Phone: (603) 862-0764
Fax: (603) 862-3878
The Carsey Institute at the University of New Hampshire
73 Main Street
Durham, NH 03824
Hugh Allen has worked in development since 1970, focusing for most of the last fifteen years on microfinance and technology-focused market development activities. For thirteen years, he worked for CARE and was its chief technical advisor for small economic activity development in Africa. It was during this time that he first came across the Village Saving and Lending Association (VSLA) model and realized its potential.
These days, he works exclusively to promote its adoption by multi-sectoral development agencies and southern NGOs. He is on the faculty of University of New Hampshire’s Sustainable Microenterprise and Development Program and the Boulder Microfinance Training program. He is also the co-facilitator of the SEEP working group on savings-led financial services. He has published books with ITDG on technology-related activities and savings-led financial services.
Ann Gordon is a Senior Consultant and Project Manager at MEDA (Mennonite Economic Development Associates). She has an extensive background in leadership and rural development in the entrepreneurial, non-profit, and government sectors. Along with a master's degree in Capacity Development and Extension from the University of Guelph, Ann also holds a BSc. from the University of Western Ontario and is a Canadian Nuffield Scholar. She has over eighteen years of experience in project-based management—including research, design, implementation, and evaluation across various agriculture, agri-food, and health-related value chains—which has taken her across North America and the world. Her role at MEDA has included the management of market development projects and activities in Afghanistan, Tanzania, and Pakistan, as well as a number of consultancies in other countries where MEDA is active. Some of Ann’s latest contributions to the sector can be found in the area of value chain training and mentoring, as well as a recent publication by the World Bank on understanding gender and value chains in Afghanistan.
William (Bill) Maddocks is the coordinator of the Sustainable Microenterprise and Development Program (SMDP) at the University of New Hampshire’s Carsey Institute. The SMDP provides training workshops for development finance professionals in Ghana, Togo, Tanzania and New Hampshire. In 2011, Bill was the lead organizer for the Arusha Savings Groups Summit, the first global gathering of the savings groups movement. As a faculty member of the Carsey Institute’s Masters in Community Development Policy and Practice program, he teaches a course on leadership, collaboration, and communication.
For seven years, Bill was the director of the Microenterprise and Development Institute at the School of Community Economic Development at Southern New Hampshire University and operated training workshops in Africa and the United States. He has also worked as the executive director and cofounder of the Community Economic Development Center of Southeastern Massachusetts, the affiliate coordinator for Working Capital peer micro lending program, and the director of development and energy conservation for People Acting in Community Endeavors in New Bedford, Massachusetts. As a trainer and facilitator, his diverse clients include municipalities, community colleges, national and state level microenterprise, and community development finance organizations. Bill holds a master's degree in community economic development from New Hampshire College and a bachelor's degree from Southeastern Massachusetts University.
Paul Rippey is a microfinance specialist with twenty years of experience in Africa, with particular skills and experience at the intersection of energy, microfinance, and climate change. He has managed microfinance institutions in Burkina Faso and Guinea (Conakry) and is the co-founder of Association Al Amana in Morocco, which over ten years ago became the largest MFI in North Africa, with a portfolio of $230,000,000 and 400,000 customers.
From 2002 to 2007, he managed DFID's Financial Sector Deepening Project in Uganda, rolling out programs of consumer education, savings groups, a “consolidation challenge fund,” an “LED Challenge,” and massive demand and supply side studies.
Since 2007, he has been active as a consultant working both with financial providers and with clean energy distributors to find synergies that will allow pro-poor finance to help people get more, cleaner, and better energy. He has been working with private sector distributors of solar lamps in Uganda and Mali and has trained savings group promoters in India, Pakistan, and Mozambique.
Paul is the chief consultant to ACCION's Energy Links Project and over the last three years has also worked with the Aga Khan Foundation, the MasterCard Foundation, the Financial Sector Deepening Trust in Kenya, CARE, and Plan International. He is the author of a Focus Note for CGAP on microfinance and climate change, as well as a chapter in What's Wrong with Microfinance, edited by Thomas Dichter and Malcolm Harper.
Paul has also been trained by former American vice president Al Gore and has presented the climate change presentation at the heart of the film An Inconvenient Truth in eight countries. He hosts a series of podcasts available on iTunes (Energy Links Podcast Series) and runs an independent blog on alternative microfinance at http://savings-revolution.org.
Richard Pelrine holds degrees from the University of Massachusetts in anthropology and agricultural economics and from the Institute of Social Studies in rural policy and project planning. He completed doctoral coursework at the Ohio State University in rural finance and is currently a doctoral candidate at the University of Stellenbosch with the faculty of agricultural economics. He has consulted for over twenty years in Africa and has both taught and published in the fields of rural finance and rural development. Richard has worked as a senior technical advisor on multiple long-term agribusiness finance programs in Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda and has consulted directly with financial institutions on value chain financing and agribusiness finance product development in Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Namibia, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, and Uganda. Beyond consulting, Richard has been a commercial farmer, a coffee and grain trader, and the CEO of an agribusiness loan guarantee company. He is an owner and director of INSPIRED International, a firm specializing in agribusiness finance, since founding the firm in 2007.
Courtney O’Connell is the Senior Technical Advisor for World Relief’s global Savings for Life program. She earned a Master’s degree in International Development from Eastern University and has been working in the field of economic development for five years. She has been specifically working with savings-led approaches with World Relief for the past two years, based in Kigali, Rwanda. Courtney is passionate about seeing communities transformed through holistic development and enjoys spending time in the field, seeing the empowering changes the SFL program has brought to its members.
Andrew Mnjama focused his attention on alternative financial service systems over the past eight years and has developed a special affinity to the Savings Groups methodology.
He is currently based in Kigali, serving as an independent microfinance consultant for an International Development Organization. Andrew has 22 years of combined microfinance and banking experience, working with different microfinance models, including financial NGO-donor based operations and commercial bank-led models. He founded Sterling Micro Development Consultants Ltd.-Kenya that oversaw projects in microfinance, housing microfinance, enterprise development, and organizational leadership. A similar company – Sterling Micro Development Consultants Ltd., Rwanda has just been registered to offer Management Consultancy services, Market Research & Product Development, Data Management & Information Systems; as well as set up integrated development projects in Rwanda, with Savings Groups at the core of all these initiatives.
Andrew has a Master of Arts in Mission and Development Practice awarded by the University of Wales in collaboration with the Oxford Centre for Mission Studies in Oxford, UK. His dissertation was entitled: “A Critical Examination of the Viability of the Village Saving and Lending (VSL) Microfinance Model in Kenya – the Case of the COSAMO project”. His vision is to contribute to the holistic transformation of individuals, organizations, communities, and nations through a passion for transformational development.
Simon Karoki is the CRS Program Manager Microfinance for Savings Internal Lending Committees (SILC) for the past five years. Simon is currently championing research on PSP Business delivery model funded by CRS and FSD Kenya and has been responsible for overseeing the formation of the highest number of SILC groups under PSP model in Africa with over 210,000 clients, 6 PSP Networks and over 300 PSPs paid by the SGs. Simon successfully managed four partner projects implementing SILC in different regions in Kenya and is managing the current SILC retrofit project funded by Jim Perry Foundation in Machakos and Mercy Orphans Development Program.
Francis Songela works for CARE USA, Access Africa as Multi Country Coordinator for a Program in Support of Women’s Entrepreneurship in Renewables (wPower). Mr Songela has more than 13 years in the clean and renewable energy sector. He has always enjoying rural energy planning activities including baseline surveys and local level participatory approaches. His key competences include rural energy project conception, formulation, management and evaluation; assessment of rural livelihood strategies and assets, energy financing opportunities/approaches; and rural energy enterprise development. He is well vested in climate change issues and from time to time has been successfully involved on REDD and CDM initiative. He has trained on rural energy financing, assessment; gender and HIV/AIDS mainstreaming. Songela has successfully managed and implemented a number of rural energy projects involving biomass energy technologies (clean cook stoves, biomass briquettes and sustainable charcoal), solar technologies and micro-small hydro projects to promote rural electrification. He is very capable at promoting grassroots rural institutions (e.g. NGOs, CBOs, VSLAs, etc) on participatory approaches.
Mr Songela has worked with different organizations including SNV, World Vision, ACCION, CAMCO, TaTEDO and delivered beyond the expected targets. He is good at technical design for RE system development and in user needs assessment for the rollout of engineering and renewable energy technologies.
Over the years, Mr. Songela has successfully engaged with the government, development partners including UNDP, UNIDO, GIZ, WB, USAID, HIVos, NORAD, SEI, WWF, WFP just to mention a few.
Mr Songela holds a Msc Sustainable Development and BSc in Civil Engineering.
Kuria Wanjau is a Certified Public Accountant, with a degree in Economics from the University of Nairobi. He has a keen interest in promoting savings-led Community-based and member-owned financial models as a way of deepening and broadening financial access. The models are being used by a continuing majority of financial services consumers, including those with access to more formal financial services. His main focus however is to promote these savings-led models in areas and with people who don’t have access to the formal financial providers. He strongly believes that these models shape the users’ financial discipline and make them better financial consumers; from whichever source they access the financial services.
Since April 2011 to date, Mr. Kuria has been the project manager of the Savings Group (SG) project in FSD Kenya. The objective of the project is to develop savings group models to a stage at which a scale-up programme impacting significantly on financial exclusion at a national level becomes viable. A brief of the project can be found on FSD’s website at http://www.fsdkenya.org/pdf_documents/12-10-31_Savings_Groups_briefing_n....
Prior to that, Mr. Kuria was managing the Decentralised Financial Services (DFS) project since June 2007. This was a rural finance action research project which developed training manuals for Trainer of Trainers (ToTs) and groups served by Accumulating Savings and Credit Associations (ASCAs), Financial Services Associations (FSAs) and Savings and Credit Co-operatives (SACCOs). Training the ToTs, group trainers and supervising them as they trained groups was one of the most enriching and rewarding experiences of his life. Seeing group members gain the experience and discipline to save, borrow and repay and uplift their lives has been encouraging.
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