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 International Relations

Information on Activities of the DID Vietnam Project Office.

(Cập nhật ngày: 01/12/2009 - 05:00:00 PM )
Rural-Urban Interconnectivity to Help Fight Poverty
DID-Vietnam Project Office

On December 3rd, 2009, a meeting in the framework of the “Rural-Urban Interconnectivity to Help Fight Poverty” project was held at SBV Deputy Governor – Mr. Tran Minh Tuan’s office. The purpose of the meeting was to enable DID and CCF to report on project implementation progress to the Deputy Governor Tran Minh Tuan and to seek for his instruction opinion to further implement the project. To attend the meeting, on behalf of the Banking Inspection and Supervision Agency, there were Mr. Pham Huyen Anh, Chief of Bank Prudence and Policies Department and Ms. Nguyen Thi Van Anh, expert of the Office of the Agency. Regarding the CCF, there were Mr. Do Manh Hung, General Director and Mr. Nguyen Quoc Cuong, Deputy General Director. Regarding the DID Vietnam Project Office, there were Ms. France Hamel, Field Project Advisor and Mrs. Ngo Thi Minh Hien, Intervention Advisor. During the meeting, DID and CCF reported the feasibility and the progress of the project. Deputy Governor Tran Minh Tuan agreed to continue implementing project as proposal of the CCF.  Periodically, DID project office will send report on process of the project implementation to the Banking Inspection and Supervision Agency.

Consequently, a meeting between the DID-ATI with the Project Implementation Unit of CCF was held at the CCF Head Office on December 7th, 2009. For this project, DID is responsible for development of money transfer and interconnectivity transactions and to integrate the transactions to the BMS-PCF.net software provided by VAPCF-IT Cie.and consequently, hired ATI as DID’ subcontractor in information technology, ATI has made a number of projects with Desjardins Group in Canada. ATI conducts software development and design and has extensive experience in banking and payment software development for commercial banks in Canada. During the meeting PIU-CCF presented business models for fund transfer to the ATI technical and operational experts and work items which the CCF wishes to receive technical assistance from ATI.

During this period, to achieve one of the expected results of the project that is capacity building for technical staff of the PCF network, DID approved training proposal on IT for the staff of the PIU-CCF. The purpose of the training is to improve the IT capacity for CCF staff in order to enable CCF developing its virtual private network (VPN), installation and operation of infrastructure facilities, platform serving for fund transfer and interconnectivity systems, receiving and operating the system hardware and software programs developed and transferred from related IT consulting firm(s). Currently, two training courses are being conducted at the Bach Khoa IT Academy (BKACAD). In early 2010, four other training courses will be conducted in BKACAD and NetPro Networking Academy –Sao Bac Dau Academy (NetPro ITI). On December 10, 2009, Ms. France Hamel, DID Operations Advisor, visited the two prestigious training centers in Hanoi.

"Rural-Urban Interconnectivity to Help Fight Poverty” Project – One year Performance
DID-Vietnam Project Office
Interconnectivity Project in Vietnam is one of the components of a global Interconnectivity Project of DID in three continents: Africa, South America and Asia. The global project has been initiated by DID with the funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. In Asia, DID selected Vietnam People’s Credit Funds Network to participate the project. Gates Foundation approved this global project in late 2007 and it started earlier with the two Africa and South America continents. Particularly for Vietnam, The Prime Minister of the Government of Vietnam approved and authorized the State Bank of Vietnam to sign the Project Agreement with DID as at the Official Letter No. 100/TTg-QHQT of the Prime Minister on 19 / 1 / 2009.
On February 25th, 2009, DID Vietnam in cooperation with the State Bank of Vietnam held the Agreement Signing Ceremony. After the Ceremony concluded, the project stakeholders gathered for the first meeting to implement the project, including representatives from DID, Credit Cooperative Institutions Department-SBV (now merged into the Banking Inspection and Supervision Agency), the Central People's Credit Funds, the Vietnam Association of People’s Credit Fund and eight local  People's Credit Fund selected to participate the pilot project. The meeting content was to provide information about the project, the organizational structure of the project, draft roles, responsibilities and contributions of the parties to the project.

DID has accomplished a number of work as following:
1. Signing the protocols:

    1. Agreements signed with SBV, CCF
    2. VAPCF became member of the Proxfin Network
    3. Implementation Plan production
    4. Coordinate with the stakeholders to select eight PCF for pilot
      2. Feasibility studies:
a.       DID completed the legal, technical and operational feasibility studies

b.      CCF updated the feasibility studies in accordance with the reality of Vietnam.

3. On April 2009, DID office has coordinated with SBV to visit and work in some pilot PCFs in Ho Chi Minh City and An Giang in order to introduce more about the project,and to survey the existing equipment in those PCFs,
4. The project implementation unit of the CCF (PIU-CCF) was established and are conducting the project work items as planned by the DID and CCF as training, office equipment and consultancy work.

5. Supported the VAPCF to release its bulletin: DID approved the budget for publication of VAPCF’s Bulletin aiming at providing timely information to the PCFs in the whole network about the activities of the PCF network, DID Vietnam office and other related information. In the pilot publication stage, the VAPCF completed publication of three bi-monthly bulletins -4 pages/issue. Since June 2009, the VAPCF has upgraded its bulletin to 32 pages with many news articles and one issue per month with 6 consecutive issues already published. DID always contributes its news articles about the DID Vietnam activities, about the Proxfin Network which VAPCF is now one of its members.
Review of the year - “Support for the Vietnam Association of People Credit Funds” Project
DID-Vietnam Project Office
Trying to strengthen the PCF network, the SBV and DID, with the funding from CIDA, are supporting the VAPCF through the project “Support for the VAPCF”.
In June 2009, DID sent the Project Approval Document to the SBV and VAPCF. After a period of revision and in order to obtain comments & suggestion from related parties of the project, DID and VAPCF signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in September 2009. This MOU intends to govern the relationship between DID and VAPCF.
Consequently, since the end of October 2009, the VAPCF has prepared the Project Document and submitted to the SBV for approval. During this month, DID started to transfer the distance training program to VAPCF named PAMEF (Programme d’appui à la mobilisation de l’épargne dans la francophonie- Support program for the mobilization of savings in the French-speaking word (PAMEF). The training document includes seven modules, the Learner’s Handbook, graded exercises, final exam and answer keys. It is necessary to customize the training document to have a distance training program suitable with the Vietnamese context. Therefore, there will be a VAPCF operation committee to be established to undertake this duty.
Before sending the Project Approval Document to VAPCF, DID has cooperated with the SBV for the Logical Analysis Framework of the “Support for the Vietnam Association of People’s Credit Funds (VAPCF)” project. It has shown that the project has pooled the efforts on offering value-added services which is essential for the development of the VAPCF and the PCF network. Consequently, In early December 2009, the SBV Deputy Governor has confirmed for the Project’s Approval  .
The Project goal is to contribute to improving living conditions in rural Vietnam by favoring access to quality financial services and this goal can be achieved through the specific objectives set forth as follow:
·        To increase the effectiveness of the PCFs’ operations;

·        To increase the skills and the professionalism of the elected leaders and employees of the VACPF and its member institutions

·        To implement a mechanism to protect the PCF against insolvency
The Project has 3 components:
·        Support for the Deployment of the BMS-PCF Solution

·        Human Resource Development Support:

ü      Transfer of a distance learning program;     
ü      An awareness-raising internship within apex organizations of two emerging foreign financial cooperative networks in Russia and Lithuania.
·        Support for the establishment of the Safety Fund for the PCF network
Since the SBV approval, VAPCF and DID collaborate on the start up of related activities for the project such as:
·        Setting up an evaluation team to evaluate the quality and to improve the BMS-PCF.Net (if necessary).

·        Starting to deploy the BMS-PCF.Net in Quang Trung and Phung Xa PCFs.

·        Preparing the plan to deploy the BMS-PCF.Net for the 08 pilot PCFs in early 2010.

·        Setting up the working committee for the PAMEF training document adaptation.

With the efforts of both DID and VAPCF and the long term relationship between DID and VAPCF, we can look forward for further success and expected good results of the “ Support for the VAPCF” project in future.

The following article was published on the Proxfin’s official website and it discussed about the Proxfin members’ resilience facing the financial crisis.

Financial Crisis: Proxfin Members Resilient
While turbulence in the world of finance is still deeply affecting a large number of microfinance institutions around the globe, Proxfin members institutions have shown surprising resilience to its impact and have stayed their course. This was made apparent by the presentations and discussions at Proxfin's third international seminar held November 3-4 in Vilnius, Lithuania.
Where is the source of this resilience? Previous issues of this bulletin highlighted three elements that are crucial to the survival of financial institutions: the confidence of the members and the community, adequate capitalization and proper management of liquidities. These three factors form the strength at the core of Proxfin member institutions which has enabled them to withstand the effects of the crisis. According to Carlos Cuevas, Deputy Director for the Financial Services for the Poor initiative at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and who spoke at the Proxfin seminar in the capacity of a specialist in microfinance and cooperative finance, “integration of the cooperatives into federated networks is an additional factor for sustainability since it allows for risk sharing, stabilization of deposits and funds, and for modernization of operations and systems.
Most of Proxfin member institutions registered slower, but still ongoing, growth in membership, lending and deposits. Often, what in fact was affected was the quality of the loan portfolio, due to slowdown in the economy, increased joblessness and a decline in remittances from abroad. This negative impact did, however, have the advantage of stimulating even greater vigilance and additional efforts towards innovation and improved efficiency in activities and operations. After weathering the storm, the institutions became stronger and more dynamic.
Unique solutions
MECREF, a cooperative aimed at women in Niger, joined forces with an association specialized in training women entrepreneurs in order to strengthen the capacities of its members so that the risk of losses on their loans would be limited. The NATCCO network in the Philippines relied on a stabilization fund to strengthen the operations in its cooperatives and mitigate the difficulties incurred by some during the crisis. The Lithuanian central fund was able to come through the crisis by benefiting from higher interest rates offered on government bonds and other investment products and by intensifying risk management and control as well as by more conservative decision making. CENCOPAN, in Paraguay, focused for its part on revising its management practices, diversification of its services, cost cutting and resource optimization.
Dr. Modesto N. Segovia Boltes, CENCOPAN President, stated that “the financial crisis has offered us an opportunity to strengthen the cooperative financial sector. But most of all, it has positioned us in a very advantageous manner with regard to the rest of the banking and financial sector because of the sound practices used for cooperative governance and management, the application of cooperative values and principles along with continuous professional upgrading of human resources and education of members.”


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