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The German Sparkassenstiftung (DSIK) is supporting the Lao Women's Union (LWU) in professionalizing its microfinance activities. This includes a further strategic development of the partner institution Women and Family Development Fund (WFDF) with a special focus on business continuity management, digitization and capacity development for specialists and middle management.
The LWU has also founded many community-based financial organizations (CFO). DSIK is helping LWU to introduce a support and control system for the purpose of formalizing the CFOs. At the heart of the system is a simple evaluation system that incorporates key financial indicators and compliance with the LWU regulations. This allows the LWU to analyze the data obtained through an established reporting system.
The total number of CFOs nationwide can only be estimated but all attempts at this have been quoting numbers in the thousands. All of them are “semi-formal” since they have government support but are not subject to regulation or oversight by the central bank. The CFO play a pivotal role in providing most needed financial services for the rural population. For this reason, DSIK added a second project with activities beyond the LWU level. The project objective here is as well to formalize and strengthen selected CFOs, so that they can sustainably provide financial services to the target groups.