The prime objective of the monitoring and evaluation visits are to assess the overall credit activities of GT’s partner projects in India and to provide technical assistance where necessary to aid in the successful implementation of the project. In addition to the regular visits to partner projects, GT often sends resource persons to conduct pre-approval visits to identify possible partners for Grameen Trust.
Five Grameen Trust (GT) resource persons visited eleven projects in India between August and December, 2004. Mir Hossain Chowdhury, Program Officer, GT, visited Rural Organization for Action and Development (ROAD), Community Action for Rural Development (CARD), Society for the Promotion of Health, Education & Rural Economy (SPHERE), Balaji Educational Society (BES), and Women Education Development Trust (WED), India. ROAD, CARD and WED are Grameen Trust partners replicating the Grameen Bank model in Tamilnadu, while SPHERE and BES are operating in the Gooty and Anantapur districts of Andhra Pradesh (AP). Hossain met project personnel of the respective programs, attended various center meetings and carefully observed the activities of the borrowers, as well as the accounts and records of the branches. He was impressed by the performance of these projects and performed a follow-up SWOT (Strength, Weakness, Opportunity and Threat) Analysis in order to aid the project to gain insight into the current problems and prospects.
Ahsan Habib, Assistant General Manager of GT, visited Center for Rural Reconstruction through Social Action(CRESA) and MASSES Association for Self-Sufficiency Economic Security (MASSES) to audit and monitor the management and implementation of these projects in South India. The two projects are operating in the West Godavari and Nellore districts of Andhra Pradesh respectively. Habib also visited Society for Helping Awakening Rural Poor through Education (SHARE) in Hyderabad, AP, to discuss the preparatory activities for the forthcoming workshop program in India, in December 2004. Habib was particularly impressed with CRESA, which not only had an impressive 100% repayment rate, but also achieved financial viability. Apart from its microcredit initiatives, the organization also focused on awareness issues such as low wages, caste system, poor education and health.
Tapan Kumar Debnath, Program Officer of GT, visited Vivekananda Seva Samity (VSS) and Development Initiative for Self-Help and Awakening (DISHA) to perform a routine monitoring and evaluation visit. VSS and DISHA are partner projects of GT with operations in 24 Pargana District of West Bengal and Maval Tehsil of Pune District of Maharashthra State respectively. Debnath also visited the MAK project headed by Sanat Mehta in Vadodara, Gujarat, to observe the activities of this project for possible collaboration with GT.
Following the Grameen Generalized System (GGS) workshop in Hyderabad, India, M.
Alamgir Hossain, Deputy General Manager, and Shikha Barua, Assistant General Manager of GT made routine monitoring and evaluation visits to Evangelical Social Action Forum (ESAF) and Society for Rural Improvement (SRI). Both of these projects are based in Kerala. The resource persons were satisfied with the performance of these two projects. They found that the future plans of ESAF include ambitious expansion of their program beyond their geographic boundary, while focusing on attracting new donors for fundraising.
Report by Sikha Barua, Alomgir Hossain, Ahsan Habib, Tapan Kumar Debnath and Mir Hossain Chowdhury