Weathering the Storm II: Tales of Survival from Microfinance Crises Past

Lessons learned from 16 institutions that dealt with crises, framed by a four-part hierarchy of needs: liquidity, confidence, portfolio, and capital.

“When an institution finds itself in severe crisis, it’s normal to panic. As delinquencies mount, staff morale declines, and investors start calling and demanding answers, managers can be forgiven if they pine for the simplicity of the OMS — the Ostrich Management System. There is nothing quite so calming as sticking one’s head in the sand while the world goes crazy…”

Weathering the Storm II – conducted as part of our partnership with the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth and produced with the European Microfinance Platform – is a follow-up to the original report and case studies, published in the aftermath of the financial crisis. This updated Weathering the Storm synthesizes experiences and lessons from 16 institutions in 14 countries on four continents over 15-year period (including five new case studies from Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, India, Nicaragua, and Palestine). Nearly every type of institution – from NGO to bank – is included.

The goal is to inform best practices for triaging the critical and the merely very important in order to survive and thrive. Content is organized by a hierarchy of needs for survival: liquidity, confidence, portfolio, and capital. Readers will come away with a better understanding of how leaders – with the support of investors and ecosystem actors — stabilized their financial institutions and embarked on a full recovery. The hope is that no one reading this will go through a similar crisis, but if so, Weathering the Storm II will be a useful guide in addition to a history lesson.


This work is part of our partnership with the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth.

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