The Microlead Expansion Project in Myanmar aims to contribute to the achievement oMillennium Development Goals (MDG) number one, by supporting the expansion of microfinance market leaders through an emphasis on savings mobilization in underserved areas/countries. It also contributes to the Government of Myanmarâ€™s target to reduce the overall poverty rate to 16% by 2014/15. The expected outcome of the MicroLead Expansion program in Myanmar by the end of the program will be: increased sustainable access to appropriate demand-driven responsible financial and knowledge products and services, with a focus on savings mobilization, to more than 100,000 low income clients, at least half of whom are women and at least half of whom reside in rural areas. ACCU in collaboration with AYANI and Central Cooperative Society Ltd. (CCS) successfully submitted a proposal to the MicroLead Expansion project.
The ACCU and CCS project goal is to facilitate the establishment of sustainable savings and credit cooperative in Myanmar whose members are from the low income sector, in particular women and rural households, and which will meet their members' needs for diverse financial services.
The key results expected from the project are:
- At least twenty (25) new and existing savings and credit cooperative are formed or strengthened, with a total outreach of 50,000 savers, of whom at least 50% are women, and at least 50% are in rural areas.
- At least 30,000 members have accessed micro-credit.
- At least 60% of savers have increased their balances from first of each year to last of each year.
- The capacity of the Union of Savings and Credit Cooperatives is developed for the promotion and monitoring of the financial cooperative sector. The project's exit strategy is to handover to a well-functioning union by the end of 2015.
Advocate with the Ministry of Cooperatives for amendment of the regulatory framework. If amendment is not possible, work with the Ministry to define the roles of each level (secondary and tertiary) so that there shall be no duplication of services.
Revitalize the monitoring union to be able to effectively deliver essential core services and ensure the soundness of the sector. This involves the following:
Consultations and reorganization meetings with all stakeholders. It is foreseen that the project management unit shall move from CCS to the union when the reorganization is confirmed so that capacity building can be closely undertaken.
Strategic planning particularly in the area of defining core services and identifying required resources
Capacity building for board and federation and union of cooperatives staff
As exit strategy, shall ensure that the Union of Savings and Credit Cooperatives has the capacity to carry out its role in promoting and strengthening credit unions and has institutionalized core services such as: Promotion, Human Resource Development (Trainings), Risk-based Supervision, Stabilization Mechanism, and Business in Inter-lending and Mutual Aid (Insurance).
- In consultation with CCS, select the project location as Ayeyarwady and Magway two division
- Establish project office in Pathein with consultation of cooperative department and and cooperative federation
- Hire qualified international trainer and consultants for the project and hire local staff.
- Develop tools, standards and training modules to build and strengthen credit unions.
- Provide technical assistance to build the competence of the national federation to effectively assume its role.
- Build the capacity of project staff and CCS staff to ensure that they could implement the project according to target.
- Ensure working relationship with the Ministry of Cooperatives, nd other stakeholders of the project.
- Provide opportunity to the Department of Cooperatives to expand technical capabilities to monitor and supervise credit unions through training and exposure programs.
- Coordinate the implementation of the project with CCS and the Union of Savings and Credit Cooperatives in Ayeyarwady.
- Ensure the timely technical and financial support is provided to credit unions as according to the project budget.