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Assessing the Impact of Digitally-Enabled Microcredit for Smallholder Farmers: Findings from the A-Card pilot initiative

mSTAR/Bangladesh, working with the Agriculture Extension Support Activity (AESA) led by Dhaka Ahsania Mission (DAM), conducted pre- and post-assessments in Faridpur district to understand the impact that a micro-credit product (called A-Card) delivered to smallholder farmers through Bank Asia’s agent banking had on participating farmers, associated ag-input retailers, and other relevant stakeholders, as well as to understand what further action can be taken to improve uptake of these services.

Understanding Mobile-Enabled Agri-Credit Adoption Among Rice Farmers

The mSTAR/Bangladesh project, working with the Rice Value Chain (RVC) Project led by the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), conducted pre- and post-assessments in Jessore and Satkhira to understand the benefits, challenges and overall experience of farmers who adopted an agri-credit product delivered via IFIC Mobile Banking. This product provided loans for agricultural inputs to smallholder farmers amounting to BDT 10,000 (US $125) with a six-month repayment period.

mSTAR/Bangladesh: Technical Assistance to the USAID SAPLING project

This report outlines the technical assistance provided by mSTAR/Bangladesh to the USAID-funded Development Food Assistance Program, Sustainable Agriculture and Production Linked to Improved Nutrition Status Resilience and Gender Equity (SAPLING), implemented by Helen Keller International.

Opportunities for Digital Financial Services for Agricultural Mechanization in Bangladesh: A Market Landscape Assessment

The mSTAR/Bangladesh project, working with the Cereal Systems Initiative for South Asia - Mechanization and Irrigation (CSISA-MI) project, conducted an assessment in six districts of southwest Bangladesh to look at opportunities for digital financial services integration in agricultural mechanization services. This included an examination of potential financial products that could be proposed to financial institutions for creating opportunities for mechanization service providers and users to access financial support through digital channels.

Workshop on Digital Payments for AIRN Members through Agent Banking

mSTAR/Bangladesh received a technical assistance request from the Agro-Inputs Retailers Network (AIRN), which is supported by USAID’s Agro-Inputs Project, in February 2017 to support them to explore DFS adoption among AIRN members. In connection with that request, mSTAR/B conducted two technical workshops for AIRN members in March 2017 about using agent banking for digital payments. Md. Ataur Rahman, mSTAR/B Team Lead, facilitated the workshop sessions.

mSTAR/Bangladesh: Technical Assistance to IRRI Bangladesh

The Rice Value Chain (RVC) project is a 15-month pilot project run by the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) Bangladesh to support the private sector with the goal of improving the efficiency of the rice value chain. RVC is working through eight partners and the intervention areas are mostly in the south and southwest of Bangladesh.

mSTAR/Bangladesh: Technical Assistance to Save the Children

Save the Children requested technical assistance from mSTAR/Bangladesh to provide light-touch support to prepare their partners under the USAID-funded Reading Enhancement for Advancing Development (READ) project to be able to explore the potential of using mobile payments to pay volunteer honorariums. Their initial request was received in November 2015, and TA was conducted in February 2016. The time difference between receipt of the request and provision of TA was the result of coordinating schedules for a technical workshop. 

The Potential of Using Digital Financial Services for Savings Groups in Bangladesh

The primary goal of this assessment was to increase understanding of the structure of savings groups in Bangladesh, which are mainly represented by lower-income populations, as well as the financial behavior (both savings and expenses) of members of those savings groups, in order to identify opportunities that may exist for leveraging digital financial services. The assessment looked into the challenges facing different savings groups with regards to cash management, required level of effort to manage a savings group (cost and time), literacy, and exposure to financial services.

Deep Dive into the Mobile Financial Services Offered in Bangladesh: Presentations by two leading providers | Workshop

USAID’s mSTAR project aims to increase operational efficiency and productivity across USAID Bangladesh’s agricultural and health portfolios through mobile and electronic payment adoption. Aligned with this objective, mSTAR Bangladesh facilitates quarterly and district-level technical workshops to increase awareness and competence of relevant USAID implementing partners (IPs) on the benefits of using mobile payments. 

Mobile Money Integration Assessment for SPRING Project

The mSTAR team received a request from the SPRING project on May 31, 2015, to investigate the scope of integrating mobile money in their project. The mSTAR team conducted a scoping study covering SPRING’s Khulna field office to: i) Map the transaction flow between SPRING’s Khulna divisional office and Upazilla Coordinators (UCs); and, ii) Conduct a cost-benefit analysis of integrating mobile money into government training programs organized by UCs.

Mobile Money Integration Assessment for Agro-Inputs Project

The mSTAR team received a request from the Agro-Inputs Project (AIP) on April 29, 2015, to investigate the scope of integrating mobile money in their project. The mSTAR team conducted a scoping study covering AIP Khulna field office, members of the Agro-Input Retailers’ Network (AIRN) and farmers in order to: i) Understand the financial behavior of wholesalers, retailers, and farmers during peak and off-peak season. ii) Map the transaction flow between wholesalers, retailers, and farmers during peak and off-peak season.

The Transition Benefit: From Cash to Mobile Financial Services in the Aponjon Initiative, Bangladesh

This assessment was conducted to systematically understand the benefit of transitioning from cash to mobile financial services (MFS), under an mHealth initiative for expectant and new mothers (branded as Aponjon), which is run by Dnet in Bangladesh. The transition was made with an expectation of efficiency gains in Aponjon’s incentive payment system to Aponjon agents at the community level, which are provided to them for customer acquisitions that they make.

Mobile Money in Action: Myths, Facts and Simulations | Workshop Report

USAID’s mSTAR project aims to increase operational efficiency and productivity across USAID Bangladesh’s agricultural and health portfolios through mobile and electronic payment adoption. Aligned with this objective, mSTAR Bangladesh facilitates quarterly and district-level technical workshops to increase awareness and competence of relevant USAID implementing partners (IPs) on the benefits of using mobile payments. 

The Future of Mobile Payments in USAID Health Projects and Programs: Workshop Report

USAID’s mSTAR project aims to increase operational efficiency and productivity across USAID Bangladesh’s agricultural and health portfolios through mobile and electronic payment adoption. Aligned with this objective, mSTAR Bangladesh facilitates quarterly and district-level technical workshops to increase awareness and competence of relevant USAID implementing partners (IPs) on the benefits of using mobile payments. This workshop focused on training frontline manager on MM and its benefits, and on the role of the mSTAR project.

Essentials for Incorporating Mobile Payments into Projects & Programs: Workshop Report

USAID’s mSTAR project aims to increase operational efficiency and productivity across USAID Bangladesh’s agricultural and health portfolios through mobile and electronic payment adoption. Aligned with this objective, mSTAR Bangladesh facilitates quarterly and district-level technical workshops to increase awareness and competence of relevant USAID implementing partners (IPs) on the benefits of using mobile payments. This workshop focused on the process of how USAID Bangladesh IPs can easily adopt mobile payments in their project operations.

mSTAR/Bangladesh: Technical Assistance to DAM Report

Dhaka Ahsania Mission (DAM) requested technical assistance from mSTAR/Bangladesh to operationalize integrating mobile payments into their USAID-funded Agricultural Extension Support Activity (AESA) project. This report provides a summary of the challenges DAM has faced in transitioning to mobile money, the technical assistance provided by mSTAR/Bangladesh to overcome those challenges, initial outcomes and knowledge gained from the support provided, and planned follow up activities.

FIELD Report No. 21: Understanding Systemic Change in the Vegetable Seed Market – A Qualitative Assessment

This report from the FIELD-Support LWA examines changes in the local market system resulting from the introduction of vegetable seed mini-packets in Bangladesh (facilitated through an Action for Enterprise program), and how those changes affected local farmers and their households. It first presents the findings of a market system assessment based on a review of secondary data and in-depth interviews (IDIs) with market actors.

mSTAR Quarterly Report | Q3 FY14

The five-year Mobile Solutions Technical Assistance and Research (mSTAR) award is a broad, flexible, and responsive program designed to foster the rapid adoption and scale-up of mobile money, mobile access, and mobile data in developing countries.

mSTAR/Bangladesh: Technical Assistance to the Worldfish Center Report

The WorldFish Center requested help from mSTAR/Bangladesh to operationalize using mobile money with field-level staff on their Aquaculture for Income and Nutrition (AIN) project. This report summarizes: i) challenges the WorldFish Center has faced in transitioning to mobile money; ii) the technical assistance provided by mSTAR/Bangladesh; iii) workshop activities and participant profiles; iv) initial outcomes; and v) planned follow up activities.