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Even as the microfinance field has become increasingly professional in its approach over the past few decades, lack of capacity at all levels – from retail institutions to industry supervisors - remains a key bottleneck in expanding access to finance. It has appeared consistently as a crucial constraint in the Microfinance Banana Skins report, a barometer of industry opinion. This year again participants ranked “management quality”, “staffing”, and “back office” in the top 20 risks facing the microfinance industry.

CGAP and its members have invested a great deal over the years in strengthening institutional capacity across all levels of the financial system, including developing training materials and certifying trainers on a range of topics relevant to financial inclusion.

Below is a list of the principal training courses and materials available from CGAP.

Training for retail providers

Skills for Microfinance Managers: This series of practical three- to five-day courses is designed to improve MFIs’ financial and operational management. In partnership with local training centers and course-certified trainers, the courses were offered in 11 languages in over 40 different countries between 1997 and 2008. In 2009, recognizing the enormous demand for training materials, CGAP made the English version of the course’s seven training modules publicly available for download:

Capacity Building Program for Francophone Africa (CAPAF): From 2000 to 2009, CGAP built up a network of CAPAF-certified training partners who offer the Skills for Microfinance Managers courses as well as a financial education training based on Microfinance

Opportunities materials. The training partner network covers 17 African francophone countries with 23 institutional partners and 128 trainers who are certified on at least one of nine training modules.

Agent Management: To share critical success factors in building a viable agent network for branchless banking services, CGAP has developed an Agent Management Toolkit and a training package with exercises. The materials are based on 500 interviews with agents, agent network managers and financial institutions in Brazil, India, and Kenya.

Management Information Systems (MIS): Based on several years of experience with the Information Systems Program, CGAP has developed a practical guide to implementing MIS .

Training for policymakers

Supervisor training: Building on extensive experience training supervisors on microfinance regulation and supervision, CGAP worked with the Toronto Centre to develop a supervisors training course, which was piloted in 2011 with a training for East African supervisors hosted by the Central Bank of Kenya.

General training

Boulder Institute of Microfinance : Several CGAP staff members are part of the Boulder faculty, teaching at the annual Microfinance Training program (MFT) in Turin, Italy. The Boulder MFT offers a three-week overview of key issues in microfinance and networking with providers, government policy makers, and staff from funding organizations. It also includes a dedicated policy track and a one-week course for funders.

Additional training resources

The Microfinance Gateway offers information on a wide range of training opportunities for financial inclusion professionals, including distance learning, academic programs, and specialized courses and events.

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