Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Personal tools
You are here: Home Members ifc Assignment "Strengthening credit operations in a local microfinance organization": Request for Expressions of Interest

Assignment "Strengthening credit operations in a local microfinance organization": Request for Expressions of Interest

09 June 2009
by ifc -- last modified 25 June 2009

The International Finance Corporation (IFC) through its Advisory Services in Europe and Central Asia and via its Azerbaijan and Central Asia Microfinance Transformation Program intends to finance the assignment "Strengthening credit operations in a local microfinance organization".


IFC estimates the following schedule for the Project:

Request for Letter of Interest: to be submitted by 12 June, 2009 till 18.00 Moscow time

Shortlisted results: 19 June, 2009

Request for proposals 22 June, 2009

Proposal submission: 10 July, 2009

Consultant Selection 15 July, 2009

Contract Signed 17 July, 2009

The IFC expects that the assignment should be completed within five months of a contract being issued by the IFC. The Consultants will operate in Tajikistan.

The IFC via its Azerbaijan and Central Asia Microfinance Transformation Program now invites eligible consultants to indicate their interest in providing their services by submitting a response to this Request for Expressions of Interest (REOI). Please note that Consulting Firms may associate with other interested firms or individuals to enhance their qualifications. Firms that have been determined to be qualified through the evaluated results of this first stage will be invited to submit proposals for the Request for Proposals (RFP) that will be issued at a later date.

Included with this REOI are the following documents:

Annex A: Brief Description of the Work

Annex B: Evaluation Criteria

Annex C: Form for submission of the proposal

Interested consultants must provide the following information that will indicate that they are qualified to perform the services:

  • Provide an Executive Summary which shall include a high-level description of your proposed approach and methodology including functional highlights.

  • Provide information on your expertise and experience with any prior similar assignments; experience in similar conditions; availability of appropriate skills among staff, etc.

  • Demonstrate a capability to meet the World Bank Group's Vendor Eligibility Criteria as found on

  • Please note that Marketing Brochures should only be provided as attachments and will not be considered as a substitute for written responses. Elaborate artwork is not required or encouraged.

Responses must be delivered in accordance with the Form Attached in Annex C to the below mentioned personnel by e-mail no later than 12 June, 2009, 18:00 Moscow time and shall not exceed 4 (four) pages. If the submitted response exceeds four pages, IFC reserves the right to read only the first four.

Firms shall not receive, offer or solicit anything of value to influence the outcome of the procurement process. Firms shall not misrepresent facts in order to influence the procurement process. Collusive practices among firms or individuals to establish artificial non-competitive levels shall not be tolerated and may result in rejection of rejection of responses.

IFC reserves the right to limit the number of qualified firms shortlisted for efficiency. IFC reserves the right to verify any information provided, or to request additional information after REOI packages are received.

All correspondence related to this REOI should be addressed in writing only by sending an e-mail to (Mrs. Cholpon Kokumova) with the carbon copy to (Ms. Kristina Ladonina). IFC is not responsible for any verbal explanation or interpretation of these documents.


Cholpon Kokumova

Associate Operations Officer

Azerbaijan and Central Asia Microfinance Transformation Program

IFC Advisory Services in Europe and Central Asia


Tel: +7 (727) 2980 580 ext 238; Fax: +7 (727) 2980 584

Cell: +701 228 26 58; E-mail:

Download in Word format

Annex A. Brief Description of the Work

Within Central Asia, there are a number of microfinance institutions that have experienced significant growth over the past few years and require assistance / advisory services to expand the depth of their organisations via transformation processes into a wider financial organization or even bank.

The overall objective of the assignment is to strengthen the existing credit operations of IMON Microfinance company (hereafter Company.)

Since its establishment, the company has experienced significant growth and, at present, is regarded as a leading microfinance provider in the Republic both in terms of portfolio size and its operations. The company offers group loans, individual loans, consumer loans and leasing to its customers through its client service centers in northern and southern Tajikistan.

With the increasing competition in the microfinance market in Tajikistan, it becomes extremely important that the company's credit procedures are operating at a high level of efficiency in order to achieve the volume and profit targets in its business plan and also be consistent with the longer term transformation objectives to operate as a deposit taking institution by 2010 and as a licensed bank by 2013.

Specifically, the objectives include:

  1. Development of more efficient credit procedures to achieve increased effectiveness for delivery times and use of resources.

  2. Rationalization and simplification of existing IMON credit products and parameters for more effective product delivery and loan officer training.

  3. Training of operations staff in the analysis techniques and establishment of a regular programme for credit procedures review.

The Consultant will be expected to undertake a review of the company's credit procedures incorporating where appropriate the simplification and rationalisation of procedures relating to sub-products. However, it should be noted that this does not extend to a marketing review but is a rationalisation of procedures relating to existing products. It is considered important that the review also gives cognizance to the requirements of the following areas:

  • The action plans for the organizational structure; in particular the development of sub branches and their role in the credit process.

  • Efficient delivery of products to clients both from a sales and operational viewpoint consistent with prudent commercial credit underwriting procedures.

  • Flexibility in operations to accommodate expansion both in terms of volume of existing activities and also by addition of new products.

  • Best practice in credit appraisal and risk management


Work plan

It is a key objective of this module that IMON staff develop and understand the analytical techniques and thought processes used to achieve the outputs set out below under targeted results. To this end, from the outset, a small team will be formed from the operations staff who will work with the consultant in undertaking the analysis and developing the solutions. This will ensure that the knowledge remains within IMON and can be build upon and developed.

1) It will first be necessary to undertake a diagnostic process to establish the existing credit procedures and processes within IMON. This will take the form of a review of historical MIS data; credit procedures/instructions documents and interviews with the Operations Manager, a Regional Retail Manager and senior branch managers, also if necessary other selected unit heads or industry specialists. From the MIS data it should be possible to establish the relative significance of products and sub-products both absolutely and geographically. The extent of the interview process will be a function of how accurately the existing documented procedures actually reflect current practice. It will also help to establish, by seeking the views of the Operations manager, Regional Retail mangers and appropriate branch managers, the extent to which they consider the existing procedures meet the client needs in the face of competition and where they consider the shortcomings to be .

2) Then, having established existing approval processes/workflows required per product and sanctioning powers at each level of loan officer seniority within the product group, it will be necessary together with the Operations Manager (and possibly the Regional Retail managers), to

i) Document the workflow processes (process mapping) and seek to identify specific areas of bottle necks and time delays focusing upon key products.

ii) Establish how the workflow and procedures may be modified to reduce the overall processing time, ensuring that they are consistent with appropriate prudent credit practice. As far as is practicable ways should be sought to introduce simplification and conformity of procedures across sub products. Where possible it should be sought to merge sub products.

3) The proposed modifications should be incorporated into the existing procedures and the complete process documented in a procedures manual to include clear procedural maps and instructions. It will then be presented to the senior management team for comments. The proposals can then be revised to incorporate any comments. The design of the manual should be of a modular nature in order that changes and updates can be incorporated by replacement of sections and not via the additions of appendices.

4) The new credit procedures manual needs to be documented in both English and Russian.

5) Training materials for staff should be designed to introduce amendments to existing procedures including clear visual aids.

6) Before any significant amendments are introduced generally throughout IMON there should be a period of testing on a pilot branch(es) followed by an assessment of the results and if necessary a further review of procedures.

7) A final review of implementation of procedures.

Management and quality control

Although any changes to credit procedures will ultimately require approval by the Board of IMON, within IMON the overall responsibility for the project will reside with the Deputy General Manager and as each stage in the work plan progresses it will be discussed with her to ensure that it accurately reflects the institutional requirements.

As referred to in the work plan above a preliminary set of proposals will be developed and discussed with senior management. This will then be further developed into a formal document incorporating the comments arising from senior management.

Amendment procedures will be tested in a pilot study in one or two selected branches and the results assessed before being introduced generally.

It is proposed that the work will be undertaken by an external consultant and managed by the manager of the IFC Microfinance Transformation Project, This will ensure that there is consistency of approach and also maintain the continuity of the existing relationship with IMON.

The Period of Performance and Deliverables:

Although the work plan is broken in seven parts it is planned that it will be undertaken in four phases namely:

A) Review of existing procedures (12 days)

B) Identification of revisions and documentation (21 days)

C) Preparation of training aids and testing in pilot branch (9)

D) Implementation of revisions and final review (4)

It is planned that phase A will start in June 2009 and that the project will be finished by 31 December 2009; most of the work will have to be undertaken on site in Khujand and this will have the advantage that the IMON Team will participate in all aspects of the project. However, the availability of the IMON staff will need to be taken into account when scheduling the project. It is also recognised that IMON are tentatively planning to move to a new HO in October therefore again sufficient flexibility must be allowed to accommodate this during the project.


Proposed time line




Consulting days





Initial meeting; formation of team and review of workplan; requests for information.





Collection and review of historical data and credit procedures





Interviews with key staff







Process mapping of credit products.





Identification of product/procedures revisions





Documentation of revised procedures, presentation and review.






Development of loan officer training visual aids





Support for implementation of pilot projects







Review of pilot results and modifications









The Consultant will develop and submit to the Bank and IFC the following:

  • A set of revised credit procedures/instructions to improve processing times. To achieve where possible a rationalisation and simplification of sub products and their procedures.

  • A reviewed credit procedures manual in English and Russian incorporating the revisions and presented to the board of IMON.

  • Product training materials for loan officers incorporating visual aids for processes and procedures.


Annex B. evaluation criteria

Evaluation criteria under the stage of Expression of Interest include:

  1. Relevant expertise of the Consultant to perform assignment;

  2. Relevant technical expertise of proposed key team members;

  3. Experience of the Consultant to perform a-like assignments and experience in working with microfinance companies in emerging countries and in doing business in NIS countries and Central Asia.

As an indication, the IFC envisages the following evaluation criteria for the stage of the Request for Proposal.

1. Relevant experience and quality of consortium (consortium composition and proven strong track record of a-like assignments)

2. Relevant expertise of proposed key team members (proven qualification of Consultant to implement assignment and proven expertise in banking and microfinance sector)

3. Quality of methodology, inclusive adequacy of proposed management and working plan and ability to convey ideas & information concisely and accurately.

4. Cost efficiency.


  1. Expression of Interest by (i.e, the identity of the Candidate)



Name(s) of legal entity(ies) making this application


Leader of the Consortium



Member 1



Member …




2. Contact person for this application










3. Summary of Consultants strengths to perform the assignment

Not more than 2 paragraphs

4. Consultant references

Using the format below, provide information the most recent 2 assignment, which is most relevant to this study for which your firm/entity, either individually as a corporate entity or as one of the major companies within an association, was legally contracted.

Assignment Name:


Location within Country:

Professional Staff Provided by Your Firm/Entity(profiles):

Name of Client:

No of Staff:



No of Staff-Months; Duration of Assignment

Start Date (Month/Year)


Completion Date (Month/Year):

Approx. Value of Services (in Current US$):

Name of Associated Consultants, If Any:

No of Months of Professional Staff Provided by Associated Consultants:


Name of Senior Staff (Project Director/Coordinator, Team Leader) Involved and Functions Performed:

Narrative Description of Project:

Description of Actual Services Provided by Your Staff:

5. Fields of Expertise of the personnel

Please list key team members who will be involved in the assignment and indicate their expertise and relevant experience related to this assignment. It is advisable that information on the key team members is provided in a concise form, highlighting their key experience and expertise (one paragraph for each person).

Download in Word format

IFC provides investments and advisory services to build the private sector in developing countries. Our vision is that people should have the opportunity to escape poverty and improve their lives.

International Finance Corporation (IFC)
IFC is a Premium Partner

The International Finance Corporation is a member of the World Bank Group.

International Finance Corporation

IFC provides investments and advisory services to build the private sector in developing countries. Our vision is that people should have the opportunity to escape poverty and improve their lives.

IFC homepage