Peer Review

COPIE Access to Finance Peer Review Germany - Report

On October 6-7, 2011, COPIE members of the Thematic Working Group on Access to Finance and additional partners from Europe met in Berlin for a two-day peer review.
The meeting report is now available for download below.

Access to finance for inclusive entrepreneurship businesses: COPIE’s microfinance practices in Germany, Lithuania, Flanders, and the Czech Republic

COPIE Story of the month

This October was a crucial month for future policy action on microfinance in Europe: as part of the draft legislative package for the EU Cohesion Policy 2014-2020, the EU Commission has announced a new Programme for Social Change and Innovation which refers to microfinance and combines the three previous initiatives of Progress, EURES and the European Progress Microfinance Facility (EPMF). At the same time, the Commission published the proposals for the new ESF and ERDF regulations. Details of the current status of the EPMF are now available in the 2010 Implementation report; and finally, DG Enterprise issued a new European Code of Good Conduct for Microfinance Provision.

COPIE’s 3rd COPIE Access to Finance peer review meeting in Berlin last month, and the partners’ work on a joint Manual on Access to Finance for ESF Managing Authorities are thus extremely timely.

COPIE Tools Access to Finance

On the topic of Access to Finance for small and medium enterprises, COPIE offers ESF and ERDF Managing Authorities the following tool:

Manual on Access to Finance for ESF Managing Authorities in Europe

The manual combines information, experience, tools and examples from the COPIE partnership and the wider microfinance community in Europe that is relevant to the design of microfinance operations under the ESF.

More specifically, the guide

  • Addresses strategic and operational issues in microfinance systems,
  • Presents tools, methods and checklists to identify and assesses policy as well as policy implementation issues and options,
  • Analyses the legal and institutional environment,
  • Discusses good governance and the linkages between financial institutions and business,
  • Identifies development services, and
  • Provides practical examples.

The full version of the Manual is available for download here:
ESF Manual on Access to Finance (pdf, English, 2,2 MB)

In addition, in the course of the work of Thematic group, two instruments were designed to obtain detailed information from the regions involved and assess existing practice.

A COPIE II – Access to Finance Evaluation and Assessment Framework on 'Good Practices'

This framework is designed to detect, describe and analyse good practices of support on access to finance in partner countries. It is inspired by the COPIE 1 Framework and the IMPART Peer Review Manual. The intent is not to ‘dictate’ one practice but to support a diverse range of approaches that work well within a specific context through a shared framework of basic good practice principles. The Evaluation and Assessment Framework includes a description of practices by the country or region concerned, a secondary analysis of the COPIE lead expert and a 1.5 peer review workshop.

For the full description of this tool please see here (pdf, 324 KB)

A Peer Review Methodology for the Access to Finance sector

The peer review is a method based on the exchange of experiences between a 'host country' who presents and wishes to gain feedback on an effective policy (and associated good practice), and 'peer countries' who are interested in:

  • learning from the host example and potentially transferring it into their national setting; and

  • sharing their own policy experiences with the host and other participating countries.

Hence, the process is very much based on a two-way exchange. The peer review takes place over the course of 1.5 days in the host country with representatives from up to 12 peer countries. Each country is represented by a national government official and an independent expert.

The peer review includes presentations on the host country policy example, a round table of the peer countries‟ experiences, followed by a number of working group discussions to facilitate mutual exchange and learning.

Each peer review also includes a study visit organised by the host country where participants can see the direct application and impact of policy on the ground.

Please find the peer-review related documents from the last COPIE Access to Finance peer review in Brussels in May 2011 here (zip, 1,6 MB).

For the presentations of individual speakers please go to the Thematic Group area.

For more information on the thematic group on Access to Finance please see here.

Peer Review Methodology for the Access to Finance sector

Work methodology
Structured learning of successful models via transnational exchange of experience.

Access to Finance

The main objectives of this group are to examine ESF intervention in support for microfinance in Europe; to identify and review current practices; and to make suggestions for future ESF intervention. The core members of this group include the Czech Republic, Germany, Flanders, Lithuania and Spain.