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Sanabel 2016 Conference Agenda

Sanabel 2016 Conference Agenda

 

Tuesday, November 1st, 2016

07:30 - 09:00

09:00 - 09:30

09:30 – 11:00

What sets microfinance apart as a financial service is the human touch that it brings when dealing with clients. Yet more often than not, we focus on managing this human element in dealing with our clients and fail to effectively translate it within our own institutions and when dealing with our own staff. HR functions tend to be overlooked in our region and the departments that do exist, tend to focus primarily on personnel and rarely expand to the full-fledged and strategic role we would an HR department play in other, more mature businesses.

This session will discuss the importance of the HR function to MFIs in the region, identify the HR challenges specific to the microfinance line of business, seek to understand why, historically, the function has been overlooked and present case studies from MFIs in the region who sought to either develop or strengthen their existing HR departments through technical assistance.


Venue; Forum Halls 1, 2 & 3

11:00 – 11:30

11:30 – 13:00

This session will present a three way partnership between Financial Institution, the Private Sector and the Government … all focusing on how to better offer financial solutions to the target market of the traditionally financially excluded populations in Saudi Arabia. The module borrows elements from the Islamic Finance disciplines and incorporates it into a business module that has achieved its objectives over the past 5 years. The objective is to learn the mechanics of this modality and the challenges and solutions that have been implemented through this three way partnership. While results are impressive, the question remains, can this module be replicated more broadly and across the region?


Venue; Forum Halls 1, 2 & 3

13:00 – 14:30

14:30 – 15:45

While technology solutions are relatively new in the financial services industry, it's obvious they are growing rapidly. This panel will debate and discuss what MFIs need to know to benefit from Fintechs solutions rather than lose market share to Fintech competitors? They will also examine the experience of financial institutions in the region and beyond as they embrace new technology solutions and decide whether this is a disruptive innovation or an opportunity to better serve their clients and grow their institutions.

We can all agree that change is imminent, the question remains whether we embrace it and take advantage of its potential, or proceed with business as usual.


Venue; Forum Hall 3

 

This session will showcase how financial service providers in the Arab region are using the Universal Standards for Social Performance Management and the SPI4 Evaluation Tool to achieve their social goals, create more client-centric institutions and mitigate various organizational challenges. Additionally, it will discuss how and why a growing number of funders and investors, as well as regulators and policy makers, are using the Universal Standards and SPI4 in their due diligence and monitoring processes.

The audience will gain a better understanding of social performance management (SPM) and how financial service providers can use it to achieve social goals, create more client-centered organizations and mitigate organizational risks.. They will also be exposed to several co-financing and training opportunities available in the Arab region through the existing Responsible Microfinance Facility.


Venue; Forum Hall 1

15:45 – 16:15

16:15 - 17:30

Targeting the Ultra-Poor (TUP), also known as the Graduation approach, is a holistic, multifaceted livelihood program for households who live on less than US$1.90 per day. The program has had large and lasting impact, both economic and noneconomic, on participating households in a diverse set of countries. TUP programs aim to help ultra-poor individuals "graduate" from extreme poverty and to get on a sustainable path out of poverty. While the ultra-poor are generally not seen as viable clients for most microfinance institutions, the TUP approach incorporates access to and use of financial services. In spurring a transition to stable self-employment, the TUP approach can allow beneficiaries to eventually participate in conventional microfinance programs. This session will introduce the approach, share evidence on its impact both one and five years after the program ended, and discuss opportunities to replicate or scale the approach in the Arab countries.


Venue; Forum Hall 3

 

While the world talks about crowd funding, kick starters and similar platforms which seem to have revolutionized the world of startup finance, one should not overlook any more financing fresh ideas from art work to cinema or from mobile phone apps to designer furniture. With a look at the Arab region, the questions pop up whether this tool could provide one answer to the gap in startup and riskier finance, and what role, if any, for MFIs could there be. The speakers in this discussion will be questioned whether this is another hype with little relevance for MFIs in the Arab region, or a real case one would like to tap into before others do? Let us have a detailed look at it; starting from defining what we actually mean when we talk about crowd funding, to exploring its relevance as a means of increased and potentially more diversified offer, including Islamic finance opportunities, to elaborating on the potential roles and potentials for MFIs in the Arab region.


Venue; Forum Hall 1

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2016

09:30 - 11:00

As a region with its share of political, social and economic instability – especially in recent years - many leading MFIs have begun to acknowledge the importance of building a stronger risk management department/unit or formalizing an already existing risk management function within the organizational structure. This has included developing tools to identify and asses the risks and developing the necessary policies and procedures to effectively mitigate them.

As opposed to other risk sessions in the past that have focused primarily on the risks facing the region, this session will highlight what has been done by regional MFIs to address these risks and the lessons learned from the process of building strong risk management functions. The session will present specific tools developed by MFIs, illustrate how these tools have allowed senior management teams to make more risk-savvy and well-informed decisions, as well as discuss the challenges associated with building a more sophisticated risk culture within their institutions.


Venue; Forum Halls 1, 2 & 3

11:00 -11:30

11:30 - 13:00

This session will focus on the impact of the classic microcredit model and variations on the traditional credit contract that hold promise for greater impact on borrowers' wellbeing. Speakers in this panel will outline the variations including tailoring credit contracts for borrowers' income flows and needs, modified screening procedures, and variations on repayment frequency and timeline. Evidence based discussion will reference recent studies of the impact of Microcredit in 7 regions, including the Arab region and the remaining opportunities that could be addressed through adaptation by the regional MFIs.


Venue; Forum Hall 1

 

Like all debt markets, microcredit is susceptible to the credit cycle. Indeed, given the relative youth of the sector, susceptibility to booms may be greater still, with many markets never having lived a full cycle from start to finish, and thus MFIs may be less alert to the warning signs, and are less active, individually or collectively, in preventing over-indebtedness. During this panel discussion, the speakers will share lessons learned from over-indebtedness crises in other regions, and help us learn how to identify early warning signs. They will be then introduced to MIMOSA, a unique benchmarking tool that can help calibrate growth strategies and risk procedures. Finally, the speakers will discuss best practices at the country and sector level.


Venue; Forum Hall 3

13:00 - 14:30

14:30 – 15:45

Financing agricultural producers – whether farmers, warehouses’, or processors – has long posed a significant challenge to financial institutions due to the costs associated with outreach in rural areas and the risk associated with agricultural activity. However, an increasing number of institutions are reinforcing their (double) bottom line by engaging with the agricultural sector and agriculture related activities through the use of new technological tools to engage with agricultural borrowers.

The panel will discuss a number of examples and update the audience on these potential innovations to ease engagement in agricultural related finance, and decrease the traditional concerns regarding challenges of outreach and how they can be resolved. Other concerns include credit analysis and credit risk, all of which will be addressed by the panelists as they present several tools that have been used successfully in several regions as we seek a better understanding of how we can explore this market segment in the Arab region.


Venue; Forum Hall 1

 

The panelist during this exciting session will take us back to basics… Education is the single largest determinant of future economic well-being and opportunity, yet 59 million children are not in school. Affordable private schools are filling this gap, but they cannot keep up with the demand, in part because they lack access to credit to expand. For financial institutions, the market opportunity is immense and as of yet, untapped. How do financial institutions unleash the social benefit and financial returns represented by this customer segment and improving their social impact for their communities?

The aim is to provide an introduction to affordable private schools as well as the market opportunity for financial institutions to fund these businesses. The session will also highlight case studies of financial institutions who have successfully overcome challenges in lending to affordable private schools and the opportunity for other institutions to begin lending in this market as well.


Venue; Forum Hall 3

15:45 – 16:15

16:15 - 17:15

The refugee situation in the Arab world is becoming increasingly critical and prolonged. With the war in Syria resulting in one of the worst humanitarian crisis of our time, and ongoing conflicts in Palestine, Iraq, Sudan and Yemen, the microfinance sector must pause to contemplate the role they can play to contribute to addressing this crisis. Serving incoming refugees as well as the internally displaced populations from within, is not only considered a new, viable and even potentially lucrative business opportunity for providers in the region eager to diversify their product offering and outreach, but a moral imperative for a sector which was born out of a desire to help the poor and decrease their vulnerability.

This session will discuss the barriers and challenges associated with serving refugees and IDPs and how microfinance products and services can be appropriately adapted and applied in order to successfully overcome and effectively serve this critical segment. It will examine current initiatives from the region, present the lessons learned from their experiences and discuss how to integrate these into a sustainable product offering tailored to the specificities of our region.


Venue; Forum Halls 1, 2 & 3

17:15 – 17:30

Sanabel Members celebrate acknowledging the 2016 finalists in the two annual awards Sanabel is presenting to its members:

  • The Transparency Award
  • The Award of Excellence

Closing of Sanabel’s 12th Annual Conference in Morocco


Venue; Forum Halls 1, 2 & 3

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