From left to right: Edward Sia (FSVC), Aisha Nurekenova (Tengri Bank), Alma Shuvatova (Tengri Bank), Ruslan Bekmukhambetov (Tengri Bank), Abhishek Jain (Tengri Bank), Bauyrzhan Bizhanov (Tengri Bank) and Clayton Neighbors (FSVC). New York, NY. August 2019.
The Kazakh economy is heavily dependent on the oil and gas sector, which renders it susceptible to market volatility. Small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) represent a critical contributor to economic diversification and job creation. However, Kazakh SMEs suffer from a lack of access to credit, which is a key obstacle to growth in the local economy.
To expand SMEs’ access to credit, FSVC hosted a delegation of six bankers from Tengri Bank of Kazakhstan for a study tour in New York City from August 22-28. This study tour was conducted as part of a multi-year technical assistance program between FSVC and Tengri Bank, with support from the U.S. Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) and WorldBusiness Capital, Inc. (WBC).
FSVC provided customized consultations and trainings led by six seasoned volunteer experts. Sessions focused on credit and operational risk management, and the sharing of best practices from U.S. banks and financial institutions. Delegation members also toured the New York Stock Exchange to see the opening bell and trading floor.
As a result of the project, delegation members left equipped with increased knowledge and skills to implement international best practices related to credit and operational risk management. Tengri Bank will thus be better positioned to support SMEs in Kazakhstan.
From left to right: U.S. Ambassador to Moldova Dereck J. Hogan, Minster of Finance of Moldova Natalia Gavrilița, and Chad Kilbourne (FSVC). Chisinau, Moldova. August 2019.
In August, FSVC launched a budget transparency web-portal in Moldova. This web-portal has been developed over the past year in close partnership with the Moldovan Ministry of Finance, the Center for Information Technologies in Finance and a local IT provider, with financial support from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).
The web-portal provides data on national and local budget creation and execution and is user-friendly so that ordinary citizens can review the data. It contains a budget dictionary, and ensures data are available in simple visual formats for general users and in granular format for advanced users. The web-portal strengthens the capacity of the Ministry of Finance to present fiscal data in an accessible and transparent manner. It also helps citizens and civil society organizations have a better understanding of the budget process, thus improving budget transparency and accountability in Moldova.
The potential uses for this web-portal are endless; for example, the local media Publika used data from the web-portal to show that expenses for the President’s office doubled within a year.
Parliamentary Clerks pose for a group picture after completing the workshop. Mbabane, Eswatini. August 2019.
FSVC has been implementing a USAID-funded program in Eswatini to combat corruption through increased budget transparency since August 2017. As part of this program, in August 2019, FSVC organized a workshop for Parliamentary Clerks on report writing and minute taking. Prior to this workshop, Parliamentary Clerks had never been trained in this area, and Members of Parliament complained that they often received reports that were inadequate and inaccurate. To enhance reporting and transparency in the Parliament of Eswatini, FSVC trained 15 Parliamentary Clerks in drafting formal reports and taking accurate and concise minutes of parliamentary sessions.
Through the introduction of templates on various types of legislative reports, Parliamentary Clerks are now equipped to submit minutes and reports that are essential to the efficient operations of the Eswatini Parliament.
2019 has proven so far to be a year of remarkable growth and expansion for FSVC. We have been fortunate to launch two new programs that will broaden our presence and base of expertise in West Africa and Central Asia. This August in Tajikistan, we began a program focused on increasing financial inclusion and strengthening financial stability in the country. FSVC is also in the process of opening an office in Niger for a program called Sahel Human Voice in Governance Activity (SHIGA), which will aim to increase governance accountability, encourage policy reform and strengthen civil society in Niger.
Our ability to evolve and implement highly effective programs across the world is reliant upon the support we receive from our unique network of volunteer experts, generous donors, institutional partners and friends of the organization. We want to recognize your generosity on the occasion of this year’s International Day of Charity, commemorated every September 5th by the United Nations to mobilize people around the world to help others through volunteer and philanthropic activities.
In light of this year’s International Day of Charity, we also ask you to consider making a gift to FSVC today on our online donation page. We hope we can count on you to continue to support our critical work in emerging market countries.