Microfinance Country Information
Solomon Islands


Building partnership with NGOs is the main strategy of SIMIWODS the UNDP/Government of the Solomon Islands microcredit scheme for disadvantaged women. Its implementation framework was the outcome of a national workshop attended by 18 NGOs and microfinance institution representatives. The workshop agreed that the delivery of microfinance services must be done through existing NGOs that demonstrate vision and commitment to economically empower disadvantaged women and that the selection of partner NGOs must be carried out in a transparent and competitive manner. Following the submission of proposals from NGOs, the YWCA was selected as the first NGO to participate in the project. Its selection was endorsed by the core group of NGOs, chaired by Alice Pollard, Director of Womenís Development, and which now oversees and guides the implementation of the project.

Site selection, means-testing and training of the first group of potential members was completed in December 1998. Ten women have passed the rigorous training and orientation period and their income generating projects have been approved for loan funding of SI$ 1,000 each (approx. USD 210).

UNDPís assistance to YWCA is through a service contract amounting to SI$ 295,874 based on a viability plan aimed at achieving progressive financial self-sufficiency. The funding is for setting up the MIS, procurement of office equipment, hiring of 1 loans officer, group training and capital grants for on-lending to clients. Technical assistance and capacity building to YWCA is provided by Willie Garcia, UNDPís Microfinance Specialist based with the Ministry of Youth, Women and Sports Ė the national cooperating agency for the project.

Source: UNDP, Fiji

Hari Srinivas - hsrinivas@gdrc.org
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