Sustainable Microfinance and Development Program

Nearly twenty years of high quality practitioner Training

Founded in 1999 as the Microenterprise Development Institute, the Carsey School of Public Policy’s Sustainable Microenterprise and Development Program (SMDP) delivers high quality training through face-to-face, online, and other training and learning experiences for microfinance, enterprise development, and savings groups practitioners. We have trained more than 3,000 practitioners from more than 100 countries around the globe through workshops in Tanzania, Ghana, Togo, South Africa, Rwanda, Benin, Kenya, Zambia, and New Hampshire.

The SMDP offers an intensive professional training experience with a concentration on program planning and implementation of client and community inclusive economic development strategies.

Consistently, the SMDP training workshops have been rated as “very good” to “excellent” by 98 percent of program participants. Since its inception, the program has provided an affordable, high quality, and accessible professional development opportunity which counts among its alumni many of today’s leaders in the development finance field.

Over a period of five years,SMDP webinars brought together expert practitioners from all over the globe for an hour of learning, discussion, and solid ideas for building strong microfinance, Savings Groups, and social enterprise programs. Our archive contains recordings and supporting documents for thirty-seven of these webinars which are free and available for your use as training tools, to refresh your own skills, or to share with others.  Watch our webinars here.


Previous Courses

This course is uniquely designed for savings groups, producer groups, and cooperative practitioners along this ratio of activities taking advantage of what e-learning uniquely offers. The heart of the course is a work-based action research assignment with a focus on key analytical skills and critical reflection around organizational issues. Participants have the time and space to practice and adapt in the field real time while learning about global best practices and receiving peer coaching and facilitator mentoring.
This course aims to provide mid-career savings group, SACCO, and other member-owned model practitioners and policymakers with an opportunity to critically analyze their context and experiment with key strategic changes to their savings group programs and policies.
Each month, a different topic will be explored through articles/readings, video clips, expert panels, discussion forums, small group applications, and a cumulative organizational learning assignment.

This fully online course is facilitated by the creator of the SAVIX Hugh Allen and includes the same skills and processes covered in the popular Savings Groups face-to-face course offered in Africa by the SMDP and Hugh Allen over the past several years.

Topics covered in the course include:

  • Architecture of the MIS
  • MIS setup and the creation of multiple projects in a single MIS
  • Creation of MIS user-defined fields
  • Data entry (including on Android and iOS)
  • Report preparation and printing
  • Report analysis and application to management
  • Creation of national and international networks of projects, across different MIS instances