Kadi Aboubacar is currently the Cash Transfer Manager within the Social Nets Unit of the office of the Premier Minister of Niger.
He holds a bachelor in sociology and a master's degree in social services management. After graduating from university, he worked for two years as a national civic service conscript at the Ministry of Planning before being recruited as a young professional on a project on Household Living Conditions and Security with CARE International in Niger.
He then worked as a field supervisor for the Savings Groups (MMD) program in CARE Niger where he was supporting creation and supervising to women's groups in collaboration with village agents and developed expertise in the development of local initiatives.
Over time, Mr. Kadi has strengthened his expertise in social protection, social safety nets through the implementation of development activities in partnership with various actors including firms, NGOs, microfinance institutions. He also received a range of trainings including among others on social safety nets, life skills, IGA techniques, cash transfer and support measures in particular.
Weselina Angelow is a development and financial inclusion expert with two decades of experience in initiatives across Eastern Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America.
Weselina works with WSBI's Advisory Services and is part of the Institute's global efforts towards universal financial access. She currently manages the anglophone project portfolio and learning agenda of WSBI's Scale2Save initiative. Her particular focus is on understanding the business case of small balance savings and the drivers of usage for formal financial services when offered to the underserved and unbanked.
Julia Arnold is the Financial Inclusion and Livelihoods Specialist at the International Center for Research on Women. In this role, Julia provides technical inputs to research and evaluations focused on gender, women's economic empowerment, and livelihood development.
Julia has ten years of experience working on financial inclusion, microfinance and savings-related projects ranging from customer centric approaches to product and service design, employee and agent empowerment, entrepreneurship, as well as research and evaluations on digital financial services (DFS) solutions, particularly those aimed at women.
Sukhwinder Arora leads the Savings at the Frontier Programme (SatF) at Oxford Policy Management. SatF works with nine financial services providers in Ghana, Tanzania and Zambia to test commercial models which meet financial services demand from informal savers. He has more than 30 years’ experience of designing, implementing, monitoring and evaluating financial and private sector development projects in over 30 countries. Sukhwinder worked as the DFID Private Sector Development Adviser for 11 years from 1996 to 2007. He has contributed to two books: The Poor and their Money (with Stuart Rutherford) and Small Customer, Big Market: Commercial Banks in Microfinance (with Malcolm Harper).
Schelda is a skilled humanitarian with strong expertise in managing emergency food security programs as well as in developing proposals. She has an excellent breadth of experience in disaster management, served amongst others in 4 major humanitarian emergency responses across the world: the Haiti Earthquake Emergency Response, the Sahel Response in Chad and in Mauritania, the Typhoon Haiyan response in the Philippines and the South Sudan conflict response. Schelda has a bachelor’s degree in Applied Quantitative Economy from the State University in Haiti and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Maryland University College in the United States of America. Schelda is also a certified food assistance manager. She has worked for World Vision for a total of almost 10 years in various positions in the areas of Food Security and Livelihoods and Monitoring, Evaluation and Accountability. Schelda is currently based in the US where she serves as a Business Development Manager in the Food Security and Livelihoods team. She is fluent in French, English and Haitian Creole. She has travelled to 25 countries so far and is dedicated to contributing to a hunger-free world.
Esther currently serves as World Vision Australia's Financial Inclusion & Resilience Advisor. Her portfolio includes providing technical support to World Vision's informal and formal interventions in access to finance, from community-based Savings for Transformation groups focused on inclusion of vulnerable community members to developing and implementing innovative approaches to enable small and growing businesses to scale. She currently supports projects in Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Ghana and Laos. Esther's experience spans innovation, results measurement, social performance, project and commercial management in NGOs, private and international organizations. She holds a Masters in Public Administration (International Development) and is based in Australia.
marc bavois has worked in pro-poor microfinance for over 15 years, with field experience in more than 20 countries. As Senior Technical Advisor for Microfinance, he leads CRS’s work on the SILC-PSP methodology. He has written the manuals and trainer guides used in SILC programs across the agency and spearheaded a Master Trainer program. Previously he worked with Freedom from Hunger, where he supported several African MFIs and contributed to the development of the Saving for Change methodology. marc is based in Dar es Salaam.
Meg Bearor is Pact's Livelihoods & Economic Opportunities Advisor, focusing on access to capital and youth livelihoods while overseeing strategy and global coordination for Pact's signature WORTH Savings Group program. With over 5 years as an international development professional, Meg also brings extensive field program management experience working regionally across East and Southern Africa. Meg holds an MA in Intercultural Leadership & Management from SIT Graduate Institute and a Hon. BA in African Studies and Political Science from the University of Toronto.
Mabel Bejarano is the Women Empowered (WE) Associate Technical Adviser for Latin America at PCI. Mabel leads WE Initiative's technical assistance and program quality activities, provides strategic direction and support monitoring, evaluation and documentation for the region. Based in Guatemala, Mabel provides remote and in-country assistance to implementing PCI teams and partners, contributing to the development and implementation of specific strategies, savings and loans programs and methodologies. Mabel has a BA in psychology, a MS in nonprofit management and currently is pursuing a master's in business administration. Her passion is to foster women's independence, decision making and agency.
Peter Brian is an economic development specialist who has spent the last eight years designing, implementing and managing economic strengthening portfolios for three USAID programs. He is now the Economic Strengthening Advisor at Pact Tanzania for the world's largest USAID program for orphans and vulnerable children (OVC), which supports 300,000 community members to access consumption support, participate in 12,000 savings groups, improve money management skills, start and improve production, and access markets. He has been recognized with four professional awards for excellence in economic development from DAI, Africare, and Pact.
Deena Burjorjee is an independent consultant with over twenty years of experience working on access to finance issues, with a specific focus on women’s financial inclusion, responsible finance, and market systems facilitation. She has built up considerable experience advising on policy reform to promote inclusive financial sector development in the Arab States facilitating national consultative processes in Egypt, Jordan, Yemen, Palestine and Tunisia. Ms. Burjorjee is a Financial Inclusion Specialist and Co-Facilitator of CGAP’s Women’s Financial Inclusion Community of Practice (COP). She has authored numerous papers on access to finance topics related to gender, refugees, and market systems development, and produced technical guides to support the capacity development of member based associations. She holds a Masters of International Affairs from Columbia University, where she has also taught courses and workshops on microfinance at the Graduate School for International and Public Affairs (SIPA) and has held positions as Technical Advisor and Programme Manager at UNDP and UNCDF between 1997 - 2006.
Isabelle leads insight2impact’s work on measuring financial inclusion and policy innovation for a digital world. She brings with her 20 years of experience in international development in evaluation and impact measurement in Africa and Asia, and is passionate about creating a digital society in which all people can thrive. She holds a Masters in Development Management from the London School of Economics and a Bachelors in International Relations with Development Studies.
Ellen Chigwanda is the Advocacy Advisor for Education with CARE USA. She is responsible for using CARE's global programming evidence on girls' education to multiply the impact of this work through learning exchange platforms and working with various stakeholders and government partners. Prior to holding this position, Ellen was the Project Manager for CARE under IGATE – a Girls' Education Challenge project implemented in Zimbabwe through a consortium led by World Vision. Ms. Chigwanda holds a Masters in Development Studies. She is a 2016 Echidna Global Scholar (Girls Education) and a 2019 Obama Africa Leader.
Gloria has been a member of Buchetekelo Youth Savings Group for two years. She got the motivation to join the group from her mother who is a S4T group trainer. Speaking about the benefits of savings, Gloria said: "Through savings and access to credit, I have been able to start a small ice lolly selling business from which I have managed to help my parents buy my school requisites. Before l pursue my health environmentalist dream, l want to grow my business and diversify into rice selling so that I increase my savings and open a mobile account."
Bezant Chongo is a financial inclusion specialist and has worked in different capacities across Africa supporting a wide range of financial service providers (banks, MFIs, NGOs, MNOs etc) in developing products and services for low-income market segments. He started his career 15 years ago working for a microfinance bank in Zambia. Now based in Johannesburg, Bezant joined SaveAct (a financial services promoter) in 2018 as Technical Advisor. He is currently overseeing its roll-out into Gauteng as part of SaveAct’s expansion into the urban context. Bezant has spent the last 10 years as a consultant with Positive Planet International driving its technical assistance work in digital finance and financial inclusion. He holds a Diploma in Banking, a Bachelor of Business Administration and a Master in Microfinance from the University of Bergamo, Italy.
Gerhard Coetzee leads the customer value team at CGAP, responsible for work on customer segments and insights; protection and value; evidence and impact, and the Gateway Academy, a digital learning marketplace. He is an Extraordinary Professor at the University of Stellenbosch Business School. Previously Gerhard was Head of Inclusive Banking at Absa Bank (South Africa) responsible for its branchless banking offering and founder of the Centre for Inclusive Banking in Africa at the University of Pretoria. Gerhard holds a Ph.D. in Agricultural Economics from the University of Pretoria, South Africa.
Joel Cox is the Director of Operations for Seed Effect, a Christian faith based economic development organization operating VSLA groups, livelihood trainings, and spiritual development activities with over 25,000 South Sudanese refugees and rural Ugandans in northern Uganda. Joel, based in the U.S., provides strategic guidance and support to the local South Sudanese and Ugandan staff of 50 leading the operations in country.
Samson Dahwa currently works for CARE International Zimbabwe as a Project Manager for Improving Gender, Attitudes, Transition and Education Outcomes (IGATE-T) and Building Climate Resilient Schools (BCRS). He has 16 years of experience and knowledge in microfinance, micro enterprise, partner capacity building, humanitarian and development work in both rural and urban areas of Zimbabwe. Samson has an honors degree in Sociology, a Master of Science in Gender and Policy Studies, and has nearly completed a Master of Commerce in Strategic Management and Corporate Governance. He is also a member of CARE Zimbabwe Extended Senior Management Board.
Mr. Abdillahi has proven expertise in delivering access to financial services and managing teams to achieve results, with an excellent theoretical and practical knowledge of financial inclusion such as Islamic finance, mobile money, banks, MFIs, RUSACCOs and VSLAs, and practical successes include his central role in the establishment of three Islamic MFIs in Pastoralist areas of Ethiopia. Abdillahi has more than 17 years of experience in financial inclusion and he holds MA in Urban Management with specialization in Local Economy and Social Development.
Thomas de Hoop is a principal economist at American Institutes for Research. He is the co-Principal Investigator for the Evidence Consortium on Women's groups, where his research studies the synergies between economic self-help groups (SHGs) and social protection programs, costs and cost-effectiveness of the National Rural Livelihoods Mission in India, typology of women's groups, and evidence syntheses on the impact of women's groups on asset ownership, including country-specific evidence syntheses in Uganda and Nigeria. Previously, he conducted a systematic review on the impact of economic SHGs on women's empowerment and a study on the impact of SHGs in Odhisha, India.
Since 2014, Morgan has worked with adolescents and children on community development activities, first as a field officer and later as a Business and Entrepreneurship Development Officer. Morgan started supporting adolescent Savings Groups in 2018, conducting sessions with mentors and community representatives on adolescent participation in entrepreneurship and adolescent SRH. Morgan has extensive experience in training and supporting adolescent groups and a wealth of knowledge on the opportunities and practical issues faced during the implementation of adolescent savings activities. She has recently completed her Masters in Project Management at the Mt Kenya University in Kigali
Diana is team leader of the Mastercard Foundation Savings Learning Lab. 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.
Diana specializes in learning and organizational development, capacity assessment, program implementation and evaluation, and new business development. She works with global alliances and learning networks on knowledge management, engagement and expansion strategies. She has undertaken global research on strategic risks and opportunities facing MFIs in the developing world. She has worked in senior leadership positions of international organizations in both Washington and the field, including The SEEP Network and ACCION USA.
Dagaba Diakité is an educationalist with nearly 30 years of experience in implementing formal and non-formal education initiatives in Mali. Since 2015, he has served as the Project Manager for the Education for Change initiative. Dagaba has worked extensively with the Government of Mali in the design and refinement of non-formal education processes, combining academic skills development with building leadership skills, economic empowerment and adolescent-led advocacy. He has led the implementation of an innovative design combining adolescent savings and loans with adolescent-led action on disaster risk reduction, gender and SRH. Dagaba holds a teaching degree from École Normale Superiore in Mali.
Anna Ferracuti works for the UN Capital Development Fund as Programme Coordinator for Financial Inclusion in Tanzania and Rwanda. She manages projects with savings groups in refugee and host communities, on financial and digital literacy as well as research. These projects look at achieving and measuring youth and women’s economic empowerment. She believes in the power of digital technology and data analytics as means to an end
Alexandra Fiorillo is a behavioral science and human-centered design specialist who serves as Principal of GRID Impact. Alex has over 18 years of experience designing products, services and policies that benefit marginalized and vulnerable communities. Her work focuses on the impact of scarcity on financial decision-making, designing behaviorally informed financial education programs and consumer protection policies, and co-creating financial products and services that meet customer needs. Her previous work at CGAP, Microfinance Transparency, ACCION, Banco Solidario del Ecuador, and Financial Sector Deepening Uganda inform much of her current work.
Fredrick Roy currently serves as Programme Assistant- Gender and Youth at Financial Sector Deepening Zambia under the Women and Youth Financial Inclusion and Capabilities thematic area. He is passionate about the social and economic empowerment of women and youth. His work has included leading the pilot of Digital Youth Savings Groups in low income settlements in Zambia. This entails developing an understanding of the SG model and development of the SG training tool to refine and test it to integrate digital.
He works in close collaboration with digital financial service providers, government youth empowerment ministries, CSOs and young mentors. He has worked in rural Zambia developing an understanding of young people’s socio-economic constraints with an aim of transitioning them from vulnerability to economic independence. He successfully facilitated the mobilization, sensitization, and formation of two digital youth Savings Groups with whom the digital savings platform is being piloted.
Bindi provides technical assistance to Grameen’s global financial services and women’s economic empowerment programming, with a special focus on refugee finance and East Africa. Bindi brings 16 years of experience designing, managing and providing technical assistance to financial services and livelihoods programs in developing countries, and ten years’ field experience living and working in East and West Africa. This includes five years as Financial Inclusion Technical Lead for the USAID Community Connector Project in Uganda, experience designing agriculture loan and savings group loan products based on customer-centered market research, and one year managing a large-scale DFID-funded program providing cash transfers and livelihoods support to vulnerable people and Internally Displaced Persons (IDP’s) in South Sudan. Her main areas of expertise include Savings Group formation and training, linkages to formal financial institutions, women’s economic empowerment, digital financial services, financial product design, digital literacy and gender approaches to financial inclusion.
John Kamau is a data analyst with over five years of experience in data analysis, machine learning, business innovation and problem solving. He has worked as an operational analyst, in market research and in technology, creating credit scoring systems and other machine learning applications for several startups. John is currently working as a data expert at L-IFT with a focus in analytics in R and Python. John converts data into stories that people can soak up, remember and retell.
Robert Kiboti joined Equity Bank in May 2005 and is currently the Managing Director of Equity Bank Tanzania Limited. He has over 24 years’ experience in banking and has held various leadership positions. Before joining Equity Bank Tanzania, he was the general manager in charge of Equity Supreme Centre. Prior to joining Equity Bank, he worked for 7 years in various capacities at the Industrial Development Bank. Robert holds a bachelor’s degree in economics and administration from Maharshi Dayan University, India and has attended several professional courses in banking and finance both locally and internationally.
Grace Majara Kibombo is a champion for the VSLA methodology, taking it to scale in and outside East Africa. She has a demonstrated ability in providing strategic direction to multi-sector programs in the areas of market inclusion and value chain, entrepreneurship and associated livelihood sectors like agriculture. She has deep experience in applying gender transformative approaches and in developing research-based models for expanding opportunities for women and youth empowerment. She is experienced in establishing and preserving strong relationships with different sectors. She holds a Master Degree in Natural Resources and Sustainable Agriculture from Agricultural University of Norway.
Angela Kohama is the Inclusive Livelihood Policy Lead at Humanity & Inclusion. She designs and coordinates technical assistance on inclusion to mainstream economic development organizations and provides internal technical support to inclusive economic development projects globally. Prior to her role at HI, Angela worked for Disabled People's Organizations and NGOs in India, Timor-Leste and the U.S. She holds an MPA in Development Practice from Columbia University and a BA from University of Oregon.
Anton is SaveAct’s Founder and Director. He has been an activator of social change processes from apartheid South Africa through to inclusive national initiatives to address poverty, HIV, and the marginalization of women. He has been able to fulfil a pioneering role in the adaptation of the VSLA model to local conditions and has contributed towards putting savings groups on the map 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.
Sam Kalinda is a development professional with over 10 years of experience in community development and humanitarian work with the Government of Rwanda, NGOs and community organizations. He currently serves as the Project Manager for two large scale adolescent empowerment projects implemented by CARE Rwanda. In this role, Sam designs and implements a unique mentorship package for marginalized adolescent girls and boys in lower secondary schools, combining leadership skills development, adolescent savings, financial literacy & actions to address GBV. Sam holds a post-graduate degree in Project Management and an undergraduate degree in Economics.
Adetunji Lamidi is the Group Head of Financial Inclusion at First City Monument bank Limited & MD/CEO of FCMB Microfinance Bank Limited. He has more than 25 years’ experience in the telecommunication and financial sector, including Business development, Microfinance, Sales management and Financial Inclusion. He is responsible for the development of Financial inclusion strategies to enhance acquisition of New-To–Bank Customers across the Country. He has been in the fore front of the development of innovative products that cuts across Mass market, Agency banking, Digital financial Services and just recently launched a Micro lending initiatives with the licensing of a State Microfinance bank based in OYO State, South west of Nigeria.
Hanna is a financial sector consultant with five years of international experience, working at the cross-section of research and implementation. As MREL manager of the Savings at the Frontier (SatF) programme, Hanna has been exploring monitoring mechanisms and research methods that support adaptive programme management, and data-driven decision making in SatF partners. Hanna has a keen interest in behavioural sciences applications in research methods and decision-support, and organisational behaviour. She joined OPM in 2017 and has contributed to and led impact evaluations and research studies for the World Bank, DFID and UNCDF. Before joining OPM, she worked as a research associate for a non-profit financial sector consultancy in South Africa.
Karen Lewin is the Product Director for VisionFund International, based on Perth, Australia.
In this role, she resources and guides the organization’s work in credit management and product development among VisionFund's 29 microfinance institutions. Karen particularly focuses on VisionFund's Savings Group linkage work. Other products include loans for buying dairy cows and equipment, agricultural assets, solar products and water and sanitation. Karen comes from a microfinance and Saving Group background, having managed a microfinance institution in Cambodia and a Saving Group program in Papua New Guinea. She joined World Vision in 2006 and VisionFund in 2009.
Christian Loupéda, Senior Director for Financial Inclusion, has 25 years of experience in International Development, most of which in financial services for the poor including integrated services, various self-help group methodologies, digital finance, branchless banking and Social Performance Management. Before Grameen Foundation, Christian supported Freedom from Hunger’s financial inclusion programming and was previously Operations Officer at World Bank and Project Manager, Small Enterprise Development at Catholic Relief Services. Mr. Loupéda has a Bachelors in Economics and a Masters in advanced studies in Development Economics from the Université de Paris II. He speaks fluent French and English.
Honorable Josephine Makieu Government of Sierra Leone Josephine is a dedicated health professional with extensive experience in care giving, planning and implementation as well as administrative support. She understands the importance of compassion and practice and it is the lack of this and poor service delivery that motivated her to engage in politics to advocate for improved health services and the empowerment women.
A creative and resourceful individual with a track record of playing a contributory role in civic programs, she joined the Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) in 1991. She moved through the ranks and eventually served as Regional Secretary General of the Women’s Wing in the Southern Province of Sierra Leone from 2004 to 2012.
Josephine is a graduate of the WELD Project funded by the USAID and she won the 2018 election. She is currently a serving Member of Parliament (Constituency 014. She is a member of the female parliamentary caucus and is a member of key committees including health and agriculture.
Ismail Shaadin is a humanitarian professional with 25 years of experience in the private and social sectors. He has worked in a variety of roles for CRS Sudan since 2008, in Darfur then Khartoum, most recently as Senior Project Officer for SILC. Shaadin was instrumental to the design of CRS’s Sharia-compliant SILC approach and piloted it in West Darfur, providing crucial insights into its current incarnation. He previously worked with CARE Sudan, Areeba/MTN and the Ministry of Education. He is happily married with four beautiful children.
Andrew Magunda is a monitoring & evaluation and financial literacy specialist and research with 14 years of experience in East, Central and West Africa, mainly working on youth financial education and products, and adult rural saving initiatives. Andrew is a Country Manager with L-IFT in Uganda and has worked on SEEP's study on the long-term performance and evolution of savings groups in Uganda and Mali. Andrew currently works on the Refugee Financial Diaries research project in Uganda. Andrew has led over 15 savings evaluations and has served on evaluation committees for Global Youth Economic Opportunities Conference (USA) Aflatoun International (Holland).
David Mansaray is the CEO of Orange Mobile financial services (also known as Orange Money SL Ltd) in Sierra Leone. Orange Money is one of the key drivers of financial inclusion in Sierra Leone and continuously partners with government institutions, private organisations, NGOs and individuals to provide simple, safe and secure means of doing cashless transaction. David is a disciplined professional with over 15 years’ experience in both the private and public sectors at senior management level with sound knowledge in digital financial services, banking, corporate governance, risk management, financial management and leadership.
Nsika has over a decade experience within the Sub-Saharan Banking and Finance Sector focused on capital raising, risk management, property and global markets both at Stanlib and Standard Bank. He is the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and Head of Corporate Finance and Advisory at SUCA, a specialist boutique management consultancy firm. He is also CFO at the National Stokvel Association of South Africa (NASASA), and is responsible for the funding strategy, business modelling and value proposition articulation for the R200 billion per annum economy emanating from the stokvel practice of savings.
Carmelia is from Gaza, southern Mozambique where one in two girls is married before 18 years old. At 13 years old, her and other girls vowed that none of them had to go through the same and joined an adolescent girl's SG. "With the loans we were able to start our own small businesses and fend for ourselves... We are going after our own dreams". The SG also constitute a safe space for the girls to candidly talk about issues such as gender based violence and agree on how to address it. Carmelia would like to become an Agronomist.
Estefania McPhaul is an international development practitioner with ten years of experience managing economic growth and trade donor programs in Southeast Asia and the Latin America and Caribbean region. Ms. McPhaul was the senior manager of the USAID Rural Financial Initiative in Colombia implemented by Chemonics International. Currently, she provides technical guidance and support to Chemonics’ portfolio of economic growth and trade projects and is responsible for designing and implementing Chemonics corporate economic growth strategy.
Dennis Mello is the Senior Program Manager for the Women Empowered (WE) program, PCI's Savings Group methodology. In this role, Dennis provides technical and programmatic management to programs across Africa, Latin America and Asia. A civil engineer by training with project management experience in the private, public and nonprofit sectors, Dennis has worked in community-driven programming since 2007, with a focus on Savings Groups over the past six years.
Project Concern International's (PCI) mission is to enhance health, end hunger, overcome hardship and advance women & girls—resulting in meaningful and measurable change in people's lives.
Innocent Mfinanga serves as Pact's Technology and Product Development Specialist, supporting the development of Pact's technology products such as the myWORTH app, Capacity Solutions Platform, Learning Management platform, and other technology products. Innocent previously worked for the Sauti project of Pact Tanzania as the myWORTH IT Support Officer, for JISA Technologies as the Technology Officer and for the Arusha Giraffe Hotel as the IT and Systems Administration Officer. He holds a BA in Engineering, a CCNA certification, and a certificate in Monitoring and Evaluation, and is pursuing a master's degree in Computer /IT Systems Engineering.
Ayishetu has been a member of Onuado Savings Group since she was 17. She joined for fear of dropping out of school like her other eight siblings due to poverty. "I aspire to be an example for young girls in similar conditions living in small communities and show that it's possible to succeed if you are determined, regardless of the cultural, religious and social limitations. My greatest achievement as a young girl has been not getting pregnant at a young age and gaining admission into senior secondary school to keep my dream on course of working in the military."
Whitney Moret is an M&E specialist and gender and social inclusion advisor at FHI 360 with nearly a decade of experience working on programs to empower women, youth, and vulnerable populations. She is the former Technical Director of the USAID-funded Accelerating Strategies for Practical Innovation and Research in Economic Strengthening (ASPIRES) project, where she led research initiatives and provided technical assistance to economic strengthening programs across ten African countries. She has published over a dozen technical resources on economic strengthening, including peer-reviewed journal articles, practitioner guidance, and tools for field research and implementation.
Abel Motsomi is a Senior Information and Research Specialist with FinMark Trust (FMT). He currently co-leads the Youth and Gender cluster at FMT. Since joining FMT, Abel has been Project Lead for the FinScope Consumer Survey studies in more than 9 countries and has supported in more than 13 countries. FinScope surveys have a special interest in the use of Savings Groups as financial mechanisms to access savings and credit. He has done a series of customised analysis across youth and gender highlighting the drivers and barriers to financial inclusion, especially the use of informal savings groups. He has recently been promoting the use of data for product design while driving the financial inclusion agenda.
Mbinya Mutiso is an independent consultant working with Savings at the Frontier (SatF) in demand side research and learning. She has a rich experience in enhancing the reach and usage of financial products and deepening financial inclusion for low-income savers by designing savings mobilization strategies, creating financial linkages and delivery channels that are proximate, sustainable, affordabile and usable.
Mbinya holds a MA degree in rural sociology and community development and has attended various professional courses in market research and product development, digital money, rural agriculture finance and agent network management among others.
Melch Muhame Natukunda works at CARE International in Uganda on innovative and sustainable business solutions that increase financial inclusion for low-income and vulnerable populations.
Prior to this role he worked as Product Manager, Social Investment Fund with Barclays Bank Uganda driving the financial inclusion strategy. He has also supported the development of financial inclusion strategies in Uganda with key stakeholders.
He holds MSc Development Economics, Post graduate Diploma in Microfinance, Certificate in Community Based Microfinance for Financial Inclusion from Coady Institute, and Certificate in Sustainable Microenterprise Development Program from the University of New Hampshire.
Sabasaba Moshingi joined TPB Bank in 2011 as CEO. Prior to this, Sabasaba was Regional Head of Consumer Banking, Operational Risk and Sales Governance in Northern Gulf, Levant and Oman based in the Kingdom of Bahrain for Standard Chartered Bank. Sabasaba is an Eisenhower Fellow, Board Member, President of Africa Regional Group and Vice President of the Presidents Committee of WSBI; Governing Council Member and Representative in East African Community of the Tanzania Bankers Association; and Governing Council Member and Chairman Education Committee of the Tanzania Institute of Bankers. Sabasaba is a certified chartered banker with an MBA.
Angeline Munzara is the Technical Director for External Engagement & Savings Groups at World Vision. She leads the partnership in positioning globally as a partner of choice with donors and technical partners and amplifying the voices of children in policy making processes. She is also the SGs Project Model lead supporting over 55 World Vision offices. Angeline has over 15 years of development experience working with non-governmental organizations at the national, regional (SADC) and international level. She is currently the Global Chair for the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization's (FAO) International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture Compliance Committee (2019-2021).
Gift Mwase is a Program Coordinator for Economic Empowerment in World Relief Malawi. He is passionate about financial inclusion for the poorest in the most difficult to work in areas. For over 10 years, Gift has developed, managed and advocated for cost-efficient and self-sustaining financial inclusion programming like Savings Groups. He is passionate about opening Savings Groups to all people regardless of their social, economic, political or religious standing.
Lilian Nkengla has worked extensively on gender integration in agriculture, resilience and market systems-related research in several INGOs such as IITA, ICRISAT. Currently, she is a Senior Advisor for Agriculture and Markets at Oxfam America. She provides technical support in both the implementation and assessments of market-based approaches in food systems and facilitates linkage to markets for a more sustainable rural economy, leveraging on platforms such as SFC, cooperatives and smallholder producer groups. Lilian holds a PhD in Gender and Natural Resource Management from Brandenburg University of Technology, Germany.
Davy Roland Nouebissi received BSc degree in System and Network Security from the Ecole Supérieure de Gestion d’Informatique et des Scienses, Lome, Togo and his MSc in Information Technology from the Sikkim Manipal University, Accra, Ghana.
In 2013, he joined Computer Information System Ghana Ltd, as web designer & IT support, and then became a customer service specialist of its subsidiary financial technology company, Interpay Limited, Ghana. In 2018, Roland played a key role in developing technical solutions and integration with companies.
Roland currently serves as Emergent Payments’ financial inclusion project management lead for its Savings at the Frontier program which is funded by the Mastercard foundation to digitize savings and loans groups in Ghana. He serves as an executive, professionalism manager and social media coordinator of Grace Chorale Internationale.
Edwin Ocharo works as a Senior Projects Officer at Postbank – Kenya, where he coordinates various business and ICT projects. He has 13 years’ experience in banking industry, 6 of which have been with Savings Groups. He has actively participated in building business models on how banks can reach the unbanked and underbanked, with specific focus on women and youth. He has deep understanding of partnerships management, agency banking and the role mobile technology plays in service delivery. He is a graduate in entrepreneurship and diploma graduate in Public Relations.
Lise is an independent consultant with 10 years' experience in youth topics and projects. She has experience working on a wide range of youth perspective and participation initiatives, which includes youth empowerment, peacebuilding, gender, entrepreneurial engagement and employment. Her most recent publication is on youth financial behavior and entrepreneurial ecosystems, of which there is a publication by WSBI. She holds a BA in Development Studies and African Studies and an MA in Development studies, children and youth studies. See more on www.liseconsultancy.nl or LinkedIn
Ana is the Outreach Specialist and Project Coordinator at the international conservation charity Zoological Society of London (ZSL). Her background is in addressing the social dimensions of conservation challenges, currently focusing on integrating protected area establishment, sustainable livelihood development and access to financial services. She has been part of the Our Sea Our Life programme since 2017, developing pro-poor, equitable and scalable solutions for community-based marine conservation. Our Sea Our Life works with local communities in Mozambique to conserve their marine environment and promote sustainability as a fundamental component of ZSL’s efforts, contributing to the protection and restoration of biologically important ecosystems essential for human development and wellbeing. Ana holds an MSc. in Education for Sustainability from London South Bank University, and a BSc. in Ocean Science from the University of Plymouth in the UK.
Stephen Peachey is a former central bank economist with additional commercial banking experience plus over twenty-five years' experience working across Central and Eastern Europe, Africa and East-Asia. Aside from his data analytics role in the S2S Youth study, he is the supply-side technical lead for the Savings at the Frontier partnership between Mastercard Foundation and OPM. Other recent work for WSBI includes engineering more usable and affordable but still sustainable product offerings at ten savings banks worldwide (seven in Africa), which more than doubled the number of usable savings accounts at those banks in the hands of the poor.
Mark Reilley is the Senior Director of Technology and Data Analytics at Pact, where he focuses on building Pact's analytics capabilities and developing technology products like the MyWORTH app and leveraging them within the organization's Digital Strategy. He has 20+ years of global IT experience at nonprofits including the Pediatric AIDs Foundation and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting as well as at IBM, Sprint and PwC management consulting. He holds an MBA in Technology and an MA in Writing and spends his spare time reading and outfitting his condo with the latest "smart" technology.
Aisha Rahamatali is the CARE Regional Advocacy Coordinator in West Africa. She supports the implementation of the West Africa Impact Growth Strategy, Women on the Move, an initiative that aims at scaling up the Savings Groups model in West Africa through partnership and advocacy with governments. Aisha works closely with CARE Country Offices to influence their governments and other stakeholders and engages with key actors in the region ranging from regional institutions to Civil Society Organisations to advance the adoption and implementation of the Savings Groups by government’s institutions through financial inclusion, gender and social protection policies.
She is the co-author of the recent SEEP State of Practice Report on Savings Groups and the Role of Government in Sub Saharan Africa and served as co-facilitator of the SEEP Peer Learning Group on the Role of Savings Groups in Supporting Graduation from Social Safety Nets.
Prior to CARE, Aisha worked on child rights and women rights advocacy with several NGOs (Defence for Children International, International Federation for Human Rights and the International Catholic Child Bureau). She also advocated for the promotion and protection of Women Rights as part of the team of the UN Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women.
Dr Richard Reynolds works for VisionFund as the Global Director for Products, Innovations and Partnerships. Over the past thirty-five years he has focused both academically and professionally on economic development and microfinance and enterprise development. He has extensive experience in managing MFIs and in providing technical assistance and training around the world with a particular focus on refugees and small holder finance.
Katherine Rickard is a senior consultant in financial sector development, specializing in gender-sensitive financial inclusion and women's economic empowerment. In collaboration with the SEEP Network, Katherine led a one-year research initiative to understand the relationship between Savings Groups and women's empowerment, culminating in the development of a learning brief (Women's Empowerment and Savings Groups: What Do We Know?) and a monitoring and results measurement toolkit. Prior to this, Katherine was a technical advisor at CARE International UK supporting multiple projects including Banking on Change.
Julia Sánchez is a development practitioner, feminist and environmentalist who has been promoting equity and sustainable development for more than 25 years. A global citizen who grew up in Latin and North America, she is tri-lingual and has lived and worked in numerous countries in the Americas, Asia and Africa.
Early in her career, Julia worked with a Canadian INGO for many years and across several countries. She then transitioned to national campaign coordinator with the global secretariat of the Global Campaign for Climate Action (GCCA) based out of Delhi and later served as president-CEO of the Canadian Council for International Co-operation (CCIC) for 7 years. Subsequently, she ran as a federal candidate for the Canadian parliament in 2019 and completed a research contract with the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) on privatization of municipal services.
Julia has been a spokesperson for the Canadian and global international development community, advocating for progressive development policies and an enabling environment for civil society.
She has served on numerous Canadian and international boards and advisory bodies, including as co-chair of the CSO Partnership for Development Effectiveness (CPDE). Julia is currently serving as the chair of CIVICUS and was previously treasurer from 2016 to 2019.
Julia has designed and managed programs in areas such as humanitarian assistance, reconstruction, governance, democratic development, community-based economic development, international volunteering and, more recently, campaigning on climate change.
She is an economist and political scientist, with a BA in Economics and Political Science and an MA in Economics, both from McGill University in Montreal, Canada.
Alex joined SEEP in 2019 as Executive Director. In this capacity, he supports SEEP’s committed and talented team in the execution of programs and initiatives, keeping focus on innovation and transformation of the SEEP Network, building on its proud history and current work.
Prior to joining SEEP, Alex served as the Chief Innovation Officer at CIVICUS World Alliance for Citizen Participation, a 6000+ global network of civil society organizations and activists. He led key initiatives at the intersection of data, technology, and civil society advocacy and strengthening. Prior to this, Alex worked at Counterpart International, where he held a variety of leadership positions for more than a decade, including overseeing the organization’s $60-million programs portfolio in more than 25 countries, partnering with 3,400 organizations, as its Vice President of Programmes.
Born in Iran, he and his family have benefited first-hand from the important role citizen action and community organizations play in improving lives especially at times of crisis. Alex spent a good part of his adult life in Armenia—his ancestral homeland—where he worked with and learned from local leaders as they forged a new path after independence from the Soviet Union. He is passionate about figuring out how human beings can have a louder, more powerful voice and unhindered agency in what happens to their lives and in their communities; he firmly believes to never ask for permission when what’s at stake is ensuring human dignity.
Since May 2007, Tom Shaw, STA for Microfinance at Catholic Relief Services, has led its worldwide microfinance activities. Tom has an M.S. in Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology from The Ohio State University, specializing in rural financial markets, with 44 years of technical service provision to rural finance institutions, savings and credit cooperatives, and stand-alone microfinance institutions in Africa, South Asia, and Latin America. His work focuses on developing and supporting market-based approaches to service provision and high-quality performance standards, using materials that bring understanding and competency through step-by-step learning and practical application, particularly for CRS’ innovative SILC methodology.
Steve Shema is the founder and CEO of Exuus Ltd, a FinTech company supporting organizations such as World Vision and CARE to digitize Savings Groups. As CEO, Shema coordinated the first ever countrywide survey on Saving Groups in Rwanda, bringing together more than 30 NGOs working with Saving Groups and stakeholders from the broader financial market. The findings of the survey informed the creation of SAVE, a digital platform for Saving Groups that provides a digital and decentralized ledger to group members, with anticipated target of 1 million Saving Groups by 2023 across sub-Saharan Africa.
Garima Siwach is an Economic Researcher at the American Institutes for Research where she works on impact evaluations and cost-effectiveness of multiple projects across domestic and international fields focusing on employment, education, and women's economic empowerment. As a member of the Evidence Consortium on Women's Groups, she is leading the design of costing and cost-effectiveness guidelines for women's group programs, and conducting research on the state-specific implementation, costs and Return on Investment of the National Rural Livelihoods Mission in India. Previously, she worked as the director of rural initiatives for livelihoods generation at a microfinance organization in India.
A graduate in marketing from ENSUT in Dakar and holder of a Masters in Banking Finance, Mery Sow has been dedicated to provide quality financial services for the benefit of the Senegalese population since 2003.
She began her career at Crédit Mutuel of Senegal as Head of the Main Agency. She joined the Atlantic Bank of Senegal in 2013 as Head of the Sanitized Regions Agency, then Head of the Main Agency.
Since July 2017, Ms. Soumare is Retail Director at COFINA Senegal. Her credo is the constant search for customer satisfaction.
Anne Marie van Swinderen has worked in financial inclusion for three decades. She founded L-IFT and leads L-IFT’s financial diaries and savings group studies. She is passionate about driving change through L-IFT’s evidence. She enables organisations to listen systematically to their clients and other people they impact and allow users to design the services. L-IFT’s studies are by, for and with the unheard who now have a microphone reaching unhearing ears.
L-IFT’s data are public and accessible through various data portals. L-IFT is setting up Finbit, an app for data empowerment, financial history building and peer-to-peer lending.
L-IFT Program Manager, Marcienne Umubyeyi has extensive experience in financial inclusion. She has been key in developing L-IFT incremental financial diaries methodology as well as its field implementation and training system. She worked on several financial diaries studies, many of which on youth savings accounts (Togo, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Senegal, Morocco), and youth livelihoods and Finance (Ghana, Uganda). Marcienne supports development and roll-out of the new Finbit app through which young people can themselves track their financial diaries - to understand their own finances and to demonstrate their financial-history to others.
Karen Vandergaag is the Product Manager for Chomoka, a fin-tech currently incubated within CARE USA. Chomoka supports Savings Groups to strengthen their recordkeeping while building a digital identity to drive financial inclusion. Since 2016, Karen has focused on analyzing and supporting the collection of CARE’s data on financial inclusion and Savings Groups to support decision making across the organization. She has worked with Chomoka since its inception, leading the human-centered design process for the initial prototypes, and now manages the product strategy to balance user needs and technical requirements. Prior to working with CARE, Karen worked in the financial services sector in Canada.
Julio Espinoza, a native of Nicaragua, joined Oxfam over 8 years ago. He acts as Senior MEL advisor, overlooking the planning, monitoring, evaluation, accountability and learning actions of the women’s economic empowerment (WEE) subtheme in El Salvador, Guatemala, Mali, Senegal, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos and Timor Leste.
WEE's flagship program is "Saving for Change," a savings-led microfinance initiative in 6 countries, with over 870,000 members (mostly women). In the past couple of years, they have been testing the inclusion of gender-transformative methodologies involving men in gender dialogues. He is based in Boston and has a Master in Economics from UCA.
Marco Wamara is the Head of Operations, Administration and Human Resources at the National Council of People Living with HIV/AIDS (NACOPHA), the largest membership organization for PLHIV in Tanzania. Mr. Wamara holds an MBA from the University of Dar es Salaam. His passion is to support efficient operations for community entities serving marginalized communities. Mr. Wamara has been instrumental to the USAID-funded Sauti Yetu project, which supports economic empowerment and stigma reduction for PLHIV through savings groups across 46 districts in Tanzania.
Sarah is a post-conflict/post-disaster market systems specialist with more than 18 years technical experience adapting market development approaches to some of the world's most challenging contexts. She is currently a senior independent consultant supporting economic resilience and recovery and the Market Resilience technical lead for the SEEP Network. Sarah sits on the livelihoods advisory board for UNHCR and was recently the Technical Advisor for Enterprise Development at the International Rescue Committee and the Director of Market Development for Mercy Corps. She has lived for many years across West Africa and worked in countries across Africa, Asia and the Middle East.
Wes Wasson is CEO of DreamStart Labs, a social-impact technology company that helps people achieve their dreams of a better life. Wes has 20+ years of senior executive experience and was voted "Top Executive Leader in Silicon Valley" in 2010. Wes also ran an award-winning microfinance non-profit in rural Africa where he developed an extensive understanding of the opportunities and challenges of developing regions. DreamStart Labs was created to bring world-class technology to underserved markets with excellence, integrity, and scale. His company's market leading DreamSave app for Savings Groups is currently in use in multiple countries across Africa and Asia.
Philipos Woldegiorgis serves as Economic Strengthening Technical Director at FHI 360 Ethiopia and is passionate about harnessing the power of savings groups. He has over 20 years of experience working with diverse teams across 16 countries in Africa. Formerly a consultant on financial inclusion, Mr. Woldegiorgis has adapted savings groups models to meet the needs of vulnerable populations and designed sustainable financial linkage strategies in Ethiopia and three other countries. He has provided technical leadership at CARE Canada for a complex financial inclusion project across four countries, and worked on economic strengthening and youth microfinance programs at Plan International.