The Microfinance Investment Support Facility for Afghanistan (MISFA) was set up in 2003 at the invitation of the Afghan government to get donor coordination right from the start and avoid the counter-productive efforts that have emerged from conflicting donor objectives in other post-conflict situations. It was established as a vehicle through which the Afghan Government and international donors could channel technical assistance and funding to build Afghanistan’s microfinance sector. MISFA was the first facility of its kind, pooling diverse donor funding mechanisms and converting them into streamlined, flexible support to microfinance institutions in Afghanistan, tailored to local priorities and accompanied by technical assistance and strong performance monitoring.
About the Job:
The purpose of this request for proposal is to support eligible microfinance institutions (MFIs) or other financial service providers to undertake a thorough and detailed market research to identify financial product/s that are suitable for the above-mentioned three market segments, and also designing a pilot program to test the products. The objective is to develop replicable financial product/s and services, and delivery methods in order to increase access to financial services to the women, youth and agricultural farmers. The new product/s and delivery channels will be piloted before they are replicated by other service providers. Eligible institutions to implement this activity will be encouraged to identify market-driven partnerships for provision of complementary non-financial services that support development of women, youth and agricultural entrepreneurships.
Eligible Institutions for the Initiative:
For the implementation of this initiative, MISFA requires financial institutions with in-depth knowledge and considerable working experience in the microfinance and small and medium enterprise (SME) sectors in Afghanistan. This includes MFIs and also commercial banks that have microfinance and SME windows.
MISFA encourages eligible institutions to apply for any one of the market segments mentioned in the attached RFP (i.e. youth/women/agriculture). Due to the broad range of activities required to be performed under the initiative, the eligible institutions can also form joint ventures and apply for any one of the market segments. MISFA would also encourage that the eligible institutions form a working group and decide which market segment they prefer to implement.
In order to achieve the aforementioned objective, the eligible institutions will be required to hire a consulting firm to support the implementation of the initiative. The selected consulting firm will be expected to work on these broad categories of the activities:
Undertake the market research.
Develop appropriate product/s and services.
Develop training manuals and provide training to the staffs.
Design the pilot phase and initiate it.
Provide support during the pilot phase.
Analyze the performance of the pilot phase through appropriate tools and make changes wherever required.
Provide recommendations for scale-up.
The applicants must be microfinance institutions, deposit taking microfinance institutions, community saving groups/community saving promotion institutions or commercial banks registered under the laws of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.
The commercial banks must be operating in or planning for the microfinance or SME activities.
Other institutions registered in Afghanistan, providing services that contribute to achievement of financial inclusion.
In compliance with the laws/regulations of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, the Institutions’ overarching goals and/or proposed activity/s should have linkages with the overall objectives of the Access to Finance Project and MISFA.
Institutions shall not be engaged in illegal or illicit activities, including money-laundering or other criminal activity.
Institutions shall demonstrate positive trends towards operational self-sufficiency; or demonstrate an adequate sustainability plan for their core business.
Any applicant institution can apply for only one of these initiatives.
The applicants shall submit a detailed work plan.
Less operational cost would be an advantage for such selection.
The proposal should include clear objectives and outcomes of the initiatives that are measurable and realistic
Implementation mechanism should be clearly outlined, how the proposed initiative(s) will be implemented.