Genesis Analytics evaluated the Microfinance Challenge Fund Rwanda and found that the Rwandan microfinance industry still needed support.
Genesis was contracted by Access to Finance Rwanda (AFR) to conduct the evaluation of the Microfinance Challenge Fund Rwanda, which was designed and capitalised by KfW to address the microfinance industry in Rwanda’s inability to self-correct on the issues of weak technical capacity and access to refinancing.
KfW signed a grant agreement with the government of Rwanda for €3-million to be channelled through AFR for the support of microfinance institutions (MFIs), and in April 2014 the Microfinance Challenge Fund was established. The fund provided microfinance institutions (MFIs) with refinancing and technical training and assistance for a period of three years.
The purpose of the evaluation Genesis conducted was to provide a holistic review of the fund, including its projects, take stock of how the fund performed, and assess the degree to which its objectives had been achieved.
The evaluation approach amalgamated a sector review and a framework of good Challenge Fund practices, to create an analysis framework. Data and information collected through a document review, and engagements with the sector, programme staff and clients then fed into this analysis framework to answer the evaluation questions posed and inform the option analysis.
Using the findings of this evaluation Genesis reflected on the lessons learnt through the fund’s implementation and conducted a feasibility analysis for a second phase. Finally, based on the evaluation and an assessment of the recommendations, we provided key considerations for AFR to consider when deciding whether to support and expand the fund.
The results of the project were presented in March 2017 to key stakeholders in the microfinance sector. Stakeholders present included representatives from the Bank of Rwanda, commercial banks, microfinance institutions, donor agencies, industry organisations and NGOs. A robust and frank conversation was facilitated between these stakeholders, where the issues facing the sector were aired and interrogated.