economic development programming. From 2009 – 2012, Ms. Post was with Freedom from Hunger (now Grameen Foundation USA) as a Technical Advisor, designing, developing, and implementing financial education and savings group methodology (Saving for Change). Ms. Post’s work at the International Monetary Fund and U.S. Peace Corps in Cameroon award an array of training and technical assistance experiences as well as overseas experience. She holds an MS from New York University in Economic Development, a BA from the University of Denver in International Studies and is conversational in French.
Lina, an Agronomic Engineer, has 30 years of professional experience, including 20 in rural development. Since 2008, she has served as the Executive Director of AIM (Action Intercoopération Madagasacar), a national NGO which started promoting savings groups in 2014 within food security and community health projects. A founder and current Board member of the Réseau des Promoteurs de Groupes d’Épargne à Madagascar, she regularly contributes to discussions regarding the financial inclusion of community savings groups, and is particularly active on the theme of linking savings groups to financial service providers.
As Inspector of the Treasury, Tiana has a background in economics, finance, law and accounting. She is the National Coordinator of Inclusive Finance within the Ministry of Finance and Budget of Madagascar, focusing on microfinance. Grounded in her field experience, in particular in rural areas, she has worked with various technical and financial partners to promote access to financial services for vulnerable populations. As focal point for the Ministry of Finance within the Alliance for the Financial Inclusion, she has participated in several international meetings on financial inclusion and continues to exchange with diverse actors regarding financial inclusion.
Professor Redford is an internationally recognized expert on entrepreneurship and public policy. He has worked with the US Department of Commerce, the European Commission, the OECD, the UN and various European and African governments. In 2010, the OECD recognized his course at the Portuguese Catholic University as one of eight best practices. He is co-founder of the SG4Africa initiative on savings groups in sub- Saharan Africa. Currently, he is the International Coordinator of the largest policy experimentation project on experiential entrepreneurship education in primary and secondary schools in the EU.
Evenor is an agronomist.He has focused for the past 20 years on the management and implementation of programs to support vulnerable populations, focusing on the promotion of values as a key component for success. The last seven years he has promoted savings group methodologies, developing projects aimed at children, youth, and women in rural areas and contributing to the revitalization of local economies.
Mrs. Kalpana Rout grew up to be an independent person herself while helping a number of girls and women achieve nancial self-reliance in the process. Since her childhood, she harboured the dream of overcoming the prevailing barriers that prevented the growth and self-reliance of women in her neighbourhood. There are multiple instances where she used her wits and skills to facilitate her people to take up various income generating vocations. She has helped numerous women ght injustice and nd peace and harmony in their lives. She played a pivotal role in forming the initial Self Help Group under the Swayamshree umbrella in 2004 and has been associated with them ever since.
Fidele Rutayisire is the co-founder and chairperson of the Rwanda Men’s Resource Center (RWAMREC). He is currently a Researcher and Master trainer on Gender, Sexual and Gender based violence at the International Conference on the Great Lakes region (ICGLR) which is an intergovernmental organization working on peace and governance in twelve countries of the Great Lakes region of Africa. He holds a Masters Degree in Gender and Development and a post graduate degree in Peace building and he is involved in many women’s organizations in Rwanda. He is currently a board member of various national and international organizations including, Servas International, BENIMPUWE, Living Peace Rwanda, Rwanda Business Owner`s association, Community Based Sociotherapy Rwanda, Hope Assistance Foundation and Africa MenEngage Network. He has also been a board member of PROFEMMES TWESE HAMWE an umbrella of 58 Women’s organizations in Rwanda and the East African civil society organization forum (EACSOF).
Ericis the Director General of the Financial Sector development for the Rwanda Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning. In this capacity, he oversees a variety of nationally important initiatives related to the financial sector development - policies, reforms, innovations, strategies and legislative framework. Before joining the Ministry, he was the Technical Manager for Access to Finance Rwanda (financial inclusion program funded by DFID, WB, KFW. MasterCard foundation, SIDA and USAID). He also served as the General Manager for GroFiN Rwanda (SME financier via debt and Equity); the Country Head, Audit and Compliance - Ecobank Rwanda and as Audit senior at Ernst & Young, Uganda.
Eric has vast experience in the development and implementation of Financial Sector policies, Strategies, Legislations and corporate Business planning. He is well vast with Finance and accounting, Budgeting and control, SMEs investment, Taxation and Auditing, investigation as well as Due diligence.
He is a Board member of Development Bank of Rwanda, Alternate Board member of Africa Import Export Bank, a Board member and vice chair of Capital Market Authority (CMAC), and Advisory Board member of the Financial Intelligence Unit. He holds an MBA in Finance, Bachelor of Commerce/finance and is also an ACCA finalist.
Sumaiya’s portfolio at the Mastercard Foundation includes a range of financial inclusion partnerships which focus on the role of data in delivering client value, the supply and demand side of savings for the poor, building talent and institutional capacity for the sector, and expanding access through alternative delivery channels. She also managed The Mastercard Foundation Symposium on Financial Inclusion. Prior to joining the Foundation, she worked at the First MicroFinance Foundation in Egypt, Pact in Washington, DC, and BRAC in Bangladesh. Sumaiya also worked in the US with the National Summer Learning Association and the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene on both federal and state-level education and health policies. Sumaiya holds a Master’s in Public Policy from the Johns Hopkins University and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the University of Toronto.
Since October 2017, John has worked with core SEEP staff and the Steering and Technical Advisory Committees to help organize the program for SG2018. His experience in development started in 1968 and includes extended assignments in Africa with the U.S. Peace Corps, Partnership for Productivity and CARE International. From 1995 to 2017 he served as Microfinance Adviser and then Savings Groups Advisor for Plan International where he led the development of a global Savings Group program across 30 countries. In recent years that program focused increasingly on youth and other vulnerable populations.
Tom, CRS’ Senior Technical Advisor for Microfinance, is an Agricultural Economist, specializing in rural financial markets and microfinance, with 42 years of successful technical service provision to rural finance institutions, savings and credit cooperatives, and innovative savings groups methodologies in Africa, South Asia, and Latin America. He has worked on linking savings groups with agricultural extension services, financial education, business and marking basics training, and access to microinsurance products, specifically with a focus on using the savings groups as a platform to deliver a range of knowledge and skills to help households make better financial and management decisions.
Esther is a Senior Manager Agent and Community Banking at Post bank Uganda. She has over 15 years of retail banking and microfinance experience, with six years of working with saving groups. Esther now applies her core strengths in financial solutions for low income and small savers, to supporting the bank and Partners working with Saving Groups to provide financial solutions in terms of Product and services at post Bank Uganda.
Most recently she worked with on WSBI project of doubling the numbers at PBU. She is currently working with a number of partners on linking and digitalization of saving groups.
Dr. Robert Stone is an Associate with Oxford Policy Management and Project Director of Savings at the Frontier, a partnership between the Mastercard Foundation and Oxford Policy Management that supports the development of sustainable linkages between savings groups and formal financial service providers in Ghana, Tanzania and Zambia. He is a political economist with over 35 years’ experience of financial sector development at policy and institutional level. Robert’s recent work has included the design, implementation and evaluation of programmes in the uses of technology to deepen and broaden the financial sector; in linkages between formal and informal financial services; and in rural and agricultural finance.
Erin is an Assistant Professor with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and the study coordinator of the evaluation of Indashyikirwa. Her background is in qualitative research and uptake, with expertise in prevention of gender-based violence and gender transformative programming evaluation. She has a PhD in Public Health from the University of Cape Town and an MSc in Health, Community and Development from the London School of Economics & Political Science. She has extensive experience conducting research for programme formation and evaluation for various organisations, including CARE, Oak Foundation, Sonke Gender Justice, KMG Ethiopia, and AIDS-Free World.
Silvia has a background in economics and an MSc in Wellbeing and Human Development concluded in 2010 from the University of Bath. She is currently enrolled in her final year of PhD in International Development at the University of Bath, where she is exploring how poor people’s financial practices in Kenya affect their wellbeing. She has over five years of work experience and research in the field of financial inclusion and services for the poor, with field experience in Kenya and South Africa. She is a specialist in qualitative research methodologies, among which Realist Evaluation approach for qualitative impact evaluations.
Agnes joined Hand in Hand International as the Head of Programs in 2011, having worked for UNDP in New York and Kinshasa, DRC, focusing on private sector development. As Head of Programs, she is responsible for program development and support across Hand in Hand’s global network of operating partners, including in Kenya and Tanzania.
She holds an M.Sc. in Business and Development Studies from Copenhagen Business School and a B.Sc. in Business and Economics from the Stockholm School of Economics.
Cooper is the Country Director for Fundación Capital in Tanzania, where he leads financial inclusion and livelihoods enhancing Graduation programs for those living in poverty with government partners. Cooper has worked in East and Southern Africa since 2010 focusing on agricultural markets systems strengthening and economic empowerment of women. Cooper has a master’s degree in Agricultural Economics from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia.
Christiane is the Economic Growth Coordinator for CRS Madagascar. She oversees the country’s SILC-PSP strategy, including coordination with sectors including value chains, agriculture and health, and has been recognized as a Master Trainer for the agency. Starting in 2013, she spearheaded the coordination and advocacy efforts of Malagasy savings group promoters towards financial authorities, culminating in 2016 in the registration of the Réseau des Promoteurs de Groupes d’Épargne à Madagascar. With a master degree from the Catholic Institute of Madagascar, she has 13 years of work experience in rural economic development, including 7 years with savings group promotion.
Jessie is the Senior Director of Programs at Grameen Foundation, where she works to ensure the implementation of quality programs and partnerships in Africa, Asia and Latin America. She was previously the Deputy of Programs at Freedom from Hunger, which joined forces with Grameen Foundation in October 2016. Prior to joining Freedom from Hunger, Jessie worked with the Imp-Act Consortium, a global association of organizations, promoting social performance management by microfinance institutions. She has also worked with the UNDP (U.N. Development Program) Grassroots Poverty Reduction Program in Cameroon, provided technical assistance to Cameroonian microfinance institutions and their clients as a Peace Corps volunteer, and conducted research on small businesses and microenterprise. She holds a Master’s degree in Urban Policy Analysis and Management (New School University), a Bachelor’s degree in Economics (Sarah Lawrence College), and speaks French.
Ntsie is a member of Microfinance Sector Forum in Lesotho and has participated in the development of sector strategy on financial inclusion for under-banked and un-banked population. After Care International left Lesotho in 2015, Ntate Tlale led the process of establishing a local NGO to maintain and sustain the legacy of Care International in Lesotho, and this local version of Care International is called Care for Basotho Association (CBA). He is also the member of CBA’s Executive Committee.
Popularly known as Ntate Tlale among his colleagues and friends, was born in the Kingdom of Lesotho – a small mountainous country within South Africa – in 1967. He received Master in Development Studies from the University of the Free State in Bloemfontein in 2010. His passion for community development work took him to places and organizations.
He has worked with a number of developmental organizations both local and international in past 22 years, following his passion. Some of the organizations to name are: World Vision International, Lesotho Red Cross, Care International, and currently he is working with Catholic Relief Services Lesotho as program manager SILC (saving and internal lending communities). During his 22-years of interesting work, he was involved in a number of initiatives ranging from emergency relief to natural resource management to economic empowerment and microfinance-led savings.
Fatoumata is a Developement expert with 10 years of experience. Today, she works to improve the lives of malian women through Oxfam America’s Saving for Change Program (SFC). From 2006 to 2012, Ms. Traore has respectively held the positions of Technical Assistant, Training Officer and now Capacity Building and Monitoring Officer of SFC programs. Her active professional life started in 2005 as a Community Development Agent on the SFC program after a one-year micro-credit agent trainer work with the CAEB, a Malian local NGO. Prior to CAEB, Ms. Traore worked for two years as advisor for SONAVIE (a life insurance firm). She has an Licence in Socio –Antropology and a Master degree in International Development from the « Institut de Hautes Etudes Internationales et du Développement (IHEID) of Geneva, Switzerland.
Also, Ms. Traore has always been active in associations as peer educator on the thematics of reproductive health and has also conducted a number of surveys and animation sessions as a junior consultant.
Marguerite M. René Traore, de nationalité burkinabé, est titulaire d’un DESS en Banque/Finances et d’un diplôme de l’Institut Technique de Banque. Elle a travaillé au Burkina notamment dans l’Administration Publique en tant qu’Inspecteur du Trésor et à la Direction Nationale de la Banque Centrale des Etats de l’Afrique de l’Ouest où elle a occupé, entre autres, les postes de responsable en charge de la microfinance et de responsable de contrôle interne. Elle est, depuis 2017, Directrice Générale du Fonds d’Appui aux Activités Rémunératrices des Femmes (FAARF), structure qui œuvre pour l’autonomisation économique de la femme au Burkina depuis 1991.
Marguerite M. René Traore Damiba, a national of Burkina Faso, has a Master’s degree in banking and finance and a diploma from the Banking Technical Institute (ITB). She has worked in the Government of Burkina Faso, notably as Inspector of the Treasury and the Coordinator for microfinance and internal control at the country office of the Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO). Since 2017, Marguerite serves as Director General of the national fund for women’s income-generating activities (FAARF), a national structure dedicated to women’s economic empowerment in Burkina Faso since 1991.
Mbonisi has over 10 years’ experience delivering programs to enhance the wellbeing of youth, vulnerable children and marginalized families in Zimbabwe, and building capacity of the community organizations that serve them. As Economic Strengthening Specialist at World Education - Bantwana, he supports development and roll out of interventions that build economic resilience among vulnerable households and young people. In this role, he has spearheaded economic transition of over 4,000 households through savings groups and school based income generating projects and has been instrumental in developing and adapting youth livelihoods interventions for key populations, including adolescent girls and young women selling sex.
Stella is a Savings Groups Consultant. An expert in the field of community managed microfinance with 21 years’ experience, she is one of the most senior microfinance and SG specialists in East Africa. Since 2004 she has promoted the spread of SGs across African regions by organizing learning events on savings groups involving several African countries. While with Plan Tanzania she managed the Banking on Change project that facilitated the formation of over 3,000 saving groups (2009-2015). Stella researched and pioneered Intermediating Associations (IMAs) for savings groups and has designed several SG programs integrated with income generation, youth employment, sanitation, hygiene, maternal and child health.
A. Umarani is the CEO of Kalanjiam Foundation. She is a agriculture science graduate with post graduate in personnel management and master's in sociology. Underwent 4-month Management Education Programme in IIMA. Has 27 years experience in DHAN Foundation handled microfinance, HRD, Academic, Research, Training and capacity building for the sector. Founded and Headed Tata-Dhan Academy for 14 years. Currently heading Kalanjiam Foundation as CEO, managing a sustainable SHG-Federation model of microfinance (community banking) largely linked with banks under SHG-Bank Linkage programme. Working on policy advocacy and sustainability of community banking model for poverty eradication, women empowerment and grassroots democracy with reach of about one million poor women (households) and Rs 1000 crores transactions through about 200 sustainable federations". Teaching courses on microfinance and leadership to post graduate management students.
Marcienne has 17 years’ experience in financial inclusion, entrepreneurship, youth training, project formulation and implementation. She is L-IFT Program Manager and has been key for the development of the training curriculum, the communication mechanisms in the field and the community relations. She has now worked on five major financial diaries studies, in Togo (and Ethiopia) about youth savings accounts, Uganda and Ghana and youth livelihoods and finance, and in Uganda on financial and energy diaries. Throughout the five diaries projects informal savings forms have been a focus. Marcienne has worked on informal savings groups in Rwanda for various organisations.
From 2012 to date, Sidonie heads women program at CARE International in Rwanda. She is a seasoned senior expert with a wider range of experience in gender equality and women empowerment. She is a gender and development and public health specialist with over 15 years’ experience of work in different capacities within the Rwandan Government public institutions, International NGO and CSOs. She is member of various experts group across the globe.
The Indashyikirwa project is part of her work with CARE. She has been instrumental in designing it and providing overall leadership and oversight during its implementation. She holds a Master’s degree in public health (MPH) and a Master’s of social sciences in Gender and Development (MSc).
Maria is National Technical Coordinator of Entrepreneurship and Employability in Plan International in Peru. She holds a degree in Economics from the National University of San Marcos UNMSM, with a Master's Degree in Business Administration from the ESAN University. She specializes in social and microfinance programs with a gender focus. She has served as Manager of the Consortium for the Promotion of Women and the Community PROMUC, an entity that promotes Communal banks through the ImpAct Project financed by the FORD Foundation and three British Universities.
Kuria Wanjau is a Certified Public Accountant, with a degree in Economics. Currently he is working part-time as the manager for FSD Africa’s Forcibly Displaced People (FDP) Theme, consulting on financial literacy for the World Bank (Kenya office), digitisation of savings groups transactions and records for Strømme Foundation East Africa and the SEEP Network on various capacities, among them co-facilitating the FSD Network’s community finance working group (CFWG).
Until September 2017, he worked as FSD Kenya’s Savings Groups Project Manager. Prior to that, he managed the Decentralised Financial Services (DFS) project - a rural finance action research project that developed training manuals for Trainer of Trainers (ToTs) and groups served by Accumulating Savings and Credit Associations (ASCAs), Financial Services Associations (FSAs) and Savings and Credit Co-operatives (SACCOs). In the field of accounting, he has experience in bookkeeping and financial reporting, auditing, Budgeting and Business Planning, Taxation and Company Secretarial.
As co-facilitator of the Savings-Led Working Group, Ashley leads the planning and implementation of the working group’s activities on two key thematic areas: consumer protection and gender. Ashley has over ten years of experience developing and managing a broad range of international development programs ranging from alternative urban sanitation to microfranchising. After being introduced to Savings Groups while working in Bangladesh, Ashley was inspired to seek opportunities to promote and strengthen Savings Groups programs. Prior to joining SEEP, Ashley worked as an Economic Development Consultant at World Vision Australia where she supported their global scale-up of Savings Groups. Ashley is delighted to have the opportunity to contribute to the learning agenda of SEEP’s Savings-Led Working Group.
As a Technical Specialist for BRAC, Lauren provides technical and advisory services on the Graduation Approach to governments in Kenya, Lesotho, Tanzania, and the Philippines and multilateral partners including IFAD, UNICEF, World Bank, and ADB. Prior to BRAC, she was awarded a Fulbright scholarship in Ecuador to design a Graduation pilot and baseline research on livelihoods and financial inclusion programming targeting refugees with UNHCR.
Her previous experience includes Accion International, Mercy Corps, IDB’s Inter-American Investment Corporation, and InterAction. Lauren holds an M.A. in Global Human Development, Refugees & Humanitarian Emergencies, and Social Enterprise from Georgetown University, and a B.A. from Princeton University.
Berhanu has worked as a civil servant in the Ethiopian government for the past thirty years. He currently serves as the Director of the Food Security Coordination Directorate of the Rural Jobs Opportunity Creation and Food Security Sector of the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resource. In that capacity, he oversees the government’s Productive Safety Net Programme, which currently provides safety net support to nearly eight million food insecure individuals in Ethiopia. Mr. Berhanu received a B.Sc degree in Agricultural Economics in June 1984 from Alemaya University, previously known as the Alemaya College of Agriculture, in Ethiopia.
Jason is a Program Officer at Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, coordinating a growing portfolio and learning agenda on self-help groups in Africa. Jason has nearly 20 years of experience in almost 50 countries, including an 11-year career at USAID, where he applied expertise in community-based livelihoods and inclusive economic growth to address the structural barriers of populations made vulnerable by HIV, food insecurity, and poverty. Most recently, he led the design and delivery of evidence-based social protection and community norms change interventions to reduce new HIV infections among young women in 10 high-burden countries of sub-Saharan Africa.
Currently working in UASID carrying for vulnerable children project as Economic Security Specialist in Plan Ethiopia, which is the technical lead organization for Economic strengthening component, he is responsible for providing technical assistance in the formation of saving groups using VSLA methodology. He has a BA degree in Economics and Master’s Degree in Social work, and extensive work experiences in government, INGO, and private sector working in OVC and HVC programs as Livelihoods/economic strengthening officer and regional coordinator supporting partners to establish saving groups to improve the livelihoods of vulnerable children and their families.
Oyuki provides program leadership at National Union of Disabled Persons of Uganda (NUDIPU), an indigenous umbrella body that brings together all disability categories in Uganda. Trained as an environmentalist, Yofisa has spent his career working on the intersection of empowerment, environment and disability development.
Oyuki has eight years’ experience in program management, providing technical lead to disability agencies, governments and community based projects. He has developed capacities in program design, monitoring and evaluation. Yofisa holds a Master’s degree in Public Health, a Bachelor of Environmental Management and Post Graduate Diploma in Project Planning and Management.
Fatma is the coordinator of the Women on the Move Impact Growth Strategy, an initiative that focuses on saving groups as entry points for women empowerment and voice in West Africa. Before joining the CARE regional team in West Africa, Mrs Zennou was the head of gender program in CARE Niger, for 13 years where oversaw the conception, implementation of Mata Masu Dubara (MMD/ Saving Groups in Niger) related projects. She also led an MMD/ health integrated project in Agadez. In her years of experience, Mrs. Zennou has enabled the implementation of MMD in pastoralist contexts, accompanied the creation of MMD networks and federations focusing on their quality and strategies. She invested in the political participation aspects of MMD and linkages of groups/ networks with civil society organizations. Mrs. Zennou and her team also worked on the establishment of gender platforms, comprised of men and MMD women, encouraging men’s participation to the advancement of right women in Niger. Mrs Zennou is a medical doctor, graduated from the University of Niamey.
Sitholubuhle is a seasoned development practitioner with over 15 years’ experience in community development and HIV related work. She is a Research Coordinator at the Centre for Sexual Health and HIV/AIDS Research (CeSHHAR) in Zimbabwe. Besides leading the research agenda, she is part of a team that mobilizes and supports adolescent girls and young women selling sex with health and social protection interventions. She implements programs that promote absorption of economic empowerment, sexual and reproductive health, second chance education, and HIV testing services for AGYW selling sex. With CeSHHAR, she supports a cohort of 3,200 adolescent girls and young women selling sex.