Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, 5 July 2021 – The Economic Empowerment Department (“EED”) of Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) in collaboration with Economic and Social Infrastructure Department (“ESID”) hosted a 3-day theoretical and applied training on the implementation of the Economic Empowerment approach in the IsDB, (“the Training”) from July 5-7, 2021 with the aim at fast-tracking microfinance components in Agriculture projects. The joint opening remarks were delivered by Dr. Nabil Ghalleb, Director of EED and Br. Sami Faruqi, Principal of ESID.
The virtual Trainings were held in two (2) inter-connected sessions (i.e. general and advisory), which was moderated by Syed Hassan Alsagoff, Lead of Economic Empowerment Program of EED. On the first day, the general session gathered Operations Team Leaders (“OTL”), Project Management Specialists (“PMS”) and Country Operations Managers (“COM”) participants from both Regional Hubs (“RHs”) working on Microfinance projects.
About 25 participants attended the meeting. Meanwhile, the advisory sessions were organized individually with the OTL on the next days to address issues under their portfolio. Six (6) advisory sessions were conducted for the six (6) OTLs, who are managing 24 Agriculture Projects with Microfinance components. The trainings aimed at developing the capacity of the Regional Hubs on the following:
- An understanding of Microfinance, its methodologies and the key aspects of working relations with Microfinance institutions (“MFI”);
- Scale up the MFI beyond providing merely the typical Shariah compliance financing products towards being an Economic Empowerment Institution to apply IsDB’s EEA;
- The appraisal and selection process of an MFI and the projects implementation requirements, including the fund flow from IsDB to MFI and end-beneficiaries;
- An understanding on how EED assesses the line of finance and its implementation; and
- Share how to go beyond the typical monitoring using the logical framework by way of measuring the performance of the MFIs on how it has impacted the poor.
The Training covered the following topics: Understanding Microfinance for Non-Microfinance Specialist, Economic Empowerment Methodology and its Business Models, Selection and Appraisal of a Microfinance Institution and Implementation Requirement, Line of Finance Assessment and Implementation criteria and Monitoring of Evaluation for the Microfinance Institutions
The sessions were delivered by Br Mohammad Dodin, Senior Economic Empowerment Specialist, Br Khalid Ahmed, Economic Empowerment Specialist, Br Mohamed Mazen Dakhli, Economic Empowerment Specialist, Br Ghassen Khelifi, Economic Empowerment Specialist and Br. Mohd Yusri Yusof, Senior Economic Empowerment Specialist respectively.
Moving forward, more follow-ups with the OTL to re-engage with the stakeholders especially Microfinance institutions to accelerate the implementation of the project activities will be conducted to enhance the impact and to support these projects in applying the Economic Empowerment approach.