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LEAP III Egypt Private Sector Landscape Assessment

Egypt’s private sector is highly developed, employing approximately 70 percent of the country’s labor force. A dynamic and young population, large market size, and access to important foreign markets drive Egypt’s enormous economic potential. Despite this progress, significant obstacles dampen the country’s ability to recognize its potential for economic growth. Most micro-, small-, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) operate informally, and they contribute less than 30 percent to gross domestic product (GDP). The country has a complex and burdensome legal and regulatory system.

LEAP III Timor-Leste Customs Sector Assessment

To build upon the customs modernization reforms currently being undertaken by the Customs Authority in Timor-Leste, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Learning, Evaluation, and Analysis Project (LEAP III), on behalf of USAID/Timor-Leste, assessed the current operational and legal environment within the customs sector. The review sought, inter alia, to determine the Authority’s adherence to international norms and best practices, with a particular focus on trade facilitation.

mSTAR’s Journey in Bangladesh: A Four Year Retrospective

In Bangladesh, the mSTAR activity supported the acceleration and adoption of digital financial services (DFS), including mobile financial services (MFS) and agent banking, within the USAID Mission’s programs from 2013 through 2017. This infographic tells the story of mSTAR/Bangladesh’s journey and how it has helped enroll over 36,500 individuals—the majority of whom are women—into digital financial service accounts and helped USAID implementing partners (IPs) and their beneficiaries transact over $2.7 million digitally.

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.

Mobile Money Infosheet: Tap 'n Pay

This two-page publication provides an overview of the mobile financial services offered by Mobility i Tap Pay (Bangladesh) Limited in partnership with Meghna Bank Limited, under the brand name Tap 'n Pay, in Bangladesh for corporate users. It includes steps for setting up a corporate account, details on pricing and transaction limits, coverage details, and contact information for their corporate sales. It is one of a series of Infosheets intended to help USAID implementing partners better understand the options that exist for mobile financial services in Bangladesh.

Dispute Landscape & Market Governance

This report investigates how frequently disputes occur, their underlying causes, and avenues for recourse function vis-a-vis a market's governance structure.

Mobile Financial Services in Rural Bangladesh: Common Challenges and Possible Solutions

Although Bangladesh is one of the world’s largest markets in terms of active mobile financial services (MFS) users (with more than 25 million active accounts as of April 2017), accessing those services is still a challenge for many Bangladeshis, particularly in rural areas. This infographic shows some of the many challenges that rural Bangladeshis face using MFS and some potential solutions.

mSTAR/Bangladesh: Mobile Money Consultative Group Meeting Highlights February 2017

The 8th Mobile Money Consultative Group (MMCG) meeting was held on February 20, 2017 at the Lakeshore Hotel in Dhaka, with a focus on “Moving towards more integrated digital financial services”. It was organized by USAID’s Mobile Solutions Technical Assistance and Research (mSTAR) project hosted by City Bank. The meeting was attended by over 40 participants from 33 organizations. Refer to the Annexes for a full list of participants and the meeting agenda.

Agricultural Value Chains Insights: Opportunities in Bangladesh Event Highlights

The Agricultural Value Chains Insights: Opportunities in Bangladesh event was held on November 22, 2016 at the Amari Hotel in Dhaka. It was co-hosted by USAID’s Mobile Solutions Technical Assistance and Research (mSTAR) project, implemented by FHI 360, and USAID’s Agricultural Value Chains (AVC) project, implemented by DAI. The event was attended by 50 participants from 30 organizations.

East Timor: Aquaculture Feasibility Study

The assessment includes analysis of the current status of the aquaculture sector; potential market linkages for Timorese aquaculture products; and the potential for domestic feed production.

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.

Mobile Financial Services Comparison Chart (Bangladesh)

As of February 2016, there were a total of 18 mobile financial services (MFS) providers operational in Bangladesh. Between them, there are more than 33.98 million registered accounts, with over 41% active accounts transacting an average of BDT 5.52 billion (~ US$70 million) each day through the mobile channel. With mobile financial services (aka mobile money) increasingly becoming a viable transaction channel for USAID implementing partners and their stakeholders, this document provides a comparison of pricing, services, and coverage of nine of the leading MFS providers.

mSTAR/Bangladesh: Mobile Money Consultative Group Meeting Highlights February 2016

The fifth Mobile Money Consultative Group (MMCG) meeting organized by USAID’s Mobile Solutions Technical Assistance and Research (mSTAR) project was held on February 18, 2016, at FHI 360’s Bangladesh Country office. It was attended by 18 people, including representatives from nine development organizations and four representatives from three mobile financial service providers: DBBL Mobile Banking, IFIC Mobile Banking and Trust Bank Mobile Money.

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.

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.

From Farmer to a Mobile Money Champ: Sagor's Story

Adopting mobile money does not only bring benefits to development organizations, but it can also bring about dramatic change in the personal and professional lives of staff and beneficiaries. This MM Experience tells the story of Sagor, a beneficiary farmer of USAID's Aquaculture for Income and Nutrition (AIN) program implemented by WorldFish. Sagor is now popularly known in his community as a mobile money champ. This is the fifth in a series created by mSTAR/Bangladesh to show the tangible benefits of mobile money on people's lives.

mSTAR/Bangladesh: Mobile Money Consultative Group Meeting Minutes February 2015

The mSTAR/Bangladesh-organized Mobile Money Consultative Group held its second meeting on February 19, 2015. The MMCG serves as a platform through which stakeholders can share their experiences using mobile money, as well as to identify opportunities for new product innovations and barriers that may exist in effectively using existing products to reach remote and underserved populations. Over 20 representatives from the donor community and development sector attended and contributed to the constructive dialogue. This summary provides meeting highlights.