Research and Development - R&D

Research & Development (R&D) activities provide ADA with in-depth knowledge of the strategic themes of the inclusive finance sector, are used to identify, develop and test projects, and allow it to share knowledge and best practices.

ADA implements most of its projects using a "Research-Action" approach, designed to produce practical knowledge, from reflection and experimentation, according to a participatory principle. R&D activities therefore form an integral part of projects, thus strengthening innovativeness, improving the impact the projects have and orienting them in line with the evolution of the sector.

The R&D programme comprises four types of activity:

  • Monitoring innovative and promising themes - Gathering information to anticipate developments and innovations in the sector, guiding the research projects-measures to be taken and strengthening the ability to analyse projects implemented by ADA;
  • Capitalizing and learning from projects - Gathering practices for identifying and analysing lessons learned and experiences from ADA projects;
  • Ensuring that the lessons identified are learned and that new knowledge is internalized and disseminating the results of the monitoring and capitalization activities;
  • Creating a link between academic research and ADA projects thanks to collaboration via a network of academics and researchers.

Support for the ADA Chair 

The ADA Chair is the result of a partnership between ADA and the University of Luxembourg to develop a skills centre bringing together research and training activities about inclusive finance regulations. This partnership between the academic and professional world aims to strengthen knowledge and skills regarding the legal and regulatory aspects of inclusive finance in response to the needs of the sector.

Data Platform

Data platform

The Social Performance Management Data Platform project consists of creating an online platform to gather data from the various social and financial performance analysis tools of financial service providers worldwide for information, comparison and performance improvement purposes. It thereby aims to promote transparency in the inclusive finance sector.


ADA contributes, directly or through financing, to carrying out thematic studies in expanding areas of interest for actors of the inclusive finance sector, such as the financial health of microenterprises, the financing of agricultural value chains, support for SMEs with high growth potential, etc. These studies are available in the media library.

ULB Université de Nancy U-Mons

Collaboration with research centres and universities

  • Development of research projects leading to academic publications (articles, theses) and knowledge-sharing workshops between ADA collaborators and researchers:
    • ADA Chair in Finance Law (Inclusive Finance) at the University of Luxembourg
    • European Microfinance Research Centre - CERMI (ULB, Solvay Business School, University of Mons)
    • Mons University, Warocqué School of Business and Economics
  • Contribution in university and professional training:
  • Reception of interns within ADA and its partners which resulting in internship.


The EMP starts its 2020-2021 recruitment campaign

European Microfinance Programme
The European Microfinance Programme (EMP) is pleased to inform you that its recruitment campaign for academic year 2019-2020 has stareted. The full programme and the application file are downloadable from the EMP website:
Launched in 2005, the EMP is co-organized by three universities: Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB), Université de Mons (UMONS) and Université Paris-Dauphine and four NGO partners: ADA, BRS, CERISE and SOS Faim. The courses take place in Brussels, on the premises of the Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management (ULB).
The EMP is designed by microfinance experts to offer a unique blend of theory and practice. The purpose of the programme is to develop future professionals in microfinance who will contribute to the strengthening of microfinance institutions worldwide, in accordance with the highest international standards.

Application deadline: 7 February 2020

Admission requirements
The selection of the candidates is based on academic records and professional experience.
The candidates must hold a Master's Degree (equivalent to 300 ECTS) in fields of specialisation such as: development cooperation, economics, agronomy, management, and finance. Exceptionally, other qualifications are accepted by the jury.

English language proficiency
As the EMP is taught in English, candidates must prove their spoken and written command of English. Non-native English speakers and applicants with no diploma from English-speaking countries can find information on evidence of English proficiency on the EMP website.

CCD scholarships (deadline: 7 February 2020)
Each year, 12 full scholarships are awarded to EMP candidates coming from selected developing countries. Before applying to these ARES-CCD scholarships, please check your eligibility and the deadlines on the ARES-CCD website.
The ARES-CCD application form MUST be sent directly to the CCD by postal mail. The EMP expects that these applicants send an electronic copy of their ARES-CCD application form together with their specific EMP application.

Tuition fees
The 2020-2021 tuition fees have not yet been determined. For information only, the 2019-2020 tuition fees were:
- EU countries and least developed countries: EUR 835
- Industrialized non-EU countries: EUR 4,175
- For updated information on tuition fees, please consult the ULB website

Claire Verhaegen
EMP coordinator
Phone: +32(0)2.650.41.62

Through this partnership, each year ADA offers 3 internships to the students of the programme.

Assessing and improving the financial health of micro-entrepreneurs

ADA - EMN - JP Morgan

Tools and methods for responsible financial and non-financial services providers

ADA and EMN are carrying out a joint research project in the field of the financial health of micro-entrepreneurs. The project is supported by JPMorgan Chase Foundation and its purpose is to identify and share good practices on the assessment of financial health and specific support provided to micro-entrepreneurs at risk or facing financial issues e.g. cash flow management, confusion between personal and professional finances, access to finance, late payments, etc.

The project is structured as a cross-country research activity covering eight countries across three different continents (Europe, LATAM and Africa) and will involve a mix of financial and non-financial service providers. Based on field visits into these organisations and desk research to collect best practices, the project aims to produce a practical guide dedicated to financial and non-financial service providers to improve their practices in assessing the financial health of micro-entrepreneurs and supporting them with non-financial services.

ADA will be able to share the practical guide with all its partners supporting micro-entrepreneurs through non-financial services and foster its use by these partners.

On top of that, a research publication will be made accessible to the inclusive finance sector to share the results of the project.

Project partners: PerMicro, Fondazione Welfare Ambrosiano (Italy); Adie, Positive Planet (France); Fundación Oportunitas, Incyde (Spain); Outset Finance, NWES (UK); CREDISOL, Aliança Empreendedora (Brasil); Pro Mujer, Pro Empleo (Mexico); Norandino, ADEC ATC (Peru); SEF, SAICA (South Africa).

Duration: July 2018 – December 2020


Research & Development Programme Coordinator
39 rue Glesener – L-1631 Luxembourg (Luxembourg)
Tel : +352 45 68 68 - 323
Email :

Mathilde BAUWIN
Research & Development Project Officer
39 rue Glesener – L-1631 Luxembourg (Luxembourg)
Tel : +352 45 68 68 - 26
Email :

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