One of the trademarks of Carter Garber and the IDEAS Team is a commitment to train younger microfinance technical assistance providers, who primarily are from developing countries. In every workshop, Dr. Garber employs national co-trainers who learn how to present workshop topics. After gaining experience in the evaluation methodology, these emerging professionals then are able to train or do consulting on their own or to assist IDEAS in more complex consulting and training efforts. For example, after working with Dr. Garber over a period of several trainings, four of these younger professionals did a national level training on impact evaluation on their own in Nicaragua from 27-30 August 2001 for 39 participants from the majority of the members of the national microfinance association in Nicaragua, ASOMIF.
In addition to Latin America, the IDEAS team has trained microfinance managers in Asia and Africa in regional trainings in places like Negros Occidental, Philippines (5/1999), Los Baños, Philippines (3-4/2000), Nairobi, Kenya (9/2000), Kumasi, Ghana (1-2/2002), and Addis Adaba (6-7/2003).
The IDEAS team has been active in teaching microfinance managers and board members from Asia, Middle East, Eastern Europe, NIS, Africa, and Latin America.
Dr. Garber helped to found the Microenterprise Development Institute at Southern New Hampshire University. Each year the Institute (www.mdi-nh.org) brings about 100 leaders in microfinance from around the world to take courses in specialized areas of microfinance and business development services. IDEAS members, Dr. Puneetha Palakurthi and Gaamaa Hishigsuren, have co-taught the impact course with Carter Garber (2000-2002). In addition, IDEAS team members teach students at the M.A. and Ph.D. level.
In addition to Southern New Hampshire University, Dr. Garber is an adjunct professor at the School of International Studies at American University and Tulane University. He has taken participants and graduate students to serve as co-trainers and evaluators from countries as diverse as Mongolia, Peru, U.S. and Haiti.
IDEAS seeks to assist these younger professionals to go to another country to use evaluation techniques that have been proven useful in providing program managers the information they need to improve the products and services being provided to poor entrepreneurs. Women microentrepreneurs, who make up the majority of clients of microfinance programs in developing countries, will greatly benefit from the assistance that will become available when these new trainers are able to enhance their skills and expand the quality of the outreach they provide.
IDEAS is building the human capacity of people throughout several developing countries to enable them to provide the leadership and have the necessary technical skills to assist in the establishment, training and evaluation of microfinance programs. National microfinance networks already have successful experience with a number of programs across the region, and want to expand both the number and the effectiveness of these programs. They already have the basic skills and knowledge of microfinance programs, but need more advanced training and experience in order to continue to effectively lead and expand the microfinance programs in their areas. So far IDEAS has made a focused effort to train persons from a wide variety of places:
- from the Philippines to Peru
- from Ghana to Guatemala
- from Kenya to Kingston.
Many of the associates on the Team began as a participant in an IDEAS workshop. Then they received specialized training for trainers. They now serve as trainers educating other potential leaders from developing countries. Click here to see some examples of the types of success stories that IDEAS seeks to promote.
The IDEAS team has conducted research in Uganda, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Columbia, Jamaica, Mexico, and Peru. After the field research and analysis, the MFIs and other organizations changed their products and services based on the findings and recommendations.