At the end of the year we all like to take stock of what we’ve achieved in the past 12 months. For Deki, this has been a year of big changes. We grew our team from five to seven staff, recruiting our first Impact Officer and Supporter Officer as well as having a new Marketing Manager and Fundraising Officer. As always we couldn’t do it with the amazing dedicated team of volunteers and interns to support our work.
This year we have also introduced a new monitoring and evaluation framework to better support our field partners and monitor and report on our impact. We are really proud of it, so we wanted to invite you to understand better how your loans to entrepreneurs make a difference in the long term. You can read how we are working with Field Partners here. But for now, let’s start at the beginning…
Field Partners are the cornerstone of the work we do. They are the micro-finance organisations on the ground who identify entrepreneurs in need of support. They disburse the loans once they are fully funded on our website, provide business and social training and collect the repayments. As you can see, their work is complex and requires a strong partnership between Deki and the field office to make sure your loans provide opportunities to the most marginalised. Following this years’ monitoring and evaluation review, we have strengthened the selection process to make sure we can provide loans and training to people who most need it.
There are two main ways we start the recruitment process. Some of the Field Partners come to Deki through recommendations from trustees or Micro-Finance associations. Others are identified through research by the Deki team. This team is the heart and soul of our partnerships. Lead by Rowan, our International Programmes and Fundraising Manager, we currently have two volunteers on the team, Jess and Liam, who are both students. Jess is studying International Development, while Liam’s course is Development and Security. When not at their Masters course, they complete research into different micro-finance organisations, their programmes and impact to ensure that they are the right candidate for Deki. The team then checks against a number of criteria before inviting the organisation for our two stage application process. These include (among many other things)
· Being a certified and registered micro-finance organisation
· They can provide support and training (both financial and social) to entrepreneurs
· Have a clear risk management strategy, such as dealing with late repayments.
· Have a clear and structured client identification process, so Deki can continue to support the most marginalised
· Have a strong monitoring system in place and they complete the right client needs analysis, such as poverty probability index, among other things.
Next … Learn about Deki’s due diligence processes and why field visits are so important.