It’s Friday and it’s all coming to a close. Participants from FDEA and and MEC Feprodes are preparing their action plans—getting ready for their PPI pilots and ensuring appropriate allocation of time and resources for using the PPI. This is an incredibly important step in the process; we find that without action plans, many participants would return to their institutions, overrun with work, and PPI plans would lag. Action planning gives our trainees a chance to consider all the possible operational issues, resulting in a draft plan to take back to their executives and to talk over with their field officers. Together management and staff can then understand the needs and costs of using the PPI. The planning process also results in strong commitments from more institutions to invest in social performance, an excellent way to wrap up our training.
This trip has been eye opening on so many different levels. It has given me a clearer understanding of how MFIs see the PPI and why they choose to use a poverty assessment tool. In poverty stricken countries such as these it is so important for MFIs to be able to be able to show they are mission aligned, to track their clients' progress out of poverty, and to reinforce the image of microfinance as an important tool in the fight for poverty alleviation. Lastly, this trip has definitely reinforced the need to practice my French more when I return to DC.
West Africa may be very poor economically but the people are incredible, they are committed, and they are so generous with their time, their homes, with everything. Their “teranga” always comes through. Merci bien à tous, c’était un grand plaisir, a la prochaine!
To close, I'll leave you with a clip from our Executive Day in Bamako that was covered by Mali National Television (ORTM).
Preeti Wali is Communications Officer at the Grameen Foundation Social Performance Management Center (SPMC). She is based in Washington, DC.