FFRI-CAC cannot approve additional projects until more funds are received and the next date to review applications is to be determined.

The RIFF-CAC response to the COVID-19 pandemic has several facets:

  • The RIFF-CAC has published a simplified form to facilitate the application process for financial service providers (FSPs). Available here.
  • We have expanded the themes of what we can co-finance. In addition to training, evaluation, and implementation of good practices in SPM, we can support projects that promote institutional resilience, data collection on customers, the launch of digital channels to facilitate communications and transactions between the provider, its staff, and its customers.
  • In-person trainings will not be offered in Q2 of 2020. Online training will be offered. In-person trainings can be applied for and approved, but will not be scheduled until it is safe to gather for in-person meetings.

Introduction to RIFF-CAC
RIFF-CAC - “The Responsible Inclusive Finance Facility for Central America and the Caribbean” is managed by the SPTF in coordination with REDCAMIF, the regional microfinance network for Central America and the Spanish-speaking Caribbean. It is funded by the Swiss Agency for Cooperation and Development (SDC), and the Government of Luxembourg via The Financial Inclusion Fund administered by the European Investment Bank (EIB). The Facility seeks to strengthen the capacities and practices of inclusive financial services providers in the region through the following activities:

• Training: aimed at strengthening capacity in staff working in financial service providers (FSPs), microfinance networks, providers of technical assistance, and as consultants. Trainings are offered on a variety of topics pertaining to responsible and inclusive finance including:

o social performance management,
o client protection,
o social audit using the SPI4 tool, and
o frontier topics (e.g., social outcomes measurement, green microfinance, digital financial services, customer empowerment, and climate resiliency).

• Co-financing: offered for projects submitted by FSPs related to institutional evaluation and upgrade pojects, designed to improve an FSP’s practices and bring them in line with the Universal Standards for SPM. Institutional evaluations can include:

o SPI4 Plus – a social audit with accompanying action plan,
o Client protection assessment or Smart Certification,
o Social rating
o Digital readiness assessment

• Upgrade projects: Co-finance the implementation of projects designed to:

o address the gaps in practice identified during the institutional assessments,
o bring the FSP’s practices in line with the Universal Standards for SPM, 
o or offer specialized training for FSP staff in topics related to client-centered management.
o Improve digital readiness or carry out digital transformation

• Resource development: creation of tools, research, case studies, or other resources, according to the demand from the region.

The RIFF-CAC will last for four years (2018-2021). SPTF manages the Facility’s operations and REDCAMIF coordinates implementation of the Facility’s activities in the region.

To read an overview of this initiative in Spanish click here.

Countries of Operation
The following countries are considered a priority: Nicaragua, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, and Haiti. In addition, operations will take place in Mexico, Panama, Costa Rica, and the Dominican Republic as well as the English-speaking Caribbean. At this time, we can not finance projects in South America. 

RIFF-CAC Staff
RIFF-CAC Director – Cara S. Forster (SPTF)
RIFF-CAC Coordinator – Aracely Castillo (REDCAMIF)
Steering Committee: Laura Foose (SPTF), Snezana Jovic (CERISE), Paula Cortez (ADA), Anna Kanze (Grassroots Capital Management)
For questions, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Methodology
Those interested in participating in RIFF-CAC's activities must fill out an application for the activity they are interested in and send it by email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Applications received will be evaluated by the RIFF-CAC Steering Committee on a quarterly basis.

Past events
April 10, 2018 - Guatemala (prior to the International Microfinance Congress 2018)
Introduction to responsible inclusive finance
10am-6pm - Hotel Real Intercontinental Guatemala

April 18, 2018 - Tegucigalpa (prior to REDMICROH Financial Education Forum)
Introduction to responsible inclusive finances
10am-6pm - Hotel Clarión

June 25 - 27, 2018 – Dominican Republic
Introduction to responsible inclusive finance
8am-5pm - Hotel Barceló Santo Domingo

June 28 - 29, 2018 – Dominican Republic
Workshop on “Client Protection Principles”
8am-5pm - Hotel Barceló Santo Domingo

July 16 - 18, 2018 – Panama
SPI4 Workshop
9am-4pm - Hotel Hyatt Place Ciudad Panamá

August 20 - 21, 2018 – El Salvador (prior to the IX conferencia de REDCAMIF)
Training on SPI4 for Auditors
8am-5pm - Hotel Crown Plaza San Salvador

Workshop on “Client Protection Principles”
September 5-6, 2018
9am-5pm - Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Training for SPI4 auditors
October 11-12, 2018
At PRONAFIM - Mexico City, Mexico

Introduction to Responsible and Inclusive Finance
October 22-24, 2018
At ProDesarrollo - Mexico City, Mexico

Senior Management SPM Sensitization
November 13, 2018
Hotel Barceló - Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Introduction to Responsible and Inclusive Finance
February 6-8, 2019
9am-5pm - Belmopan, Belize

Introduction to Responsible and Inclusive Finance
February 25-27, 2019
9am-5pm - Kingston, Jamaica

Introduction to Responsible and Inclusive Finance
March 6-8, 2019
9am-5pm - Roseau, Dominica

Introduction to Responsible and Inclusive Finance
May 13-15, 2019
9am-5pm - Paramaribo, Suriname

Training on Digital Financial Services
May 14-15, 2019
9am-5pm - Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

SPM for Board members & Training on Digital Financial Services
Sep 10-12, 2019
9am-5pm - Kingston, Jamaica

Future events TBD
The RIFF-CAC trainings are free to participants but there is limited capacity; therefore, we suggest that you register as soon as possible, by writing to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Apply for RIFF-CAC
We invite you to apply for the RIFF-CAC in order to participate in trainings and/or co-financing activities. If you are interested in having your application evaluated by the steering committee this quarter, please submit it to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Please note that each FSP can only obtain co-financing for one project at a time. If an application that has been submitted is not approved, it is possible to send a revised application or apply for another activity in the future.

Application forms (by activity)
Trainings:
1. Introductory Training in Key Areas of Responsible Inclusive Finance: English

2. Workshop: Client Protection Principles (Smart Campaign): English

3. SPI4 Workshop for FSPs: English

4. SPI4 Auditor Training (offered on a limited capacity): English

5. Training of Technical Assistance Providers on Specific Areas of Client Protection: English

6. Training of Technical Assistance Providers on Specific Areas of SPM: English

7. Training on Digital Financial Services: English

Co-financing activities (for FSPs):
1. SPI4 Social Audit Plus (accompanied SPI4+ creation of action plan): English

2. Smart Assessment: English

3. Digital Readiness Assessment: English

4. Upgrade Project (to improve client protection or SPM practices): English

5. Upgrade Project (to launch/improve Digital Financial Services or carry out digital transformation): English

6. Specialized Training for a Provider in a Specific Area of SPM: English

7. Specialized Training for Digital Financial Services: English

8. Smart Certification and/or Social Rating: English

If you need forms in French please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Resources
For an overview about the Responsible and Inclusive Finance Facility for Central America and the Caribbean, click here.

RIFF-CAC supports e-learning projects during COVID, click here.

Webinars
Ethics by Design: July 22, 2021. The digitization caused by the pandemic gives us the opportunity as a sector to build more responsible products and business models because we are now building them many times from scratch in their digital versions. We will look at the ethics by design framework and how ethics functions as the foundation for interactions with microfinance clients, for both traditional and digital services. An expert on the subject, attorney Daniel Medina, explains the ethics by design framework, its importance, and how to monitor and follow up on the issue in microfinance institutions. Karen Larson, the CEO of Friendship Bridge in Guatemala, shares her perspective as the leader of a financial institution that uses ethics as the basis for strategic planning and service design and how this approach has impacted her relationships with clients.
PowerPoint
Recording

Strategies for supporting the recovery and adaptation of client businesses to COVID-19: May 27, 2021. The SPTF COVID-19 Client Interview Tool revealed that many client businesses were severely impacted by COVID-19 and the measures taken to prevent its spread. Although many clients are back to work, many have found their original businesses are no longer viable and have had to switch to a new business, rebuild entirely, or fundamentally alter how they work. This webinar will explore the strategies that Friendship Bridge in Guatemala and Movimiento Manuela Ramos's CrediMujer program in Peru are using to help their clients rebuild and adapt. 
PowerPoint
Recording
Video

A year Later: COVID Lessons & the Way Forward: May 18, 2021. The Caribbean Microfinance Alliance (CMFA), in collaboration with SPTF, hosted an online interregional dialogue about the lessons learned through responding to the pandemic, how to build resilience in institutions and among clients, and the role of SPM in their responses. Financial institutions from Jamaica, Granada, Dominican Republic, and Cambodia share what they have learned navigating COVID-19 and highlighting best practices in microfinance that can help to build resilience going forward.
Recording

Practical ways to address gender-related risks at your organization: May 4, 2021. This webinar explores how FSPs can better meet the needs of female employees and customers. Dimension 2 of the Universal Standards focuses on leadership's role in creating a culture of commitment to SPM. We will hear from two FSPs who have made this a priority. In collaboration with Grameen Foundation, CREDICAMPO of El Salvador and ODEF Financiera of Honduras participated in a training and a rapid assessment that focused on gender-related risks and opportunities. Executives from these organizations will discuss how the training and assessment influenced both internal staff management and their attention to client needs, with emphasis on female and other vulnerable clients. Participants will gain new ideas for evaluating and addressing gender-related risks at their own institutions.
PowerPoint
Recording

Webinar on Responsible Digital Transformation: The Case of Hermandad de Honduras: April 29, 2021. In this webinar, Hermandad de Honduras (HDH) will share its successful process of responsible digital transformation. HDH managed to reduce the time required for processing a disbursement by 80%, increase the average number of clients per business advisor by 24%, reduce the number of customer visits by 75%, and integrate the new HDH Móvil application to the institution’s MIS. This investment allowed them to continue offering services without major interruptions during the pandemic. This webinar and its accompanying case study will inspire and guide other financial institutions that are planning their digital transformation. This webinar was conducted in Spanish with simultaneous interpretation into English.
PowerPoint
Recording

Webinar on Good Agent Networks in Difficult Markets: March 25, 2021. FINCA International knows the pain and triumph of finding and developing effective agent networks in difficult markets. Across the LAC region, FINCA was faced with a decision: use existing agent networks or build its own. In the end, they did both! The consultant for that project, Gerry Lanigan, will share insights into the essential features of successful agent networks and how to know which markets may require building FSP-specific agent networks versus leveraging existing infrastructure and enhancing it through strategic partnerships.

The innovation fund FINCA Forward supported the proof of concept for a unique liquidity management solution that provides e-float for one day as overdraft protection for agents. Josh Kirton, Investment Director at FINCA, will present this exciting example from Tanzania that provided economic benefits to clients, agents, and financial service providers alike.
PowerPoint
Recording
HapaCash Case Study

Webinar on MLajan: Dominica’s First Digital Marketplace: February 25, 2021. Over the last two years, the Dominican Cooperative Societies Limited (DCSL), has worked tirelessly to develop a holistic digital marketplace that meets its customers' needs for inclusive and responsible financial services delivered via an App on their mobile phones. This month, the project--called MLajan--moves into its public phase with functionality including mobile banking, merchant payments, government cash transfers, and financial literacy information. MLajan is the first digital, bank agnostic, mobile wallet in Dominica and will allow anyone owning a phone to become financially included. In the near to medium term, DCSL hopes to expand to the whole Eastern Caribbean and to add Blockchain to the platform to make it more stable during natural disasters. Join us to learn more about this comprehensive digital marketplace and how it was created. 
PowerPoint 
Recording

Webinar on Building Resilient Leaders: June 24, 2020. This webinar began with small break out discussions on the results of the individual resilience test assigned in the previous webinar (https://www.psychometrictest.org.uk/resilience-test/). Oricel Caminero presented a framework with six components of resilience and the steps to improve on them. She laid out the objectives for resilient leaders to demonstrate these competencies and set the tone for building resilience in their institutions.
PowerPoint
Recording

Webinar on Introduction to Institutional Resilience: June 10, 2020. This webinar began with a facilitated dialogue among participants from across the Caribbean region, representing a variety of FSPs, who discussed their current challenges as they begin reopening their economies after the COVID-19 related lockdowns. Some countries benefit from government support and some do not; some countries have recently reopened their economies, while others will begin later in June.  All the FSPs are experiencing challenges related to liquidity, portfolio quality, adjusting to staff working remotely, and supporting clients whose lives and livelihoods have been drastically affected by the pandemic. The second portion of the webinar features expert trainer Oricel Caminero introducing the concept of resiliency and presenting a framework for building resiliency both within people and institutions.  
PowerPoint
Recording

Webinar on Resources to Respond to the COVID-19 Crisis: May 6, 2020. This webinar discusses the effects on the Caribbean of the covid-19 pandemic and presents an overview of SPTF’s tools and resources that are available to help FSPs design their response to the crisis.
PowerPoint Presentation
Recording

Webinar on the Kenya Summit: August, 15, 2019. The focus of this webinar was the discussion on Responsible Digital Finance that took place at SPTF Annual Summit in Nairobi, Kenya in June.
Recording

If you have any question, please contact Aracely Castillo at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or the SPTF at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

This initiative is possible thanks to the support of:

  SDC logoEIB Logo