Project objectives
Promoting financial inclusion in the region in Central America and the Dominican Republic

Project Manager

REDCAMIF and the 7 members of the national networks:
ASOMIF (Nicaragua)
ASOMI (El Salvador)
REDIMIF (Guatemala)
REDMICROH (Honduras)
REDOMIF (Dominican Republic) 
- REDCOM (Costa Rica)
- REDPAMIF (Panama)

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Accelerating financial inclusion in Central America and Dominican Republic

ADA supports the expansion of inclusive finance products and services in Central America and the Dominican Republic through a technical and financial support programme to the REDCAMIF regional network.

REDCAMIF, historical partner of ADA

In Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama, more than 40% of the population lives below the poverty line. Despite the network of microfinance institutions (MFIs), only 22% of the region's 5.5 million micro-entrepreneurs have access to financial products to develop their activity. Penetration remains low in peri-urban and rural areas.

To expand their services, MFIs in these countries rely on national networks whose role is key to developing appropriate financial products and creating an enabling policy environment.

These networks are themselves part of the REDCAMIF (Red Centroamericana y del Caribe de Microfinanzas) network, a regional microfinance network that groups seven national networks: Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama.
Together, these networks represent 141 microfinance institutions (MFIs), 38.5% of which are invested in rural areas and reach 1.8 million micro-entrepreneurs, 59% of whom are women.

Networks REDCAMIF + key figures EN

REDCAMIF: an increased impact thanks to networking


Objective: promoting financial inclusion in the region

Set up between August 2012 and December 2017 with a budget of 6.4 million euros, the ADA-REDCAMIF project aimed to promote financial inclusion in Central America and the Dominican Republic:

  1. providing MFIs with ongoing access to financing to expand the provision of inclusive and sustainable financial services in the region;
  2. strengthening the risk management capacity, corporate governance, social performance management and sustainability of the 7 national networks and the regional REDCAMIF network.


The project was managed by REDCAMIF, with local support from ADA and contributions from the 7 national networks: REDIMIF, REDMICROH, REDOMIF, ASOMIF, ASOMI, REDCOM et REDPAMIF.

José Luis González Renderos

José Luis González Renderos, Former President of REDCAMIF:
"The framework agreement signed with ADA allows REDCAMIF to develop innovative solutions and disseminate these new products through the networks of each country. In this context, ADA is a key strategic partner to efficiently develop the network.​"



Implementation of the project

To achieve this objective, the ADA-REDCAMIF project to expand inclusive finance was based on three fundamental pillars:

  1. Capacity building
  2. Knowledge Management
  3. Development of inclusive financial products and services in partnership with MFIs

1. Capacity building

At network level
The 7 national REDCAMIF networks were supported to implement a relevant income-generating project for member MFIs, which would contribute to their financial viability. Currently, 5 of these projects continue to be implemented and generate revenues.

At the MFI level
The MFI members of these 7 national networks were supported, in order to make them more autonomous and efficient in their financing process for micro and small enterprises and small farmers. This reinforcement took place at two levels:

  1. Strengthening risk management and governance, through the provision of technical assistance, training and coaching services;
  2. Strengthening transparency and social performance through evaluations, training and data dissemination.

Based on a participatory approach, the project also aimed to improve knowledge exchange between the different actors and members of the REDCAMIF network by using information technologies.

Training: In 2017, risk management training was organized in Guatemala, the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua and governance training was also provided in Honduras, El Salvador and Nicaragua.
Technical assistance: In 2017, 6 MFIs received technical assistance, enabling them to integrate social performance management systems into their strategies.

In total over the five and a half years of the project: 143 technical assistance contracts for 98 MFIs.


2. Knowledge Management

In addition to supporting pilot projects, knowledge was disseminated through meetings organized with national networks to share project implementation experiences, as well as with member MFIs on risk management, coaching and leadership, internal control, rural finance, green credit and climate change issues. These meetings also enabled the experiences gained during the project to be capitalised on.

In addition, a process of capitalisation of experiences was conducted through information exchange meetings with MFIs on different topics.

In this regard, ADA and REDCAMIF organized a workshop in April 2017 to capitalize on experiences in rural finance and housing in Panama, in which MFIs from the pilot project to develop new products in rural finance and housing participated. This workshop aimed to systematize the experience gained during the implementation of the pilot projects.

More information about the workshop


3. Development of inclusive financial products and services (IFS)

In 2014, an initial diagnosis of the needs of the clients of the MFI members of the national networks made it possible to highlight needs in terms of rural financing and housing. ADA and REDCAMIF then carried out market and feasibility studies to design products to meet the needs in these two areas: savings, leasing, insurance, loans extended to areas such as green energy...

In 2015, following this diagnosis, the project supported initially 25 MFIs to develop adapted financial services. Then, following the good progress of the project, 32 MFIs were finally supported.

Rural financing
4 rural financing products were proposed by 15 MFIs: green credit, credit to improve energy efficiency, credit for women entrepreneurs and micro-leasing.

Through the 15 MFIs, a total of 2,794 clients benefitted from these products according to their needs and USD 2,8 million were disbursed in credits.

5 products to fund housing-related products were proposed by 17 MFIs: housing improvement credit comprising two options (gradual improvement of housing or its comprehensive improvement), water sanitation, home purchase, purchase and legalisation of land ownership and house construction.

Through the 17 MFIs, a total of 5,538 clients benefitted from these products according to their needs and USD 14,1 million were disbursed in credits.

The housing improvement credit proved to be very popular!Of the five products made available by the 17 MFIs, housing improvement credit was chosen by 92% of the clients. The advantage of this product is that it offers two options:

  • comprehensive improvement, which is aimed at clients who have a high payment capacity enabling them to use a single credit to renew their home entirely;
  • gradual improvement, a solution which entails less risk, since it enables clients who have a more limited payment capacity to invest occasionally in small-scale renovations, thereby protecting them from a possible over-indebtedness.

Download the results REDCAMIF 2012-2017 in PDF format (in spanish)

Case studies

Of the 32 MFIs that participated in the pilot project to implement inclusive financial products and services in rural finance and housing, the pilot projects of 6 MFIs were published (5 for rural finance and 1 for housing). These case studies are a kind of "best practice" and should serve as a model if the project is replicated in another MFI.
Rural financing


Read the case studies in French

Read the case studies in Spanish

Implementation of the REDCAMIF II project from 2018 to 2021

The REDCAMIF II project, signed in December 2017 between the Central American and Caribbean Microfinance Network (REDCAMIF) and ADA, is an extension of the REDCAMIF - ADA alliance created in 2008 and strengthened since then by the implementation of a multi-year project between 2012 and 2017. 
Following an evaluation diagnosis, this new project will focus on identifying the needs of MFI clients, such as building their capacity and improving their access to responsible financial and non-financial services. The goal is also to create an impact in the microfinance sector in general, while involving other stakeholders to strengthen the skills of the regional network and national networks and effectively respond to the demands of their members.

The total amount of the project is € 4.3 million, 50% co-financed by both parties (ADA and REDCAMIF), over the period 2018-2021. ADA and REDCAMIF hope to provide 93 technical assistance training to MFIs in the region over these next four years.

This new project will focus on the following themes: social role, technology, development of high value added financial services, risk management and knowledge management at regional and national level.

Signature REDCAMIF

At the top: Gilles Franck (Vice-President of ADA) ; Fernando Guzman (member of the Board of REDCAMIF) ; Iván Gutiérrez (Exécutive Director of REDCAMIF).
At the bottom: Olivier Massart (Former Executive Director of ADA) ; Carlos Rojas Hidalgo (President of REDCAMIF)


Mercedes Canalda de Beras-Goico, new president of REDCAMIF since August 2018

Lic. Canalda was born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. She has a degree in economics and a Master's degree in business administration.

Mercedes Canalda

From 1985 to 1993 she worked in the Central Bank of the Dominican Republic in different areas ranging from economics to international affairs.
From 2003 onward she has been the CEO of Banco de Ahorro y Crédito Adopem, S. A.

Presently she is the Executive Director of the Asociación Dominicana para el Desarrollo de la Mujer, Inc. ( ADOPEM NGO: Dominican Association for the Development of Women), founding member of the Red Dominicana y del Caribe de Microfinanzas (REDOMIF Association: Dominican and Caribbean Network of Microfinance), Chair of REDOMIF, Chair of the Red Centroamericana y del Caribe de Microfinanzas (REDCAMIF: Central American and Caribbean Network of Microfinance), former Chair of the Consejo de Fundaciones Americanas de Desarrollo (SOLIDARIOS: Council of American Foundations for Development) and former President and present member of the Board of the Asociación de Bancos de Ahorro y Préstamo y Corporaciones de Crédito de República Dominicana (ABANCORD: Association of Savings and Loan Banks and Credit Corporations of the Dominican Republic), Treasurer of the Board of Directors of Alianza NGO, and member of the Board of Directors of Fondomicro.
Mrs. Canalda has been an international consultant for organizations with the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB), Women´s World Banking (WWB); she has also been a professor for over 15 years at several local universities and a lecturer at international events and international universities.

She leverages her position in order to help low income Dominicans enter the formal economic system through loans they use to undertake their own businesses.

As part of International Women's Day on March 8, 2019, Mercedes Canalda de Beras-Goico gave her testimony on her vision of women in the world of microfinance.

« There are women in most of the project positions »

You replaced Carlos Rojas Hidalgo as Chair of REDCAMIF during the summer of 2018.  As a woman, would you say you have given REDCAMIF a different outlook?
Upon assuming the Chair of REDCAMIF, I found a structured organization with good processes where every local structure participates in its Board of Directors. As a woman the opportunity was to engage in the promotion of equity. When I asked myself how was I to change REDCAMIF, my first approach to the Network was to get to know its team, its human talent group, who was every member of the staff.  I was surprised to find a fair amount of gender equity. There were women in most of the project positions, which is good. These women can have a growing and successful career path, and these postings are quite frequent in banking at board level where women are represented too. In REDCAMIF out of 7 countries represented in the Board, 3 directors are women including me. It is not a 50-50 parity but close to it thus generating a different perspective in the Board.

What are the main goals/challenges of REDCAMIF's for the inclusion of women in the region of Central America and the Caribbean?
From a woman perspective, the first challenge is empowerment: the leadership we need in order to generate impact on better management and a greater market outreach. Women not only have the capability but also the sensitivity of achieving.
The second challenge for the Network is to generate a better knowledge of women clients. Our center is not the product, but the client: understanding that the needs of men and women are different and focusing on those needs.

You have also been a member of the Board of ADOPEM Bank for over 20 years, one of the largest institutions of the Dominican Republic. What are the main benefits that microfinance offers to the women of this country?
Firstly, to give them access to financial and non-financial products and services, as a tool to leverage their development and leadership. Women assume very important roles so we cannot afford to be confused because it has an impact on the lives of people, on our century... we are talking about education, integrity and responsibility... Women like me, and mainly in the culture of our Latino countries, assume this role. And responsibility is very important for future generations. You need to ensure this fundamental and delicate balance between your responsibilities, your administrative management and your being an entrepreneur.

There is a myth about the difficulty of balancing the private and professional lives of women, what do you think about it?
I seek the positive side of wives. From that perspective, women have the challenge of distributing their time between the urgent, the important and the truly relevant. In my case I have different roles: I am in REDOMIF, REDCAMIF, SOLIDARIOS; I am the CEO of ADOPEM Bank, I also work as Executive Director of ADOPEM NGO... The key is to know what is your role in every institutional instance. For example, I never set a meeting on my children's or my husband's birthdays. I enjoyed my children during the different stages of my life; these were sacrifices I had to make.
There is another sacrifice for the professional development that has to be taken into account. We made a research and spotted another important myth, because businesses run by men grow faster than those of women. In the case of the Dominican Republic, women lack the capacity to reinvest into their businesses. Men and women do not reinvest the same proportion of profits, because women have a greater marginal propensity to save, to invest in education and housing and to spend in food. Then it is not just a matter of time, or multitasking: it is about responsibility. So, when a woman can invest 15% or 17% of her profits to grow her business, a man typically invests 35% or 40%. This concept is noteworthy but we’ll have to find out how to invest much more profitably, and to develop more efficient businesses.

Do you have a message for women entrepreneurs?
I would like to motivate women entrepreneurs to keep training and educating themselves, I want to tell them not to set a limit to their dreams. The human being possesses the very important capability of dreaming, so as long as you are able to dream about what you can achieve, you have the possibility of turning your challenges into reality.

Mercedes et Ivan

Mercedes Canalda de Beras-Goico (President of REDCAMIF) and Iván Gutiérrez Aguirre (Executive Director de REDCAMIF) on the ADA stand during the European Microfinance Week in Luxembourg from 14 to 16 November 2018.

Convocatoria digital

August 2019

Call for applications from MFIs affiliated to REDCAMIF for digital transformation projects

As part of the "Improving the Social Value Added to Microfinance 2018-2021" programme, launched as part of the ADA-REDCAMIF partnership, REDCAMIF has launched a call for applications for microfinance institutions affiliated to the regional network interested in developing their digital transformation strategy.

MFIs must submit their applications by August 8, 2019, by completing the expression of interest form on the REDCAMIF website:

Project implementation schedule:

  • receipt of applications: 8 August 2019
  • decision of the selection committee: August 13, 2019
  • administrative aspects with the MFI: August 16, 2019
  • project launch: August 19, 2019

August 2018

ADA at the REDCAMIF microfinance conference in El Salvador!

From 22 to 24 August, ADA held an information stand alongside Microfact during the IX Central American and Caribbean Microfinance Conference. The conference took place at the Crowne Plaza hotel (89 Ave. Norte y 11 Calle Poniente, Colonia Escalon Norte) in San Salvador.
ADA talked about the role it played in the REDCAMIF inclusive finance expansion project set up between 2012 and 2017.


conf-redcamif conf-redcamif


The day before the conference, on August 21, Microfact coordinators met with regional trainers to discuss recent developments in Microfact tools and training.

Microfact Microfact Microfact conferencia

More information about the conference:


July 2018

"Banco ADOPEM" MFI supported by ADA ranked among the best sustainable initiatives in Latin America!

Within the framework of the ADA-REDCAMIF project set up between 2012 and 2017, ADA supported the Dominican Republic MFI "Banco ADOPEM" for the development of inclusive rural and environmental financial products and services.
As such, ADOPEM has implemented a range of products called "FRA - Finanzas Rurales y Ambiente (Rural Finance and Environment)", declined in 3 products intended for small producers and agricultural enterprises, as well as women entrepreneurs living in rural areas.

With this initiative, ADOPEM ranks 234th among the TOP 500 of the best sustainable initiatives within the framework of the "Premios Latinoamérica Verde 2018" Prize supported by the UNPD (United Nations Development Programmes), out of a total of 2,733 applications received.

Premios Latinoaméricos Verde

ADOPEM's "FRA - Finanzas Rurales y Ambiente" programme was selected among the top 10 in the "Sustainable Finance" category.

For more information on ADOPEM's "FRA - Finanzas Rurales y Ambiente" products:


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