Evaluation of Technical Assistance Advisory Services on SME Banking

Corporate Governance, GBRW Consulting, GBRW Group, SME Banking, Sustainable & Development Finance

The IFC retained GBRW to undertake an evaluation of their Technical Assistance for SME banking.

The International Finance Corporation (IFC) is an international financial institution that offers investment, advisory, and asset-management services to encourage private-sector development in less developed countries. The IFC is a member of the World Bank Group and is headquartered in Washington, D.C. in the United States. It was established in 1956, as the private-sector arm of the World Bank Group, to advance economic development by investing in for-profit and commercial projects for poverty reduction and promoting development.

GBRW was engaged to assess the impact of IFC’s TA in its SME banking programmes and to identify approaches that were most effective in building the capacity of financial institutions in IFC’s client countries. There were six participating commercial banks in four countries, namely Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Bangladesh, and Papua New Guinea. The TA programmes from the IFC covered topics such as SME banking, microfinance, and consumer lending. The GBRW team was responsible for evaluating the effectiveness of these TA programmes in expanding the outreach of financial services to the under-banked. This included assessing the amount of finance provided, the number and type of SME customers reached, and the impact on economic and employment growth contributed by the loans.

Deliverables included:

- Review and analysis of IFC Technical Assistance Programmes

- Analysis of SME, microfinance, and consumer lending portfolios

- Site visits to commercial banks Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Bangladesh, and Papua New Guinea

- Impact assessment of economic and employment growth outcomes against Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) criteria

- Submission of a detailed final report with accompanying recommendations for improvement of TA programmes in the future