Special Projects Unit
The Special Projects Unit is responsible for implementing two key programs. The first program is the Provincial Government Engagement Roll-out Program while the other is the Market for Village Farmers Project.
1) Provincial Government Engagement Roll out
Under this program CEFI has signed four (4) Memorandum of Understanding partnership with West New Britain, Milne Bay, East New Britain and New Ireland Province. There are plans to bring on board more provinces so that the financial inclusion agenda can be expanded throughout the country.
The objective of the provincial government engagement is two-fold as outlined below
– To increase financial inclusion activities in the province to support the objectives and goals of the National Financial Inclusion Strategy.
– To include financial inclusion indicators into the annual planning and budgeting process of the province as a development priority.
i) Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)
The tool that will be used to formalize collaboration and partnership between CEFI and the various provincial administrations will be through Memorandum of Understanding (MOUs).
MOUs will be signed between CEFI and the respective provincial government which will pave way for both parties to collaboratively roll-out financial inclusion activities in the province. The MOU is expected to be sign by the Governor or the Provincial Administrator with the head of CEFI or BPNG.
In promoting the integration of financial inclusion activities in the planning and implementation processes of each province/district; key priority activities which qualify for government support will be identified and will be included in the Financial Inclusion activity work plan for each province.
It is envisages that the resourcing of the identified activities in the MOU will be done through a cost share arrangement.
The MOU should contain among other things the following key items;
i) Clearly identify the roles and responsibilities of CEFI and the Provincial Government in carrying out FI related activities in the province.
ii) For CEFI to implement agreed Financial Inclusion activities and conduct Financial Literacy (FL) and Business Development Services (BDS) training.
iii) Conduct a desktop review of financial inclusion indicators in the province.
iv) To formalize the cost and resource sharing responsibilities of each party in implementing the financial inclusion activities.
v) Set the timeframe of the MOU to be for three (3) years.
vi) Apart from the Project Steering Committee to appoint a senior provincial administration officer (most preferably the Director/Advisor for the Commerce Division to be the FI Focal point within the provincial government.
vii) For the Provincial Government through the Project Steering Committee and the FI Provincial Focal Point to recognize and work with the CEFI Financial Inclusion Coordinator.
ii) Financial Inclusion Roll-out Plan in the selected provinces.
The following outlines the list of activities that CEFI will embark on with the respective provincial governments. The activities are categorized into phases as follows;
Phase 1: Planning, advocacy and awareness
Phase 2: Implementation
Phase 3: Monitoring and evaluation
1) Phase 1: Planning, advocacy and awareness
Under Phase 1 the following activities will be carried out;
i) Send out formal letters to interested provinces to seek their interest to partner with CEFI to promote financial inclusion in the province.
ii) Engage with provincial governments in conferences, seminars and meetings such as PLLSMA and provincial governors, LLG Presidents and administrator’s conference.
iii) Identify donors funded projects operating in the province that has a component on financial inclusion and seek support from the Provincial Government or the donor partner to partner with.
iv) Establish contact and maintain cordial relationship with key national government agencies such as the Department of Provincial & Local Government Affairs, Department of Finance and Treasury and the Department of National Planning & Monitoring.
v) Conduct Financial Inclusion Engagement Workshop with key government stakeholders within the province on the National Financial Inclusion Strategy and current status of the financial activities and obtain consent for partnerships (buy in from the province).
vi) Signing of an MOU with the Provincial Government Administration and where required with District Development Authorities to implement financial inclusion activities.
vii) Establishment of a Steering Committee on Financial Inclusion to be chaired by the appropriate Deputy Provincial Administrator. As chair he/she will be responsible for overseeing the implementation of the finance inclusion work plan in the province. Members to be included are key provincial government officials, Private sector agencies (Chamber of Commerce if they are available), financial institutions, Civil society organizations (NGO’s), Church groups (Women and Youth groups that are actively operating). A specific TOR will be created for the Chairperson.
viii) An induction for the Provincial Financial Inclusion Steering Committee will be conducted to explain the roles of the committees and what is expected under the partnership.
ix) Establishment of a Focal Point for coordinating financial inclusion activities in the province. The suggestion is for the Director/Advisor Commerce Division to play that role. A specific TOR will be created for the FI Provincial Coordinator.
x) Preparation, finalization and endorsement of the Annual Work plan.
2) Phase 2: Implementation
Under phase 2 the following activities will be carried out
i) Conduct desktop review of financial inclusion indicators for the province. The review is to establish the current financial inclusion situation of each province covering key indicators like access points, demand for financial services, economic activity locations and others. The information will be gathered from the different sectors within the provincial administration such as Commerce, Women and Youth and others and data gathered will assist in the development of Annual Work plans for the province. CEFI’s supply side financial inclusion data and relevant studies conducted in the province will provide the basis for this desktop review.
ii) Design and implement an appropriate monitoring and evaluation process/system to measure progress on an ongoing basis.
ii) Conduct Training of Trainers (ToT) training on Financial Literacy and Business Development Skills for identified key stakeholders such as retired public servants, government officials, youth, women and church leaders and informal micro-entrepreneurs and SME business owners.
iii) The provincial based trainers to conduct retail training into the communities with CEFI to provide handholding support in areas of supervision, coaching and mentoring.
iv) Develop a database of trained trainers in the province to be jointly administered by the Provincial Financial Inclusion Coordinator/focal point and CEFI Training Unit.
v) Opening of bank accounts for trained participants.
vi) Expansion of banking network in the province .i.e. branches, agencies and ATMs in collaboration with partner financial institutions.
vii) Digitalization of provincial government payment systems. (CEFI will sought technical assistance for this endeavor)
viii) Roll out of Children Savings Campaign in schools – This can be carried out with Provincial Education Department and the regulated partner financial institutions in the province. CEFI can participate in the initial stage while the provincial government team can continue with the rest of the schools in the province.
ix) Identify and implement Special Projects in the province or selected district as, where and when required (Optional)
3) Phase 3: Monitoring & Evaluation
Under phase 3 the following activities will be carried out;
i) M & E for the activities (trainings, account opening etc).
ii) Ongoing Steering Committee meetings to be conducted periodically.
iii) Furnishing of reports.
iv) CEFI to conduct workshops for Provincial Financial Inclusion Coordinator for upskilling and information exchange.
v) CEFI to provide award for the best performing Provincial Financial Inclusion Coordinator.
vi) CEFI to develop a training program for the Provincial Financial Inclusion Coordinator and provide them with a good understanding of CEFI activities[GT1] .
vii) CEFI to conduct a workshop annually for provincial governments to present their achievements.
viii) CEFI to develop a “scorecard” to measure the performance of each province and report back to them.
ix) CEFI to provide annual awards for the best performing province.
x) Review of the current MOU.
ii) Key performance indicators
Based on the activities listed in phase 1 and 2 the following are the key performance indicators,
1. Signed MOU
2. Provincial Financial Inclusion Steering Committee set-up and Chairman appointed
3. Provincial Financial Inclusion Desk set-up and Provincial Financial Inclusion Coordinator appointed
4. Number of trainers trained (gender breakdown)
5. Number of people trained (gender breakdown)
6. Number of new bank accounts opened (gender breakdown)
7. Number of School Kids Savings Account opened (gender breakdown)
8. Number of new banking outlets opened
9. Number of ATMs opened
10. Percentage of provincial government transactions conducted digitally
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