Report Year
1st MAR Year

Strengthen partnerships. Recognizing the value of partnerships as a central instrument of its financial inclusion work, the Bank Group should strengthen its partnerships by advocating clear strategies, results frameworks, and M&E arrangements for partnership arrangements it has joined or will decide to

Recommendation Adoption
IEG Rating by Year: mar-rating-popup NT NT NT NT Management Rating by Year: mar-rating-mng-popup S NT NT NT
NANot Accepted
NRNot Rated
Findings Conclusions

The World Bank Group supports policy reform and leverages its country-level impact through a wide range of influential international partnerships, as well as through its policy work, dialogue, and technical assistance. Partnerships clearly extend reach, resources, and influence to promote access to financial services by the poor and microenterprises (and other excluded groups). Organizations like the Consultative Group to Assist the Poorest, the Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion, the Center for Financial Inclusion, and the Alliance for Financial Inclusion have a strong standing with relevant stakeholders and can provide opportunities for knowledge sharing, policy influence, global standard setting, and piloting and disseminating innovative approaches. Partnerships also play a large role in the Bank Group's goal of universal financial access and longer-term inclusion goals, and can amplify the Bank Group's leadership on key issues ranging from bank supervision to remittances to digital payments.
At the same time, these partnerships bear costs and risks in terms of resources and senior staff time and potentially diluting the Bank Group's "branding" and strategic focus. They involve costs, compromise, and coordination that would be ameliorated by clear strategies, accountability, and learning systems of the partner organizations. The Consultative Group to Assist the Poor has only quite recently developed a clear results framework, and IEG did not come across results frameworks or independent reviews or evaluations of other partnership bodies, beyond a progress report. In this context World Bank staff reported that advocating for such systems is likely to gain more traction in partnerships where the Bank Group is a major stakeholder, hosts the secretariat, or contributes resources.

Original Management Response

Management continues to work with development partners, bilaterally and through an active Financial Inclusion coordination group, to strengthen and structure joint approaches, including through country coordination mechanisms, and potentially through Memoranda of Understanding where appropriate.
There is a long-standing collaboration in place with international standard setters on several aspects related to financial inclusion, which led to issuing key standards / guidance.

Action Plans
Action 1
Action 1 Number:
Action 1 Title:
Action 3C: Advance and expand partnerships with Universal Financial Access (UFA) partners
Action 1 Plan:

Action 3C: Advance and expand partnerships with Universal Financial Access (UFA) partners
Indicator: a) Number of partners b) number of partner meetings, c) reporting by partners on progress.
Baseline: No UFA partnerships existed before 2015
Target: (a) quarterly partner meetings, (b) 15 UFA Partners signed on, (c) Partners reporting progress on UFA commitments.
Timeline: FY20

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Action 8
IEG Update:
No Updates
Management Update:
No Updates
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IEG Update:

As communicated earlier by Andrew Stone, IEG does not follow up this recommendation as the action plan is not aligned with the recommendation.

Management Update:

a) Total Number of Partners: 32.
Fourteen partners joined UFA agenda during the 2015. In November 2016, 16 additional partners signed on and then 2 more signed in April 2017. The partners cover diverse sectors covering financial institutions, telecommunication firms, payments & technology and networks and industry associations.
The 32 partners are:
Financial Intuitions: Equity Bank, BBVA MicroFinanzas, CFPA Microfinance, State Bank of India, Bandhan Bank, Bank Mandiri, LAPO Microfinance Bank Ltd, Fullerton Financial Holding, Mibanco, Gentera, Aga Khan Agency for Microfinance, NMB, Grooming Centre in Nigeria and Confederation of Financial Institutions of West Africa.
Telecommunication Firms: Telenor and Ooredoo
Payments & Technology: Ant Financial, Mastercard, VISA, PDP and Baidu
Networks and Industry Associations: Microfinance CEO Working Group, GSMA, Grameen Foundation, World Council of Credit Unions, Global Banking Alliance for Women, PMIC, Asomicrofinanzas, WSBI, Pakistan Microfinance Network, Asomif Peru and Microcredit Summit Campaign
b) So far 5 partner events have been organized - Spring Meeting 2015 (Mar 2015), UFA Partner Measurement Workshop (Dec 2015), UFA Partner Roundtable (April 2016), UFA Partner Signing Event (Nov 2016) and Partner Roundtable (April 2017)
- Spring Meeting 2015 - This was the first UFA Partner event held around the Spring Meeting when 14 partners (including Mastercard, VISA and Bandhan Bank) made public announcements of their commitments.
- UFA Partner Measurement Workshop in Dec 2015 - This workshop was organized to brainstorm on different methodologies being followed by the first 14 partners. World Bank, IFC presented their methodologies which allowed our partners to understand how we are measuring contributions towards UFA and to design their methodologies around the same guiding principles. The event also resulted in consensus agreement on 5 guiding principles, which all partners would follow in their design and reporting of UFA numbers.
- UFA Roundtable in April 2016 brought partners together to share progress updates, welcome new partner (Pakistan Microfinance Network) and to explore joint areas/countries for collaboration. Partners also engaged in a discussion on the key constraints to achieving UGA goal and the activities which might support progress towards the goal. The round table identified Pakistan, Kenya and Myanmar to be focus countries for collaboration within the WBG and with partners.
- Private Sector Partner Signing Event in November 2016 on boarded a set of 16 new partners to the UFA2020 initiative, bringing the total number of partners to 30. These new partners represent a wide range of regions, offering valuable insights and expertise in markets critical to reaching the UFA2020 goal. They span technology players such as Ant Finance (100 million accounts) and Baidu (10 million accounts) financial institutions such as MiBanco (2 million accounts), LAPO Microfinance Bank (10 million accounts), and Fullerton Financial Holdings (6 million accounts) and associations such as Asomif Peru (4 million accounts). The event was hosted by IFC CEO Philippe Le Hou&eacute rou. Representatives from 11 of the 16 new partners were in attendance to announce their commitments and participate in a signing event.
- Private Sector Partner Roundtable in April 2017 brought partners together to share individual progress updates. For example, WSBI reported reaching 136 million new clients (2020 goal of 400 million), Microfinance CEO Working Group reported 17 million (2020 goal of 70 million), and Telenor reported reaching 60 million customers using mobile financial services (2020 goal of